Apparently, well-heeled persons suffer a conundrum of what to do with recent profits.
And, mind you, the term "person" these days is meant – legally speaking – to refer to organisms of the homo sapiens species and -- thanks to SCOTUS -- now corporations. Both now have rights of free speech, after all, so one must show proper respect.
(By the way, would that be a conservative development, or an outright liberal, à la Roe v. Wade, development? But I digress.)
Accordingly, I offer my assistance to these persons with help for some resolution of their ethical conundrum.
The first impulse is to plow back earnings into investments, especially the derivative and other hyper-finance products that have been so beneficial to our economy as of late.
The second impulse is to provide increased dividends to stockholders. That might help stave off uncomfortable stockholder meetings and possible ousters of officers, CEOs and the board.
But these unpleasantries are relatively rare, since board members are interrelated by bonds of Wall Street incest – a seething relationship that has fostered a groupthink that, in turn, produces economists like Larry Summers and cabinet members and federal reserve chairmen who intone, ritually, incantational assurances that the hyper-finance collapse was not – what I thought, stupid me – a failure of their theoretical model, but was a demonstration of the robustness of their economical theory.
Here I had assumed that the Wall Street meltdown had made chumps of all economists. But it turns out that the collapse itself had proven the rightness of their ways.
There you go.
I guess I should reconsider my dark notion that the Wall Street collapse was really the largest shift of wealth away from the middle class and the poor, and the most radical particularization of wealth into the coffins – I mean, coffers – of a few. This, as it turns out in the equations of the wise, is not so. The Emperor's clothes are beautiful, are they not?
The third impulse simply does not occur to anyone. Creating jobs – creating "make-work" positions – if only to increase the numbers of the gainfully employed – is just a bad idea these days.
Against these impulses, especially the first two, I suggest a simple old-fashioned idea:
Distribute the profits to the poor.
This can be done in several ways. I discourage the giving of cash. Housing would be nice. Good land would be better. A cow. Some chickens. A good education in the trivium and quadrivium is essential. Something along the line of medical assistance would be okay, but I dare not mention the word "healthcare" here, since the term itself is trip-wired to a zip-lock bag of napalm.
I think this was done before. I can think of one example in Catholic Spain, where the surplus of public wealth was given to the destitute.
But then, as is now the expedient practice in the religious business of wealth-protection, there were those who took umbrage. Sir James Stewart suggested that this was no good. "The regulation of need" – not charity – was better at effecting social control and increasing the population.
The logic of Sir James is insurmountable. If one does not distribute surplus in public charity, then one has more to invest in future profit-making industry.
There are two good consequences here. An improved industry will reap more rewards to the self: huzzah. And, even better, the "element of need among the workers" is constantly preserved. Workers are happy to work. Happy to be disciplined. Double-huzzah.
If one wanted to gather more of these "huzzah's," then the only thing that certain "persons" would have to do is to wait for a while. Hold back. Make the workers appreciate work. Build up that "element of need."
Never mind the tongue-in-cheek tone of this post. I should not have to say it, but in this pedestrian climate of howitzer-inanity (e.g., last night's 'Reality TV" political debate), I have to say out loud that I disagree with impolite forms of redistribution of wealth. One mustn't, after all, touch the third rail of Christian conservatism, which is the dirty secret that there is nothing very conservative Christian about Wall Street ethics or Wall street metaphysics. Perhaps liberal, yes, and perhaps (and especially) calvino-voluntarist heterodox: but not old fashioned Christian.
Like giving to the poor is.