Now let me get this straight. AIG employees put their clients’ money in shoddy investment products, doing their part to plunge the economy into a degree of chaos not seen for decades. Taxpayers, (having lost their homes, their retirement savings, and now their lunch) anted-up a gazillion dollars to keep the firm from cratering in on itself. And now AIG is using at least part of that gazillion dollars to – wait for it – pay these very same employees whopping bonuses. The same employees who nearly tanked the business? Who ride private helicopters to and from the office? Who LOST all that money? Are being rewarded? Beam me up, Scotty…..

Let’s review for just a moment one of the essential rules of enlightened parenting. Reward the behavior you desire with attention and praise. Discourage behavior you do not desire with no attention or positive reinforcement. In this particular case DO NOT GIVE THESE CLOWNS BONUSES as a reward for the potentially criminal mismanagement of their clients’ money. To the contrary, in a quiet but firm voice, send AIG to the naughty step, and walk away without further comment. After, of course, making them hand over that gazillion dollars first.

What could mothers do with a gazillion dollars? Let’s see. One regular reader suggests ensuring time with our newborns and guaranteed job protection. Another would like the opportunity to drive her mother to chemotherapy appointments. Still another wants to be able to get a mammogram – she works and cares for a brother with MS, and hasn’t had a day off in 13 years for her own medical checkups. A gazillion dollars would pretty much cover that, I’m thinking.

All other industrialized nations have figured this kind of thing out. After all, it’s not, as they say, rocket science. Yet in America, the land of the free and very, very brave (but politically cowardly), mothers pay an enormous “mommy tax”. The Wall Street giants, on the other hand, get huge bonuses for their colossal screw-up. Well, AIG, how about giving this taxpayer one of your private helicopters? I could just fly over traffic to pick up my kids from childcare at the end of a long day in the office. And hey – I’d even be willing to carpool!!