Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Scapegoating

President Obama seems to view the AIG bonus issue as a distraction, and keeps trying to deflect the media's obsession with it. He is rightly concerned with the bigger picture.

One of the AIG executives in question published his resignation letter in the New York Times yesterday. The letter is worth pondering, for it makes you consider that not only have we been making scapegoats out of the AIG execs who are receiving bonuses, but also that at least some of these people may not even be the right scapegoats. There is plenty of blame to go around for the financial crisis, and it should be very widely shared. It may be satisfying for people to try to blame everything on an evil Wall Street cabal, but it would not be accurate. Therefore, while certain reporters at the press conference last night were trying to hold Andrew Cuomo up as a hero for going after AIG executives, while trying to find President Obama at fault for not paying enough attention to this issue, perhaps it would be more accurate to view Andrew Cuomo as something of a demagogue and rabble-rouser who is distracting people from real problems, while the president is entirely focused on getting people to recognize and solve those problems.

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