September 21, 2008 in City

Bailout smells, but it beats recycling foil

By The Spokesman-Review
 

Was it a wretched week, or what?

Right before our eyes, the U.S. economy went from fat cat to that fat kid we used to de-pants on the playground.

It’s been no hayride for us newsmongers, either. We’ve had to write one disturbing headline after another.

“Shaken market nose-dives.”

“Stocks drop in crisis of faith.”

“Richard mum on source in sign-swiping claim.”

What do you make of that last one?

Spokane County Commissioner Mark Richard has accused his opponent, Brian Sayrs, of attempting to steal one of his campaign signs.

Sayrs has fervently denied the claim, yet the Republican incumbent still won’t reveal who told him about the alleged placard pilfering.

Frankly, I find the whole scenario hard to believe.

Richard better cough up some facts pronto. It’s an election year, and Richard’s charge seems snakier than that lost boa constrictor they found wriggling around Post Falls the other day.

But getting back to our rancid economy, the big shocker on the local front is the implosion of the once-robust Washington Mutual Inc.

Actually, I wasn’t all that surprised.

I knew the bank was headed for trouble when it began calling itself WaMu.

That’s the dumbest name since those idiots in state tourism came up with their ridiculous SayWa campaign.

And that went belly up, too.

WaMu.

This is not a name for a trusted financial institution.

This is the agonizing wail of the dying wildebeest.

Wahhh-Moooo …

It does seem fitting now, given the circumstances.

What a mess we’re in.

All over the country panicked investors are yanking their savings from banks, lending institutions and loan sharks named Guido.

I made a run on the bank the other day. Actually, it was more of a waddle on the bank, considering my girth.

I didn’t withdraw all my money. I only needed 250 bucks.

But I asked for the cash in a very stern tone of voice, so I think the teller knew how unhappy I am about the economy.

And now the government is getting ready to solve the nation’s money crisis with the biggest bailout since Noah’s Ark.

Am I missing something?

I was always taught that America was based on capitalism.

Since when do we go rescuing failed enterprises?

Why didn’t the government intercede when Spokane’s Magic Lantern Theatre closed its doors?

And what about my credit cards?

If the damned government can shell out $75 billion to save AIG, the nation’s largest insurance company, how about a few bucks for Doug’s next Citibank payment?

Nobody wants America to go through another Great Depression, of course.

People are never the same once they endure a Depression.

I mean this in the best way, but surviving a Depression makes you a little nuts.

My beloved Old Man, for example. His experience as a kid growing up in Depression-era poverty led to a lifetime of hoarding necessities just in case another collapse came along.

When he died, my dad left behind drawers filled with unused socks and underwear, and maybe 100 empty coffee cans in the garage.

Some Depression survivors I know would rather pull a tooth than toss away a grocery sack. I’ve witnessed aluminum foil recycling, too.

No, I don’t mean where you take the used foil to a recycler. I’m talking about people who press out the old foil and use it again and again.

So maybe this governmental bailout is for the best.

I sure don’t want to go through a Depression.

My house is already filled with more than enough needless crap.

Doug Clark is a columnist for The Spokesman-Review. He can be reached at (509) 459-5432 or dougc@spokesman.com.


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