Ripping it Straight from Popehat
Over at (the awesomely named blog) Popehat, Ken has this to say:
The entire AIG bonus brouhaha has encouraged an unusually large number of people to say an unusually large number of very stupid things. I don’t think I’ve heard anything quite as stupid, though, as what Rep. Barney Frank had to say:
But retention bonuses are to a great extent extortion. It is people saying as you suggested in the question, Harry, I’ve got the combination to the safe and if you don’t bribe me i’m going to leave and you’ll never be able to open the safe. I think it is wrong and let’s point out a lot of very talented people have lost their jobs in this financial crisis. It’s not that they wouldn’t be able to hire good people to do this. So I really resent the extortionist element of this and I think that’s one of the things we have to deal with, not just with AIG but going forward to restrict that.
Someone needs to brand the text of the Thirteenth Amendment into Frank’s fat confiscatory ass. I don’t care whether your entire company — your entire industry — will collapse without me. I don’t have to work for you if I don’t want to. And I may not want to if you don’t make it worth my while. What is “worth my while” is up to me, in all of my avarice and irrationality. If I make outrageous and unreasonable demands, you can tell me to take a hike, or not, depending on your needs and how you value my services. But I am a free man.