Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Bait and Switch

So I was reading today about how President Barack Obama wants to "limit executive's pay" for those executives that have accepted bailout funds, but my question is, how can you do that?

Okay, I've made it clear, "bailout" and I do not go well together. I was never for it, I thought the idea of it was inane, and I thought stipulations should have been in place BEFORE handing the money out so willfully. But, even with that said, I do not think NOW is the time to add stipulations to companies that have already taken their funds. It's the classic bait and switch, and it smells.

Recently, at my job, I was offered a new position. During the preliminary discussions, I was told this was a "salaried position" - which is something I had been hoping for since the day I started. I was also told, it was an eight hour position (I currently work 10 hour days). So in thinking about if I wanted to accept the position or not, I took these things I was told into consideration - so I finally told my boss (after discussing the situation with my wife) that I would accept. I then, mentioned briefly, "of course, assuming all we had talked about" - so far, those eight words have saved me from suffering.

In those eight words, my boss then looked dejected, and his response to me was . . . and I kid you not, "really?" Honestly, his reaction was to ask me, "really?" OF COURSE, "really," you dimwit! Why would I accept based on what you told me in good faith, if that good faith wasn't even that good, or of faith based? Why would I accept, less hours - when I'm HOURLY - thus losing the overtime?

Anyway, I digress. I am currently still in negotiations with my work, but what about those who, in good faith, accepted bailout funds - when there was no stipulations placed upon those funds - who may now not be able to do anything about the bait and switch they are enduring? Is it fair to them, that, in good faith, they accepted these funds sans stipulation, only to have the carpet yanked out from underneath them?

I, at least, could still technically deny the new position (if it hurts me financial, it doesn't make sense to accept) - but what can the banks do? What can the executives do? Give the money back that they likely already spent for their executive Las Vegas trip (of which, has since been canceled)?

I am 100% against bailing out the free market - but stipulations were not in place in a timely fashion (i.e. BEFORE the funds were given) and I don't believe now is the time to add those stipulations. If the U.S. government couldn't foresee the greed of the banks (how could they not, isn't their greed EXACTLY what got us into this mess to begin with?), then that is on THEM, and not the executives to have to now accept the stipulations that were not in place when they should have been.

If Obama wants to add stipulations to new money, that's fine, but on past funds, I hope he would see the error in attempting to add clauses to what has already been given too freely. After all, could the banks foresee the language changing in the future of what they accepted so readily? And, if they did, should they have said the simple little phrase like I did, "that is assuming what we talked about will remain true" . . . of course it assumes what was discussed is true - otherwise, why did we even discuss it at all - just give freely, then take away - it's what you want to do anyway.

Bait and switch - it's classic.

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