This day I have thought of a question so carefully constructed that it will OUT (reveal, disclose, make known) an economically evil idea and attitude. I will go find an investment banker and ask the question. If the answer is yes---I will have outed an evil idea.
I wangled my way into the office of an investment banker and after establishing some rapport I asked the question.
Here he is in the very act of answering the question. (I have distorted the image slightly out of consideration for him) He answered the question with a resounding YES.
HERE IS THE QUESTION: Feel free to try it on your banker.: IF YOU COULD BROKER A DEAL TODAY THAT WOULD RESULT IN A BILLION DOLLAR PAYOFF FOR YOURSELF---WOULD YOU FEEL OK ABOUT IT?
HE SAID "YES"---and added: "that's capitalism---profit--is the American way---it is honorable."
"but this much profit?" I said---"for a simple days work". "Yes," he said again, "Brokered payoffs are called transactional wealth----and transactions have made America the financial juggernaut that it is."
RANDY PHILOSOPHIZES: Oh sweet readers--I think I have taken you with me into the den of devils. This man does not know that VAST OVERCOMPENSATION FOR THE FEW DIMINISHES THE REST OF US---DISTORTS THE ECONOMY--- THAT UNBOUNDED GREED IS IMPOVERISHING THE MASSES. THAT NAKED CAPITALISM SORELY NEEDS TO BE CREATIVELY TWEAKED. (Not dismissed--understand---just tweaked) What it needs is 1. OVERSIGHT 2. CAREFULLY MODERATED TAXATION 3. WEALTH RECYCLING WHEN THE SUPER WEALTHY DIE (i.e. Death taxes---again---carefully moderated) (Wealth is earned in a context--the wealthy owe something to the context)