By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great journalism.
One last angry Friday
Placeholder Image
    So here it is folks, my last Friday column.
    Before the Mardi Gras-like celebration begins, I should tell you I’m not giving up my commentary responsibilities but simply moving to Sunday. Here’s a friendly tip from me to you, dear readers: peruse my future columns before you head off to church so you can forgive yourself for all the negative thoughts that will roll around in your head. (thought, word and deed, remember?)
    I kid (not really).
    Frankly, I was kind of caught off guard by the move. It’s just going to me and Bill Shipp on Sundays. At least you’ll get one good read.
    So, my final Friday hurrah is going to be an angry one. Here goes.
    See the financial news this week? Anyone think the financial industry bailout was a success at this point? With the Dow Jones Industrial average dropping under 9,000 for the first time in five years, my thought is that the general populace is not real happy with the subsidy-laden, pork-filled bailout bill (except the bankers, of course).
    Here something to ponder: if you had put all your money into an Dow Jones index fund on January 2, 1998, you’d have exactly the same amount of money 10 years later.
    Woo hoo! A zero percent return over ten years (except for all the administrative fees, of course). Thanks Bush, Greenspan and Paulson.     You guys are awesome (if by awesome you mean deliberately incompetent).
    Actually, I don’t put much stock (no pun intended) in the Dow Jones average. After all, it only reflects the top 30 companies at any time and the membership in that top 30 is constantly changing. With thousands of stocks choices available on the free market, 30 hardly seems representative.
    But what the Dow does reflect is the free market nature of stock investing. What I mean by that is that there are literally thousands of institutional investors and millions of private investors who make decisions to buy or sell stock. They individually interpret the available market information and make individual decisions based upon their individual analysis of that information. Millions of decisions to buy or sell stock every single trading day.
    These people think the bailout bill stinks.
    The stock market, while not exactly soaring for the few weeks before the bailout, has certainly plummeted since. In fact, the Dow actually plummeted when people thought the bailout was going to pass. When it failed to pass the first time on Monday, Sept. 29, the next day we saw the third largest on day gain in history. The Dow stayed flat until the Senate passed a “sweetened” (can you say vote-buying or bribe-laden?) bill two days later, when the market started to drop. By Friday when the bill was finally passed, the markets immediately fell after the announcement and continued to fall until the close of the business. It has been falling ever since.
    Why? Isn’t the bailout supposed to save the economy?
    It’s not going to save squadooch. Nada.
    Here’s the rub. Congress in its infinite (or is that infinitesimal?) wisdom decided to transfer $700 billion from hard-working Americans to irresponsible dolts. They’re taking money from responsible home-owners who did not take out mortgages far too large for their budgets. They’re taking money from responsible bankers who did not invest in highly-risky sub-prime mortgage securities. They’re taking money from responsible investors who did not use interest-only loans or balloon payments to acquire investment property with the intent of flipping for a profit.
    They (Congress) are taking money from responsible Americans, in the form of tax dollars, increased national debt and inflation and funneling it to their irresponsible banker friends. How can this be good for America?
    Listen up people. You’ve been hosed. Every member of Congress who voted “yea” should be put in prison for grand theft larceny. Or worse (chain-gang?) Nobody wanted this, but they passed it anyway.
    It used to be “for the people, of the people and by the people.” Apparently now it’s “to heck with the people.”
    I hope sincerely hope you’ve got something else saved beside your 401(k). If not, I think Wal-Mart is hiring greeters.
    Phil Boyum will see y’all on Sundays. He may be reached at (912) 489-9454 or by e-mail at

Sign up for the Herald's free e-newsletter