I normally do not write about business or political things on my blog. However, today I started working up a head of steam about something and I figured I'd share.
Bernie Madoff was not content with the vast sums of money he earned in his very successful position. So he stole even more money from many, many people who had set that money aside after working for it. The kinds of people he stole from are people who didn't want to be a burden to their kids, or perhaps they were concerned about how long the money would last upon retirement given the overall economy. Maybe they'd planned to travel through their golden years, after decades of hard work.
So why is it that after that this guy has stolen from so many "regular" folks, us "regular" taxpayers are now going to pay more to send him to jail? I don't get it. Granted I don't know everything about the story. I haven't diligently kept up with it, and this sort of thing is not my area of expertise. But here's what I think Bernie Madoff should do.
I think he should go back to work. And I think he should continue to receive his pre-existing salary. However, he's proven he cannot handle the responsibility of his position nor the income he was accustomed to. So, he ought to go back to his huge empire and start at the bottom. In the mail room. Bernie Madoff should be the assistant to the newest, greenest, youngest employee in the mail room. He should have to be the gopher to the gophers.
He should have to go fetch lattes for his "boss" and friends. And when he returns he'd better be sure to count out the coins and state "Here's your change, sir." As for his salary, Bernie himself ought to get a sense of what it's like to live on a fixed income. Perhaps minimum wage, or the Social Security benefits many of his victims will now need to settle for. Under the supervision of an accountant, he should be expected to write weekly checks consisting of the remainder of his salary which would go into a fund to repay his victims.
That's what I think Bernie should do.