Thursday, December 3, 2009

The return of the plutocrats

Felix Salmon:

The underlying problem here is a fundamental disconnect between the plutocrats and the people. . . .

We’re at a fork in the road right now. People who were comfortable with seven- and eight-figure salaries a couple of years ago have a natural tendency to want to return to the status quo ante; the rest of us see a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to bring executive pay down to the kind of levels which normal human beings can relate to. Given that the pay levels of old clearly did no good and colorably did a great deal of harm, that doesn’t sound like an unreasonable request. But there aren’t any mechanisms in place to make it happen . . .

So the plutocrats, it seems are going to win. They had a nasty couple of years, by plutocrat standards, and in a handful of companies operating under de facto state control they don’t quite have the free rein they would ideally like. But the system as a whole hasn’t changed, and those who thought that it might can’t quite believe how naive they were.

Indeed, the Perfect Storm came and went, and nothing changed.

I like Felix Salmon's writing a lot. I wonder what kind of career he can have, after writing this column. Because things have not changed.

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