Who wrote this?:

Every ten years I quote the same adage from the late Austrian analyst Willi Schlamm, and I hope that ten years from now someone will remember to quote it in my memory. It goes, “The trouble with socialism is socialism. The trouble with capitalism is capitalists.” What brought this on this time around was the published recapitulation of executive plunder featuring, but hardly limited to, Viacom. The top three executives at Viacom received total compensation last year valued at about $52 to $56 million each in salary, bonus, and stock options.

We got, in one story of these goings-on — by Geraldine Fabrikant in the New York Times — a whiff of sobriety, as from someone hanging on to a tree limb in the landslide. Ms. Fabrikant quotes Brian Foley, “a longtime compensation specialist,” and what he said was, “The compensation is beyond breathtaking.” Viacom’s share price, in the year of the gold rush for its managers, decreased by 18 percent.


What dismays is the utter lack of class in such businesses and businessmen here parading their skills in distortion. Michael Eisner appears twice in the table of the 25 largest compensation packages paid in a single year. In 1993 he took home $203 million. In 1998, $575.6 million.

That money was taken, directly, from company shareholders. But the loss, viewed on a larger scale, is a loss to the community of people who believe in the capitalist free-market system. Because extortions of that size tell us, really, that the market system is not working — in respect of executive remuneration. What is going on is phony. It is shoddy, it is contemptible, and it is philosophically blasphemous.

What socialist mountebank, what class-warfare bomb-thrower, could have written such anti-American drivel? Give up? Look.

(Via John Paul Rollert.)