Thoughts, essays, and writings on Liberty. Written by the heirs of Patrick Henry.

“Liberty is the only thing you cannot have unless you give it to others.”     William Allen White

March 22, 2009

Another Step Down The Road To Serfdom

by Doug Mataconis

Today’s New York Times brings news that the Obama Administration is set to unveil a series of unprecedented regulations:

WASHINGTON — The Obama administration will call for increased oversight of executive pay at all banks, Wall Street firms and possibly other companies as part of a sweeping plan to overhaul financial regulation, government officials said.

The outlines of the plan are expected to be unveiled this week in preparation for President Obama’s first foreign summit meeting in early April.

(…)

The administration has been considering increased oversight of executive pay for some time, but the issue was heightened in recent days as public fury over bonuses spilled into the regulatory effort.

The officials said that the administration was still debating the details of its plan, including how broadly it should be applied and how far it could go beyond simple reporting requirements. Depending on the outcome of the discussions, the administration could seek to put the changes into effect through regulations rather than through legislation.

One proposal could impose greater requirements on company boards to tie executive compensation more closely to corporate performance and to take other steps to ensure that compensation was aligned with the financial interest of the company.

The new rules will cover all financial institutions, including those not now covered by any pay rules because they are not receiving federal bailout money. Officials say the rules could also be applied more broadly to publicly traded companies, which already report about some executive pay practices to the Securities and Exchange Commission.

The transparency of this move is really quite obvious. This has nothing to do with stimulating the economy, and even less to do with the root causes of the financial crisis. Instead, what we’re looking at here is naked redistributionism timed to tap into the populist rage that has erupted over the phony scandal surrounding the AIG bonuses. It’s an “us vs. them” game that Obama thinks he can win, and he may well be right.

Make no mistake what this is really all about, though:

You are not free to make as much money as you want. You are not free to succeed because government will tax you at the point of a gun to make sure you aren’t making more money than they approve of.

Welcome to Obama’s America.

Any resemblance to previous Americas is purely coincidental.

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4 Comments

  1. Lowering executive pay or bonusses will not increase the wages of rank and file workers and may lead to a reduction thereof or a loss of jobs in those sectors and companies altogether.

    Controlling executive pay or bonusses will lead to people finding ways around these controls.

    Comment by persnickety curmudgeon — March 22, 2009 @ 7:01 am
  2. Ah, the flip side of minimum wage.

    Everyone at the low end should make more – by government decree. Everyone at the high end should make less – by government decree. Eventually, we can all live based on what our government thinks is right. After all, the purpose of government is to mandate the “good practice” of some of us based on the uniformed whim of some others, right? Government is not there to protect life, liberty, and property in our “free” country. It’s there to trump our voluntary behavior with centralized control.

    What’s next in our parody of parity imposed at the whim of the mob? Do you make the “right” amount? You better hope so. Check with all your neighbors to make sure.

    And just pragmatically, ask anyone from the erstwhile Soviet Union or satellite countries how well a government-controlled economy worked. I have. The stories will chill your blood.

    Comment by Akston — March 22, 2009 @ 9:07 am
  3. Doug, your comment, ” You are not free to make as much money as you want. You are not free to succeed because government will tax you at the point of a gun to make sure you aren’t making more money than they approve of.,” is the underling plan of this administration. Obama is a marxis. I never thought I would use that kind of strong language in describing a president of the U.S., but that reality is here.

    Good post. Keep it up.

    Comment by For Freedom's Sake — March 22, 2009 @ 12:55 pm
  4. Directive 10-289.7

    Comment by Larry Sheldon — March 22, 2009 @ 2:18 pm

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