The Obama Administration's mind control experiment continues apace:
Our challenge is much greater today because the American people have lost faith in the leaders of our financial institutions, and are skeptical that their government has--to this point--used taxpayers’ money in ways that will benefit them.Naturally, then, the government will persevere in its efforts to craft an opaque, inscrutable giveaway of huge sums of money without the slightest quid pro quo, although they will happily tack on an immaterial pay cap for a tiny tranche of high-level employees (so blatantly limited in scope to direct salary compensation that the undergraduate interns in the HR department could find ways around it without so much as taking a few Away moments on Gchat).
"Our challenge," needless to say, is not a crisis of faith, although those who argue that our current economic arrangements bear uncanny resemblance to religious institutions can't help but grin at the hocus-pocus declining-culture hokum of an agèd Pope dissing atheistic Europe. It is, rather, the failure of financial institutions, and the notion that they must be "saved," that shareholder value must somehow be rescued, that risk must be not only ameliorated but essentially eliminated, at least over the short term, that the whole thieving, incoherent system must be insured against loss by a society-wide socializing of unrealizable debts and obligations is no less lunatic than the notion that the all men must pray to an ineffable multiform deity in a manner proscribed two millennia ago lest they be consigned for all eternity to unspeakable, unrelenting torture.
“They want to make sure the plan is a balance of carrots and sticks, which are needed substantively and politically,” said Senator Charles E. Schumer, Democrat of New York, vice chairman of the Joint Economic Committee. “They are using every tool in the book because the problem is so vast, but they are also tailoring their response to the individual needs of each institution.”We'll return to the vegetable and branch momentarily. First, note: they are "using ever tool in the book" (sic, yo, the box?) but "tailoring their response to the individual needs of each institution." This recalls Obama-Biden's infelicitous, repetitive insistence during the campaign debates that we needed the scalpel and the table saw, or whatever, the, hammer and the scythe, the butterfly and the bee.
As for this "balance of carrots and sticks"--well, it's that rarest of truly, catastrophically, hilariously ridiculous misunderstandings of a basic figure of speech. Our politicians, I believe, have thoroughly confused the expression with Teddy Roosevelt's speak softly, carry a big stick admonition, and have thus conceived a new metaphor of punishment and reward, in which we are both fed delicious carrots and beaten with sticks. But the carrot and stick has another etymology entirely. The idea is that you affix the carrot to a long stick with a string and dangle it in front of a pack or harness animal, who will walk toward it as it appears to recede at a fixed distance. It is, in other words, a trick.