I've got some bad news (good news I guess, if you are a Socialist). Capitalism in the USA is nearly dead!
Now, before you start freaking out, thinking that I believe these idiots deserve the money, settle down. I think these guys should be FIRED along with the Board of Directors. And I think they should never be able to get another job again (except maybe in the mail room). But, in no way shape or form, do I think it's the Federal Government's job to decide that for these companies or any other company in America. Last time I checked there wasn't an enumerated clause spelled out in the Constitution granting any Branch of our Government the right to cap anyone's salary or tell anyone or any entity how to spend their money. But I think we've thrown that document out the window and we're just playing it by ear now.
The truth is our Government has no right to tell a public corporation (and yes they are still public corporations - at least their stock holders think so) how to spend it's money. Any more than the Government has the right to tell you how to spend yours. Oh by the way, they are trying to do that as well.
Democracy depends on capitalism and vice versa. One can not survive without the other. Many people argue me on that point. Except what most people don't realize is that capitalism is nothing more than market democracy - where instead of casting votes, you spend money.
Every dollar you spend is a vote for the world you want to live in.
If you don't like what Citigroup or Bank of America is doing. Don't vote for them - STOP giving them any of YOUR money! If you are really unhappy - do some community organizing work and organize a boycott.
It is your right in a free country!
It is your duty as an American Citizen - as much as voting on Election Day!
The ironic thing is that the American public have been exercising this "right" for the couple decades by buying cars built by automakers not home based in the US. They didn't like the product that GM, Chrysler, and Ford have been making and they have been voting. But a couple weeks ago, your Government decided you didn't know what you were doing with you votes and they needed to veto your decision.
Where does it stop? From where I'm sitting (in the cheap seats), I don't think it's going to - any time soon.
But that doesn't mean we should stop voting every day for the world we want as both a consumer and a small business owner. Become an educated consumer - learn about the business that you are voting for (purchasing from). Pick ones that perpetuate your ideals and the beliefs you hold dear. Give them testimonials and get your friends and family to do the same.
Support Entrepreneurs that you know are fighting a good fight. They are the ones that are taking risks and doing their best to keep the spirit of Capitalism alive. And remember, without Capitalism, we will end up losing our Democracy.