Wer “A” sagt, muss auch “B” sagen

March 20, 2009

The American People: Hey, AIG, what’s the deal?

AIG: What do you mean?

A.P. : Why, these bonuses, they’re obscene!

AIG: What? Why? We need to reward our top executives. 

A.P. : But we gave you that money! You said it was necessary because the entire economy would collapse unless we saved your business!

AIG: Wait… you actually believed that?

To say that I’m surprised at the uproar over the bonuses this week is an understatement. I was also surprised that anyone paid attention to the Jon Stewart/ Jim Cramer affair. This indicates that I understand very little about public opinion.

Anyway, the Germans have a proverb that goes “Wer A sagt, muss auch B sagen” which means “Whoever says A, must also say B,” which means you can’t support a thing without also supporting its consequences. The bailout money was always going to be a transfer to the financial sector from the vast majority of Americans. 

I don’t have much to say on this subject,  because I feel far too self-righteous about it. By now, we’ve all heard the phrase “too big to fail.” It’s time to ask “for whom is it too big to fail?”


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