Friday, March 27, 2009

Sorry about destroying the world

Dear A.I.G., I Quit!

Yes, I read that letter several days ago. I felt a lot of sympathy for Jake DeSantis and his many coworkers who have borne the brunt of outrage from the public over their company's role in destroying the world. Clearly most of them bear no blame for the Credit Default Swap and Derivatives gambling at the center of the fiasco.

But there was something that kept bringing me back to his letter, even though he said all the right things and comported himself honorably ... something bothered me.

And I think I am getting closer to nailing it down ... there is, behind the heartfelt concern and aggrieved forthrightness a sense of - entitlement.

This is a guy who made great sacrifices - apparently foregoing a 7 figure salary (for a year!) in exchange for a promised million plus bonus ... ummm ... yeah ... but the undercurrent is of course he deserved more money.

He was entitled to those great sums for the important work he did while destroying the world - keeping in mind that he personally was not responsible for the really bad stuff (even though the division that he was the EXECUTIVE VICE PRESIDENT of WAS responsible ...)

I applaud his promise to donate his after tax bonus of 750 thousand dollars to those hurt by his company's work at destroying the world. He is by all accounts a good man, personally generous and well liked. But still, there is something about his fully justified whining that just feels a bit unworthy ... it must just be my own failing to properly appreciate that those who are our betters are entitled to their sense of ... entitlement.

Another view

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