Every one of the smart people blogs that I read tell me about how I shoudn't be upset about the AIG bonuses. They are worried that it is a distraction and no one really should care about that money.
I think smart people don't understand why we dumb people are upset over these bonuses.
We really don't care about letting AIG stay afloat or collapse (as far as we are concerned we know it will be "bad" for it to collapse, but it's already really fucking bad for most of us, so worse will be right around "zombies eating our brains" time, so we can't imagine it being worse). We don't understand where our money went when we bailed out the people who got us into the mess we're in. And for a long time there was a lot of unfocused frustration. The bonus thing is a focus for our frustration. It's the thing that us dumb people can point to and say, "this is what is wrong, this is why we are here. It's the symbol of corruption and greed.
I think that very, very few of us actually imagine the bonuses will be returned or be gotten back. It's a symbol, smart people. Even dumb people can use symbols. It's not "distracting" anyone but politians, and even then not really. There are, of course, dumber than average people out there who really are worried about the bonuses themselves, but yeah, not everyone is that stupid. Let us have the focus for our frustration without telling us we are stupid. OK? Thanks.