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What's Fairness Got to Do with the Free Market?


Our Scott Reeves asks Congress, Fuld one simple question.

Richard Fuld, the former head of Lehman Brothers, rattled his tin cup Monday on Capitol Hill.

He said he would wonder "until they put me in the ground" why the US government didn't rescue his company.

Fuld also defended his fat payday as Congressmen huffed about "fairness."

This raises basic questions: Is Fuld schizophrenic? Do our comrades in Congress -- the guys and gals who routinely vote themselves pay raises with our money -- understand anything about how free markets work?

Fuld made a reasonable, if unpopular, point about his compensation. Lawmakers calculated the 158-year-old Wall Street firm paid Fuld about $500 million in cash, stock and options from 2000 to 2008.

Democratic Representative Henry Waxman of California, chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, said: "I have a very basic question: Is that fair?"

First, what's "fairness" got to do with anything? And, by the way, Wall Street execs make more than Congressmen because they're generally smarter, tougher and have real responsibilities in an unforgiving world that creates winners and losers. Second, you've forgotten that life is unfair, Henry. Third, does the Constitution give Congress the authority to enforce "fairness"? No.
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