His thoughts on the bailout deal in his weekly column (DOC file):
While the leaders of this nation negotiated a new bailout deal over the weekend, things seemed pretty normal on the Northern Neck. I got a chance to see some bald eagles that were on “The Cliffs” of Richmond County, geese were moving South and the weather forced farmers to take a break from long harvest days.
I rarely delve into national policy, but while the bailout deal won’t change whether there is rockfish migration this fall, it will change just about every aspect of American Capitalism.
As I am writing on deadline, I do not pretend to know everything in the 110 page bailout plan, nor do I know if it will even pass in the House of Representatives today. However, there are some things that I do know.
Free markets depend upon risk, reward and failure so that they can make long term efficient decisions. Indeed, the very efficiencies of big picture economic decision making means that – to avoid a future crisis — there must be some losers on Wall Street and in the investment community.
If the bailout bill insures that the people who should lose big do lose big, then it is probably acceptable and deserves passage.
Those people who take the biggest risk of time, talent and capital in the free market deserve to get the biggest return. However, everybody who has ever opened a lemonade stand knows that those who risk the reward also risk getting stuck with some lemons.
It is a firm understatement of fact that $700,000,000,000 (700 Billion dollars) is a lot of money – even judged by federal government standards. And, it is also true that the markets need help – I am not so Pollyannaish as to say that we should let complete economic meltdown occur without any action.
However, those who buy too many lemons – whether for loans or for a lemonade stand – should bear the responsibility they took with that risk. It is not the responsibility of the American taxpayer to reward bad economic decisions – and that is what this bailout deal appears to be, a reward of bad economic decisions.
Meanwhile, the earth as God designed it will move on. Fish will start their fall run, deer will start their rut, and the fields will dry up enough to finishing harvesting the crop. And, depending upon the action of Congress, there may be some extra lemons to go around.