We already know what to say when folks tell us CEOs deserve all that unearned money because they take risks (i.e., the biggest risk they take is that they'll get an eight-digit severance if they tank their company, instead of a nine-digit severance if they do a good job), but the other day I figured out what to say when folks tell us CEOs deserve all that money because it's impossible to retain top talent otherwise: namely, that corporations have no inalienable right to retain top talent, and that, moreover, it's supposed to be impossible to retain top talent. That's the nature of top talent: top talent always looks for new opportunities and new challenges, and a good manager's job isn't to redistribute income upward to "retain top talent," but to find and develop new top talent to replace the top talent you'll always lose. If the Minnesota Twins and Oakland A's can do it year in and year out, why can't American corporations?
Once again, the people over at Pravda TV try to hang the entire deficit around Mr. Obama's neck. My criticisms of Mr. Obama are legion, but his involvement in the growing budget deficit isn't one of them -- in fact, as I've said before, I'm surprised the deficit hasn't become much worse, given the huge stimulus package passed earlier this year. But who rammed that $700 billion financial services bailout down America's throat? George W. Bush did, that's who -- the fact that a Democratic Congress let him do it is irrelevant to the charge that "Obama tripled the deficit." I've posted about this before, when conservative economist Bruce Bartlett reminded us that Mr. Bush was responsible for about $1.2 trillion of the current deficit, and at that time, you may notice, estimates of the current deficit were considerably higher ($1.8 trillion vs. $1.4 trillion). But I guess I'll have to keep reminding everyone, since the media seems reluctant to do it.
Finally, surprise! Mr. Obama wins the Nobel Peace Prize! Though reasonable people can disagree about whether Mr. Obama has earned it (I don't think he has, and, apparently, neither does Mr. Obama), the right-wing haters are still out in full force. What a hissy fit they'd have pitched if Mr. Bush had won it and Americans had been sincerely outraged! And putative conservative David Brooks was their enabler on NPR yesterday -- when E.J. Dionne pointed out how "rancid" the "anger" against Mr. Obama had become, Mr. Brooks dismissively said, "there's always going to be fringe voices (sic)" and promptly changed the subject, thus effacing the fact that, in this sick, immoral and decadent culture, the "fringe voices" routinely get booked on mainstream TV "news" programming and move into leadership positions in Congress. I've said it before and I'll say it again: if the haters really wonder why the world seems to be so against them, they need to start with the man in the mirror.