Seriously, the video speaks for itself. This should be viral shortly. But is it real?
Seriously, the video speaks for itself. This should be viral shortly. But is it real?
I wish I didn’t have to post this many John Galt stories, but as we briskly march down the road to serfdom, I fear the frequency of these stories will increase.
From the Washington Post, Top employees leave financial firms ahead of pay cuts (H/T Instapundit,)
“Many executives were driven away by the uncertainty of working for companies closely overseen by Washington, opting instead for firms not under the microscope, including competitors that have already returned the bailout funds to the government, according to executives and supervisors at the companies.”
“There’s no question people have left because of uncertainty of our ability to pay,” said an executive at one of the affected firms. “It’s a highly competitive market out there.”
At Bank of America, for instance, only 14 of the 25 highly paid executives remained by the time Feinberg announced his decision. Under his plan, compensation for the most highly paid employees at the bank would be a maximum of $9.9 million. The bank had sought permission to pay as much as $21 million, according to Treasury Department documents.
At American International Group, only 13 people of the top 25 were still on hand for Feinberg’s decision.
This is economics 101. If you decrease the incentives to work in a particular industry, people will exit that industry. Some may think forcing executives out of financial firms is desirable. Their greed and evilness caused the financial meltdown, the argument would go. I am not an expert in this field, so I won’t opine, short of saying that there is a reason certain people are elevated from the rank and file employee to the upper echelons of management. For the most part, they possess unique leadership skills that others lack.
Even assuming there is a bad apple, an executive who screws things up, the statist’s policy is a blanket approach. The pay cuts will affect all executives, good and bad. Soon, the leaders of industry, the giants on whose shoulders society rests, will no longer find the incentives to take on these high stress, high demand jobs, as the pay is not worth it. Then, where will we be? People like Tim Giethner and Joe Biden running our Industry?
At the moment, these employees are only going Galt in the metaphorical sense. They are leaving their jobs in the financial industry to enter other industries. But what happens when all industries are under the yoke? Where will they go? Who is John Galt?
When the government’s tax regime is so oppressive, and there are so many governmental incentives not to excel, but to remain mediocre, what is a middle class person to do? Shrug.
From Forbes, H/T Instapundit.
Middle-class folks are finding that a raise or second paycheck doesn’t always mean living better. Time to work less?
Judith Lederman would like to find another $120,000-a-year job. But Casey, her high school senior daughter, will qualify for $19,000 a year more in college financial aid if mom has to settle for half that salary.
Eighteen months after being laid off, Judith Lederman, a 50-year-old divorcee who lives in Scarsdale, N.Y., is ready to consider jobs paying half the $120,000 she earned as a publicity manager at Lord & Taylor. That’s mostly because she’s desperate, but it also makes sense when you consider how this country punishes work effort. While the first $60,000 of her income would be lightly taxed, the next $60,000 would be hit with what is in effect a 79% tax rate. Given a choice between a part-time or easy job paying $60,000 and a demanding, stress-ridden job paying $120,000, Lederman would be wise to take the former. In the tougher job she would be contributing twice as much to the economy. But she wouldn’t be doing herself much good. It would make more sense to take it easy and spend more time with her high school senior daughter, Casey.
How did a middle-class single mom wind up with a 79% marginal tax rate? At $120,000 she would pay $16,500 a year more in federal and state taxes, wouldn’t qualify for the five-year $12,000-a-year cut in her mortgage payments she’s applying for and would be eligible for $19,000 a year less in need-based college financial aid.
I made this exact Galtian decision sometime last year. I realized that if I went into Big Law, I would spend countless hours at a difficult job, only to be rewarded by the Government taxing most of the marginal income above a certain level. Why bother? Shrug. I would rather do what I love, make less, and get to keep more of my earnings.
Why should society punish people who want to succeed? Why should incentives discourage people from realizing the maximum of their potentiality? Why should the government place the strongest yoke on the backs of those who keep this society afloat.
Who is John Galt?
About twice a year, the District Court in Johnstown hosts a naturalization ceremony, and administers the oath of citizenship to new citizens of the United States.
Judge Gibson began by reading from Section I of the Fourteenth Amendment.
All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside.
As a textualist, this is music to my ears.
The Assistant U.S. Attorney who petitioned for their admission to the country told the new citizens that they are now part of “We the People.” That brought smiles to all of their faces.
After the ceremony, Judge Gibson took the time to shake hands and take a photo with each new citizen on the bench. He gave each citizen a miniature American Flag. I personally welcomed each and every one of them to our great nation. Next time we have a naturalization ceremony, I will hand out pocket constitutions.
This was a very touching and moving ceremony, and makes me so proud to be an American.
Virginia apparently fouled up the July 2008 exam. The problem is simple:
- There was a software glitch during the test regarding the essays that were typed on laptops; and
- Virginia doesn’t permit test-takers to see their essays.
What follows is an affidavit from Jon Bolls, who is chronicling his fight through the courts to see his essay answers after he and others were victims of a software problem. The affidavit below describes the problem. (And if you think bar examiners can’t be beat, read this.)
According to Bolls, 43 states allow for some form of transparency. Virginia is not one of them. And over half now allow typing essays on laptops.
And the question for bar takers in the face of multiple technology problems comes down to this: Is pen and paper better than the keyboard? Proceed at your own risk…
I remember during the Bar many students raised their hands, complaining of computer problems. I remember, mainly because I raised my hand.
I did something really stupid that was totally my fault. Question 1 had 5 or 6 parts. Accidentally, I put the answer to Question 1.a in the window for Question 1, the answer to question 1.b in the window for Question 2, and so on. I realized it by the time I got to Question 1.e, and I was typing in the window for Question 5. Unfortunately Virginia does not allow you to cut and paste. Rather than retyping my answer, I wrote detailed instructions to the graders of how to read my exam, and typed the remainder of the bar exam in the last window. After the exam, in extreme detail, I explained to the tech support people what I did. They wrote down my comments, noted my exam number, and said they would tell the examiners. Out of precaution, I told the same story to 3 separate tech support people, in the event one of them messed up. I was not going to take a risk with this.
But, I do know some exam takers, who actually *retyped* answers into the correct window. I can’t imagine how much time they wasted doing this. And on the exam, time is scarce. I am not sure why I should be rewarded for being a screwup, and people who put their answers into the correct place should be penalized. Alas.
Well, I passed. But if I didn’t I wonder how concerned I would have been that they did not correctly read my essays.
This Funny or Die video has been floating around Facebook. In the video, Will Ferrel and a bunch of other actors and comedians, through satire, convey that the real victims of the health care crisis are the health care executives. Some of my favorite quotes (roughly transcribed):
“We need to remember who the real victims are. Health insurance executives. People are saying a lot of mean things about health insurance executives, and it needs to stop.”
“These great business men are American heroes. Why is Obama trying to reform health care when Insurance Companies are doing just fine.”
I know they are being sarcastic, but I feel bad for executives. These are the giants upon whose shoulders society stands. They should be praised, not vilified. Go ahead. Call me heartless. Who is John Galt?