Bonuses vs. Starvation at the New York Times

A Tiny Revolution blogger Bernard Chazelle (8/2/09) thinks it’s possible that “people fail to appreciate how tough it is to run the government.” As evidence, he offers “two questions Treasury officials and politicians will soon have to answer”:

  • Should a Connecticut trader receive $100 million in executive pay from a bank that would be dead had it not received $45 billion in taxpayer money? Apparently, the guy’s genius was to drive up the price of gas to $4 a gallon. Does he deserve 100 million bucks from you for that?
  • Should unemployment benefits be extended for 1.5 million jobless Americans who will otherwise run out of money by the end of the year and fall into destitution and, sometimes, homelessness?

Chazelle notes that “the New York Times features both stories on its front page, but never connects the two” –their job “explaining the complexity of the issue” encapsulated by him as, “If the trader fails to be paid, it’ll get truly ugly: The guy will go trade somewhere else!”

“On the other hand,” writes Chazelle, “if mom and dad don’t get their unemployment benefits, things are not quite nearly as bad: Only their kids will die.” Leading him to sarcastically exclaim, “Thank god I am not in government having to make tough choices like that!”

Read the FAIR magazine Extra!: “The Recession and the ‘Deserving Poor’: Poverty Finally on Media Radarâ┚¬”but Only When It Hits the Middle Class” (3/09) by Neil deMause.