“HORSE AND SPARROW” ECONOMICS

Wednesday, February 11, 2009   |   Posted by Jim Hightower
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Time for another Gooberhead Award – presented periodically to those in the news who’ve got their mouths running 100 miles per hour… but forgot to put their brains in gear.

Today’s Goober is a repeat winner – Rudy Giuliani! The former New York City Mayor has long been a stalwart defender of the Wall Street crowd that has lavished campaign money on him over the years. So – even though workaday Americans are absolutely outraged and exasperated by the extravagant bonuses that failed Wall Street bankers are paying to themselves, using our bailout money for their self-enrichment – Rudy has stood tall for banker excess: “If somehow you take that bonus out of the economy, it really will create unemployment,” he cried.

For the bankers? No, for the little people, says Giuliani. He almost teared up as he explained that the multi-million dollar payouts to high-flying Wall Streeters trickle down to waiters in swank New York restaurants, to clerks at Tiffanys and Gucci, to sales staff at Lamborghini dealers, and to real estate agents selling mansions in the Hamptons. Even gardeners and garbage collectors get their cut, Hizzoner claimed.

He is spouting the age-old theory of “horse and sparrow” economics. This approach says that if you let horses gorge on oats, some of that grain will pass through their systems and be deposited on the ground for the sparrows to enjoy.

Not everyone shares our Gooberhead’s enthusiasm for the horse and sparrow theory. Republican Senator Richard Shelby, for example, is calling for a strict limit on the pay of bank executives who’re getting our bailout money. “The way they’ve spent it,” he said, “is getting close to being criminal.” And Sen. Claire McCaskill is even more blunt about the rank greed of top bankers. Demanding that no bailout banker should be paid more than the President of the United States, she added: “These people are idiots.”

“Angry senator wants pay cap on Wall Street ‘idiots’,” www.cnn.com, January 30, 2009.

“Obama imposes limits on executive pay,” www.msnbc.com, February 4, 2009.

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