- The Washington Times - Monday, April 13, 2009

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

After reading “Fannie, Freddie defend big bonuses” (Web, April 4), the American taxpayer should thank overseer James B. Lockhart for his frank and honest remarks defending bonuses for executives, who he says might otherwise flee these failed institutions if unpaid.

Mr. Lockhart's point is that the talent drain from these institutions would be insurmountable without these employees' critical skills. The fact that these same skills produced blunders that no part of financial theory can substantiate is not mentioned. What the taxpayer gets to see up-close is the sense of entitlement and greed that separates corporate thinking from that of the average citizen.

The “reward-at-all-cost” mentality that permeates the CEO world has been ensconced in the national psyche at a level where the end results differ only slightly from street-level extortion by gangs. As long as our nation keeps buying into the bizarre idea that good work doesn't come from merely good or great salaries but rather from the kind of salaries necessary to create an American royalty class, we eventually will lead ourselves into chaos the likes of which we are seeing in Mexico, where people will fall for anything that promises to level the playing field.

RICK EISLER

Arlington


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