Sunday, February 28, 2010

The New Trickle-Down

Short version of this news story: a bakery in small-town Colorado recently burned down. Via political connections, the bakery's owner got a private audience with Obama, told him what happened, and asked about a possible bailout.

Government encouraging and subsidizing bad choices isn't a new issue. But we're starting to see the cascading effects of bailouts as national policy. Policy creates expectations, and expectations shape choices and behavior -- not buying fire insurance, living in a flood zone, too much financial leverage -- from the corporate down to the individual level and in millions of ways every day. Welcome to the next few decades.


Blogger Ben said...

Reminds me of a call-in radio show I heard about a year ago where a caller suggested "Why don't we just give everyone a million dollars!" He had no concept of how that would be inflationary and destroy the currency.
This story here is a little too reminiscent of The Godfather and asking for favors before the daughters wedding.
You're right, abdication of responsibility is in full force...

2/28/2010 12:23 PM  
Anonymous KAIMU said...


I am just happy Obama finally met with "small business" and not bankers and unions for once! The article did not say if the Baker(Jerry) got a bailout. All it said was "Jerry" presented his "Jerry-ness" to the President and the President responded by saying, "Oh, I'm sorry!" If only Obama would respond to every banker and union in that manner ...

Bush had a chance to return America to "capitalism" by letting the banks fail. Obama also has that chance now by repealing everything Bush and Hank Paulson did and eliminating the US FED. It just takes one Presidential signature on an Executive Order. After all if FDR can confiscate every US citizens money(gold) in 1933 then how hard is it to confiscate ten bankers ill gotten derivative bailouts? Heck ... even Blankefeld has already apologized for causing the financial meltdown publicly!! Can't we do a Rodney King on Blankenfeld with the video? Here's a guy pleading "guilty" before he's even arrested! Now that's what I call ARROGANCE!

2/28/2010 9:12 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

On the odd chance he gets federal money, I wonder how his insured neighbors will feel about it.

3/01/2010 11:43 PM  
Anonymous Lori said...

I just can't see the fault you find with that article, sorry to say. I usually like your posts but this one misses the mark.

The guy worked his way up in the Obama campaign, and is a Democrat, after all. He places a lot of faith the president, even if some of us did and now don't, or never did. It made him feel good to speak with the president, and he took the opportunity to see if there was any kind of monies available to him from the stimulus, or the bailout.

We have bailed out nearly every single sector of business at one time or another in this country, and if one small businessman who falls on hard luck wants to take the chance and ask if there is help available, then I say go for it.

He employees 25 people, which in a town the size of Teluride, is important. It doesn't look like he received any help, except for having the president's ear for a few minutes, so what is the harm?


3/02/2010 5:56 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The comments that go with that article are interesting. A few seem to have discerned that this was not a systemically important business, however tasty the muffins.

3/02/2010 9:27 PM  
Anonymous Lori said...

" I am disappointed in the above blasts. These comments really show how much you are NOT a part of the working Telluride. Those of us who put in 40-70 hours a week to make ends meet, who sacrifice material gain to be able to live in our beautiful little mountain town, spend time skiing, hiking, being with friends - we depend on places like the bakery -- getting coffee and a bagel at 6:30am for $2 to get the day going (go get a latte at the Bean if you have $5 to spend on coffee.)
Snide remarks about the people who show up at 3am day in and day out, who offer a quick smile & courteous, prompt service to hundreds every shift -- these are also people in our community, people with families, friends, love of the place -- only show how immature and shallow you yourself are. These are not outsiders any more than any one of us who live and work here -- they and I are the citizens of Telluride, LOCALS, and I object to the debasement you offer in your comments.
I wish Jerry all the best in rebuilding his livelihood, being able to re-employ 25 people (human beings, one and all) once again, and feed hundreds. "

This was my favorite comment, and there were a couple more along this line that were very nice. As for derogatory comments about the illegal brown people and those who suck on the public tit, while those who wish they could spit up their food, well hell, you can find them in any local rag. :)

3/02/2010 9:58 PM  
Anonymous Goldhorder said...

Sorry Lori. It is just a sad fact that our masters in DC stole from us to save their bankster friends. Few who post here supported that. In fact most of us think it was treasonous and the perps should be jailed or shot. No we are not Telluride citizens... No we don't umderstand the importance of that bakery to your town. This is why you shouldn't want to steal from us (like the banksters) to help your bakery. If the bakery is so important to you and your fellow citizens you should start ip a collection from your lovely town and help him get back on his feet... But instead of doing something honorable like that and putting real effort into a cause you want to steal the money from your fellow 300 million american citizens because it will be too small to notice...and besides the bankers stole way more than that. Stealing is stealing...and i bet you could find a million better cases than your bakery in this country more deserving of charity than this. This is the problem in our society...everbody wants the easy money from the feds... They don't see the exponential increase in debt since 1972 our government has taken on.

3/03/2010 12:21 PM  
Anonymous KAIMU said...


I just want to say in terms of "production" and what production means to society in terms of "products consumed by the masses" and in terms of "jobs" I would rather have 1000 Jerrys than 1000 Obamas.

I have a term for people like Obama, Bush, Blankenfeld, Dimon and any of the myriad of Hedge Fund and ETF managers. PAPER SHUFFLERS ...

When you think about it all Obama has done his entire life is "shuffle paper"(laws and regs) using "other people's money"(taxpayers). What "product" do these people produce? Obama promised during his campaign that he would "produce" HOPE. He also promised he would "produce" CHANGE. If you voted for those two "products", where are they? I for one never heard Obama spell out a clear and sensible step-by-step path that would produce those two "products". Like the money from whence they come his promises were made of nothing but "thin air"! If I came up to you in the street and told you I could CHANGE your life and make you prosperous wouldn't you want me to tell you how exactly that would happen? Then what if I said after that just send me 40% of your income(taxes) and I'll fix your life. You would probably report me to the police as a CROOK or at the very least tell me to "piss off"! Who in their right mind would give 40% of their income to a complete stranger who lives hundreds and thousands of miles away just based on some hokey promise? After all anybody can promise CHANGE ... can't they? If you are not sure about that then quit listening to your husband!

3/03/2010 12:51 PM  
Anonymous Lori said...

Damn, I sense some very strong anger issues in the last two posts.

First things first. I do not reside in Telluride, but I have visited. And I, too, would take 1,000 Jerry's over 1,000 Obama's, or any other politician, any time.

As for the stealing going on in this country, when either of you come up with a solution to stop or prevent that, please let me know. Thank you. Yes, I do prefer that someone like Jerry get the 'free' money, if it is available, before any of the bankers do, I admit to that.

I hated the bailout just as much as everyone else did. I am not an economist, and according to those that I read, it was 'necessary' to save our economy from completely collapsing. Feh. No one bothered to ask the American tax payers for their opinion, unfortunately for both of you, I guess.

I never believed in the hopey changey thing, either. I just didn't believe in McCain/Palin, at all. I have zero faith in the Republican party, and just a bit more than that in the Democratic party. The lesser of two evils, I guess. That is what is offered on the political menu these days.

Lastly, stuff your sexism where the sun doesn't shine, Mr. Kaimu. I rarely discuss the news or politics with my husband, he works 70 hour weeks, and I work part-time, as well as provide care for his Alzheimer ridden father. When we do spend time together, we talk about our dreams, and those we have for our children, and not the things we can't change and have no control over.


3/03/2010 5:58 PM  
Anonymous KAIMU said...


None of what I posted was in reply to you or anything you posted but simply addressing the contents of the article in relation to productivity. "You" does not mean LORI. Just because Goldhorder addressed his/her post at you does not mean I did.

My comment about "husband" was meant as typifying people who always say the word CHANGE and then never change. It was meant as a generic OPRAH topic.

I really do not know you or your husband nor do I know what you two discuss in your private lives. That is none of my business and not of interest to me.

If I was going to address a comment to you I would post your name, like Goldhorder did.

Just a curious thought ... If I was a woman making those same husband comments would I also be "sexist"? How do you know KAIMU is a man?

3/03/2010 6:26 PM  
Anonymous Lori said...

KAIMU, my sincere apologies to you for assuming that your post was directed to me. I should not have done so.

That said, I need not address the rest of your post.


3/03/2010 7:12 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Good for the shop owner. Good for the students rioting over school cuts, good for the Greek civil servants striking and good for the tea party.

Jared Diamond says that the civilizations that collapse are the ones where the elites are able to isolate themselves from the bad outcomes of their rule.

You dont have to be rational, the key is to make the elites feel the pain. Who cares if high taxes on the rich can close the deficit, raise them! Who cares if the riots or the strikes or the tea parties are rational, the key is to create so much havoc that the elites fear they will lose what they have. Then you will get change

3/05/2010 4:24 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have problems with the bank bailout, but I wonder if anyone on this thread could tell us what the world would look like now if most of the banks and investment firms in this country and around the world had failed.

I'm also curious about the scope of the term "stealing".

Given the reckless, amorphous use of the term "stealing", I get the feeling everyone on this thread is stealing from me and I from them.

That makes us all thieves.

And yet our comments drip with honor.


John Thullen

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