Alright, so they haven't asked for one. And they don't need one. And they probably never will. But, my right wing-nut readers and listeners, who is more deserving of a bailout thanWal-Mart?
We reward incompetence and misfeasance and malfeasance, why not reward success? We bail out Citi, AIG, the whole banking industry, probably the auto industry and who knows what-all else. So why not throw a few bucks at the most successful company in America and the only store that's doing any business. Shouldn't they get part of the pie?
Think of the benefits to society as a whole. They could expand even faster than they have been. They'll create jobs. They'll be able to afford health insurance for their workers -- real health insurance. They'll be able to squeeze their suppliers a little more gently (a kinder, gentlerWal -Mart, imagine!) They might even be able to afford the shopping cart you always seem to get, the one with the rectangular left front wheel (the right wheels always are perfectly round, making it much easier to turn toward the right wing than the left.)
Rewarding greatness is always better than rewarding failure, which is, so far, what the bailout is.
Of course, we don't just want to throw money at the situation. That would be so, well, public-education/welfare/workfare/food stamps/medicaid of us. We would want a stake in the operation in return for our Generosity of the Proletariat.
When every (legal) inhabitant of America is a shareholder, we'll be a little more careful about dropping candy wrappers on the floor ("was your store clean today?" That's a survey question that pops up often on theWal-Mart credit card keypad. After the bailout it really will BE "your" store.)
We'll be a little more careful about picking up stuff that's spilled in the aisles.
And we'll greet the greeters before they greet us (we're the boss, they're our employees. We should treat them courteously.)
And the dividends! A little check from your Uncle Sam each quarter (yes, we will have two uncle Sams -- the guy in the flag suit and the ghost of Sam Walton.)
Let WaMu and Wachovia fall into the water. Let Merrill Lynch and Wells Fargo enjoy their shotgun marriages. Let's put our money where it will do the most good. In a place that sells cheap toilet paper and tomatoes that don't give you horrible diseases and books that pass the Can-You-Read-This-In Church test.
Bail 'em out. There's no time to waste.
--There really ARE stores that could use a bailout. But there's something untoward about giving money to Nordstroms or Saks. Long live the peasantry!
--Sometimes when a term gets into wide use, we forget what it means, "bailout" to name one. There's something to remember. Like, when you finish removing the water from the boat, there's still a hole in it.
--Consumer confidence rose this month. That's kind of like the gas gauge. It's all the way up to empty.
I'm Wes Richards. My opinions are my own, but you're welcome to them.(sm)