The main problem I have with the Sherman's article and as a result Mr. Lehmann's well written but unfortunately tendentious response is that the people representing Wall Street's rage are caricatures. No serious person involved in finance can think that the "government wants me to be a slave" because the marginal tax rate will be hike 3% on the highest income bracket. Get real.
By focusing on the most unsavory parts of the Sherman article, Mr Lehmann misses the opportunity to have the real dialog about class and pay that he claims to want.
When he challenges Sherman's point about allocation of capital he rightly claims that the evaluation of efficiency is political. But as far as I can tell it was the government who abandoned New Orleans. There is a civic obligation for government to help. There is a moral obligation for individual citizens to help. But the right incentives need to be in place for private capital to come in. Along with millions of other American's I personally donated money to post-Katrina relief, but I didn't put up a dime as an investment because the government abandoned New Orleans.
Moreover, Mr Lehmann loses me on the discussion of public school. Most people I know on Wall Street went to public school and send their kids to public school, albeit in a well to do town.
The issues of class, pay and wealth discrepancy are a critically important one for the society we live in. But to pretend that Sherman's article is seriously represents the views of most of Wall street is absurd and unfortunately highlights Mr Lehmann's bias. I think it's important to remember that the vast majority of people working on Wall St are not greedy, egotistic with a overhyped sense of self-importance. Look there are a lot of problems with the Wall Street business model. I too am angry that people at bankrupt companies bailed out by the tax payer are getting paid ALOT of money..hell I was fired while others get paid. But it's the not the average employees fault.
I write a weekly column for recessionwire.com entitled Out on the Street. Below are a few thoughts I have.