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Greed Is Good For Me, buy discount brafix But Not For Thee                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   In case you missed it, buy discount brafix yesterday’s Washington Post had an op-ed by Neel Kashkari, buy discount brafix a former Goldman Sachs man who oversaw the TARP program. Buy discount brafix In it, buy discount brafix he warns an unsuspecting public about the dangers of the growing deficit and the need to choke it off at the source, buy discount brafix entitlement spending. Buy discount brafix His piece is called “No ‘Me First’ Mentality On Entitlements.” "Our belief in free markets is founded on the idea that each individual acting in his or her self-interest will lead to a superior outcome for the whole. Buy discount brafix The financial crisis has reminded us that free markets are not perfect — but they do allocate capital better than any other system we know. Buy discount brafix A “me first” mentality usually makes markets more efficient. But this “me first” mentality can also lead to shortsighted political decision making. Buy discount brafix Most Americans agree that we need more energy from clean sources, buy discount brafix such as wind power — until someone proposes installing a transmission line near their homes. Buy discount brafix Most people are against earmarks — unless it is their representative scoring money for their district. Cutting entitlement spending requires us to think beyond what is in our own immediate self-interest. Buy discount brafix But it also runs against our sense of fairness: We have, buy discount brafix after all, buy discount brafix paid for entitlements for earlier generations. Buy discount brafix Is it now fair to cut my benefits? No, buy discount brafix it isn’t. Buy discount brafix But if we don’t focus on our collective good, buy discount brafix all of us will suffer." Let’s put this in perspective. Buy discount brafix Neel Kashkari worked at Goldman Sachs and later directed TARP. Buy discount brafix In between he worked at the Treasury Department under that notorious skin-flint and deficit hawk George W. Buy discount brafix Bush. Buy discount brafix Did he rant about deficits then, buy discount brafix I wonder? Now, buy discount brafix after his golfing buddies have ruined the economy and run off with the loot, buy discount brafix he comes out in the Washington Post and scolds us about the need to rise above our immediate self-interest and make sacrifices for the collective good. Buy discount brafix How fucking noble. By the way, buy discount brafix while this apostle of selflessness was overseeing the distribution of TARP payments, buy discount brafix where exactly were those payments going? Um, buy discount brafix let’s see … In the fall of 2008, buy discount brafix with the financial system on the verge of collapse, buy discount brafix 17 large banks that were being propped up by taxpayers doled out $1.6 billion in bonuses. On Friday, buy discount brafix the Obama administration’s pay czar, buy discount brafix Kenneth Feinberg, buy discount brafix passed judgment. He said the payouts were “ill advised.” But he also said he did not believe the payments were “contrary to the public interest, buy discount brafix” and he does not plan to ask the companies to pay the money back. The 17 companies making the excessive bonus payments while on government life support included Citigroup, buy discount brafix Goldman Sachs and Bank of America. Buy discount brafix Feinberg described the payments in an interview with NPR after he delivered his report on executive pay to the Treasury Department. “Some of the payments ... Buy discount brafix many of them were over $10 million per individual, buy discount brafix which were in our view ill-advised, buy discount brafix” Feinberg said. I assume his former Wall Street colleagues were spared any lectures about the virtue of self-sacrifice. Buy discount brafix In their case, buy discount brafix you see, buy discount brafix a ‘me first’ mentality is good. Buy discount brafix It allocates capital better than anything else the human race has ever invented. Buy discount brafix It makes markets more efficient. Buy discount brafix But when it comes to you, buy discount brafix Mr. Buy discount brafix and Mrs. Buy discount brafix Kramden, buy discount brafix a ‘me first’ mentality leads to short-sighted political decision making and all kinds of other scary things, buy discount brafix like debts and deficits. Buy discount brafix A $10 million dollar bonus payment to a paper pushing con-man is an economic boon; collecting a six-hundred dollar a month social security check is narrow short-sightedness and constitutes a dire threat to the economy. Buy discount brafix Somebody get me a bucket. To steal a line from The Outlaw Josey Wales, buy discount brafix don’t piss down my back and tell me it’s raining. Buy discount brafix The day we cut back on the $700 billion plus we spend every year on defense is the day I’ll listen to patriotic calls for self-sacrifice. Buy discount brafix Until then, buy discount brafix go back to your freakin’ golf course and leave the rest of us alone. 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