Bailout Thoughts from Megan McArdle


Last week at The Atlantic, Megan McArdle argued that General Motors “needs to go into bankruptcy, which is the only possible way I can see to adjust its legacy labor problems” — that is, its salary and pension obligations. She also argued against bailing out troubled western New York because “it wouldn’t be right to save it by destroying someone else’s business, killing someone else’s town.”

Today McArdle asks, “Have we beaten the CEOs up enough?” She admits that “if the worst thing that can possibly happen to me is that I walk away with $5 or $10 million, then I’m pretty happy,” but says CEOs are different from ordinary people — “if I have, say $5 billion, walking away with that kind of money looks very different” — so, contrary to the “liberals” who want to see the CEOs “reduced to total penury,” she figures leaving them mere millionaires is punishment enough.

In related news, New York‘s Daily Intel reports that Joe the Plumber has just signed a book deal.