Maureen Dowd answers her own question
Unfortunately, she never realizes it:
How could Citigroup be so dumb as to go ahead with plans to get a new $50 million corporate jet, the exclusive Dassault Falcon 7X seating 12, after losing $28.5 billion in the past 15 months and receiving $345 billion in government investments and guarantees?
Well, Citigroup probably bought the plane because it had just received $345 billion in government investments and guarantees. When you've just received $345,000,000,000, what's $50,000,000 among friends? Sadly, less than .015 percent.
In a true free-market system, when businesses are run poorly and lose billions of dollars, they fail. They go away. Their assets are auctioned off to the highest bidder, who will try to do better. If that individual or group is profitable, great. If not, the assets will be auctioned off for someone else to have a go at it, and so on. This continuing cycle ensures an efficient use of resources. And taxpayers aren't on the hook for any of it.
This process was once called creative destruction. But when the government stops that process … well, jets get purchased with taxpayer dollars.
Wonder if Ms. Dowd opposes other cases of wasteful spending.
[CNBC Anchor Maria] Bartiromo also asked [former Merrill Lynch chief executive John] Thain to explain, when jobs and salaries were being cut at his firm, how he could justify spending $1 million to renovate his office. As The Daily Beast and CNBC reported, big-ticket items included curtains for $28,000, a pair of chairs for $87,000, fabric for a "Roman Shade" for $11,000, Regency chairs for $24,000, six wall sconces for $2,700, a $13,000 chandelier in the private dining room and six dining chairs for $37,000, a "custom coffee table" for $16,000, an antique commode "on legs" for $35,000, and a $1,400 "parchment waste can."
Hmmm, spending thousands of dollars on office furniture. Where have we heard about that before?
One wonders whether Ms. Dowd's recommendation for excessive spenders on office furniture would fly in Nevada:
Bring on the shackles. Let the show trials begin.