The Blog

'Profit' Is Not a Dirty Word

3:42 PM, Jan 30, 2009 • By RICHARD STARR
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Here's a disturbing bit of agit-prop from President Obama that's not gotten enough attention:

"There will be time for them [Wall Street Bankers] to make profits, and there will be time for them to get bonuses," Mr. Obama said during an appearance in the Oval Office with Treasury Secretary Timothy F. Geithner. "Now's not that time. And that's a message that I intend to send directly to them, I expect Secretary Geithner to send to them."

He's right that the bonuses are "shameful." But profits? The bonuses are shameful because they're being doled out in the midst of record-breaking losses. Now would in fact be an exceedingly good time for them to make profits--the sooner the better, the more the better. Unless you're what Arnold Kling aptly terms a "folk Marxist."