Thursday, January 14, 2010

The Road to Nuremburg II

Today, President Obama, upset about the "obscene profits" being made by big banks, proposed that they be charged a “Financial Crisis Responsibility Fee” so that the American people can recover the money they lost bailing out AIG and GM. (The President is taxing banks for the same reason Willy Sutton robbed them: that's where the money is.)

The fee is, of course, a bill of attainder aimed at Wall Street bankers, and like it or not, "Wall Street" means "Jewish" to a lot of bad people. Folks blame the mess on people and firms with names like Goldman, Sachs, Blankfein, Greenberg, Lehman, and even Dimon (who who isn’t Jewish but sounds like he might be, which is close enough for the torch and pitchfork crowd). The President’s plan, and the speech announcing it, validate resentment, and in so doing, give a green light to the mob to do its worst.

I know BHO was a Constitutional Law professor. But what country’s constitution did he teach? Implicit in his proposal is the principle that it is ok to tax those people that our politicians blame for our ills. That seems to me bad medicine, but if we are to adopt that principle, we ought to do it right. Why limit the evildoer's punishment to mere confiscation of assets? Certainly, some degree of opprobrium should attach and a way be found for the rest of us to spot and shun those responsible for our problems. I suggest that anyone associated with a taxed bank be required to wear some emblem - I'm thinking a green arm-band with a dollar sign on it - to indicate that he is responsible for the financial crisis and ought not to be treated by ordinary citizens any better than he is treated by their government. That is the point, is it not?

Just a thought.


  1. 'Just a thought'. And I would suggest, not much of one. The core of your argument, expressed both in this post and in the succeeding piece, is Jewish exceptionalism.
    'There will be an anti-banker residue from the process (the bank tax) that I believe is salutary, or would be if so many bankers weren’t Jewish.' Are Jews a strikingly large proportion of bankers per se, or is it merely that the leading firms' names tend to be Jewish? No matter, let's take your statement at face value.
    So - according to your logic - if most bankers were Irish, or Samoan, or Finnish, that would be different, and the anti-banker residue would be fine and dandy. The logical corollary of this claim is that malfeasance, incompetence and greed should be treated differently, and granted impunity, on the basis of ethno-religious status.

  2. Virginia -

    Thank you for your comment.

    A couple of clarifications. First, the only reason I believe an anti-banker residue would be salutary is that too many of our most innovative minds are going into banking. The pay is too high, so maybe some whorish taint will push them into other fields.

    There's plenty of malfeasance, incompetence, and greed in all walks of life. Bankers are not special in that regard. I get that those perceived ills are necessary to the creation of the anti-banking bias, but I do not share the perception that those ills especially afflict bankers. All I'm saying is that I like the effect that the bias may have on talent flows, and I don't like the effect it may have on the Jews.

    As for "Jewish exceptionalism," Jews are historically exceptional. Did Samoans kill Christ? Did Ferdinand and Isabella expel the Irish? Did Hitler seek a Finn-free Europe? Antisemitism is exceptional, so vigilance in opposition to it must be exceptional, too. "According to my logic," as you might say, if an industry that is perceived to be dominated by Christ-killers is also perceived to be the cause of economic hardship for the rest of us, then whichever group those Christ-killers happen to belong to will warrant some exceptional concern.


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