I remember Versailles. I was 20 and studying in France. The visit to Versailles was pretty much "comme il faut." You had to do it.
I did Versailles (www.chateauversaille.fr). And I got why the French people sent Louis XVI, Marie Antoinette and many other denizens of this gilded temple to the guillotine. The raging excess of the overstuffed aristocracy in contrast to the deprivation of ordinary people was a shock to the system. Hence the revenge of the guillotine. The "terror" of the French Revolution was the final triumph of Enlightenment thinking: every action produces an equal and opposite reaction.
Just a little over 200 years later, every American man, woman and child is on the line for $2000 each to bail out the self-appointed, self-annointed aristocrats of Wall Street's largely phony economy. And why is there even a question that we gild the parachutes of these amoral architects of treason?
Let's change this frame. Instead of debating whether they get their golden parachutes or not, let's talk about whether these perfidious greedmongers can save their heads?
Their actions are putting children and old people on the street. They are stealing the savings of aging boomers who will spend more years on the job whether they want to or not. They are creating a foul economy for today's college kids to repair, if that's even possible. These young people will enter a the labor pool wondering why they ever bothered to try...or why they went deeply into debt for a good education. Why bother? To appreciate the exquisite opulence of Versailles? (Which is no longer anybody's home, by the way. In foreclosure since 1789, it's now a tourist attraction. Is the White House next?)
Practically speaking, I don't think chopping off their heads is going to happen these days. So let's get real. No golden parachutes. No guillotines. Instead, let them eat cake. Day-old cake. Dried out day-old supermarket cake. Like the common folk.