If you are inclined to count such things, there are only *5* episodes left of Lost, which means, possibly there will be a reference to Jewish baked goods, a frozen donkey wheel, or, simply, and end.
I had a different story lined up for today, but, when I came up with this one, I decided a little pre-emption was in order. Don’t worry. Like the Native Americans using all the bits of buffalo, the other story will get used. Nothing wasted here.
The year is 2035, and young Amanda Carter is working on a history project, and is confused about the circumstances that have led to yet another global economic crisis.
“Mom, it says here that the Obama Administration had a series of economic stimulus plans and bailouts that seemed to turn the economy around back then. Why don’t we just try those things now?”
“Well, honey, some of those policies contributed to the situation we’re in now.”
“What do you mean?”
“The notion was that there were many companies that were deemed too big to fail, and so, a huge amount of money was spend by the federal government to prevent them from catastrophe. Of course, this had an unintended consequence of making it harder for people to get credit for their small businesses. You see, they were simply too small to succeed.”
“But, many of the people who were behind the failed businesses got big bonuses and they weren’t the ones who lost all their savings? It sounds like they were encouraged to keep doing what they were doing, which kinda leads to recidivist behavior doesn’t it? It’s like the government rewarded the people who failed, instead of encouraging responsible behavior.”
“It is a bit like that, isn’t it? Responsible borrowers were also penalized because they didn’t qualify for the same programs that helped those on the verge of foreclosure. See, if you had made the mistake of paying your mortgage on time, and you lost a job, or had an economic crisis of your own, and you kept making payments on your house, you didn’t qualify for any programs that would reduce your principle or help you restructure your loans like the people who just stopped paying their mortgage. So, all of the resources went to the people who’d proven to be incapable of managing their finances.”
Amanda thought about this for a minute, “It seems, in the end, the people who felt no consequences for failure had no incentive to succeed, and the people who had succeeded had to pay for both their success and the failure of everyone else. It sounds like it’s just smarter to fail in the first place….”
recidivist: / re – SID – eh – VIST / one who relapses; specifically : a habitual criminal