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Friday, January 23, 2009

The Stuff of Fiction

When I was young and impressionable I devoured the works of Ayn Rand. I have moved on since but still thank God (pace Ms. Rand) for her vivid portrayals of socialism for the monstrous evil it is. In her novels, particularly, Atlas Shrugged, Rand's vilest and most despicable characters are not government bureaucrats, rather captains of big business. Being of a libertarian bent, that used to puzzle me but over the years I have come to see the wisdom of Ms. Rand's characterizations and the recent meltdown on Wall Street has brought them to the fore. Herewith, a splendid example of private sector pond scum:

John Thain, the former Merrill Lynch & Co. chief executive officer ousted yesterday, spent $1.2 million redecorating his downtown Manhattan office last year as the company was firing employees, a person familiar with the project said.

Thain hired Los Angeles-based decorator Michael Smith, chosen by President Barack Obama and his wife Michelle to redecorate the White House, CNBC reported. Thain paid Smith $837,000 and his purchases included $87,000 for area rugs, $25,000 for a pedestal table and $68,000 for a 19th century credenza, CNBC said.

...Merrill’s $15.4 billion fourth-quarter loss forced Bank of America to seek additional aid from the U.S. government, which last week agreed to provide $20 billion in capital and $118 billion in asset guarantees. (from Bloomberg.com)
Needless to say, stuff like this is grist for the mill for socialist trolls like Michael Moore and his kind. When bumbling millionaire grifters like Thain are seen in the corner suite, one hand pointing to where the credenza goes while the other one scoops up billions in public funds, it makes it lot more difficult for those of us who believe in free markets, limited regulation and taxation to prosecute our argument.

(Thanks to For What it's Worth.)

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