The American Dilemma and How We Can Fix It

After leaving the dog park yesterday morning I realized that I was in dire need of a cup of coffee.  Although I had everything prepared and ready to go at home, I had forgotten to hit the “Brew” button.  So I decided to stop at Starbucks and get a “Venti” drip – which at $2.25 is only moderately over-priced.  As it was only about seven o’clock and still cool I decided to sit outside this Starbucks with Gracie and drink at least part of it before returning home.

We were lucky to find a little table in the shade and Gracie curled herself up under it.  I had baked some dog treats and had brought them with us to the park to give to another of the morning regulars, but she hadn’t showed up that day so I took the container with me and, as I drank my coffee, Gracie got to enjoy several of these.

The two ladies at the next table were engaged in a conversation, but when they saw Gracie they asked if they could pet her.  Of course, Gracie enjoys nothing more than getting attention wherever she can find it, so I told them that she would love that.  So they began to pet her and asked me all the usual questions, how old is she; what breed is she, etc.?   After a few minutes they resumed their conversation and Gracie, now happy with having received attention and dog biscuits returned to her spot under the table.

I couldn’t help but overhear their conversation – which centered around the $2 Billion loss J. P. Morgan Chase had in one very, very bad trade.  I discussed this in a post a few days ago.  I was surprised because this was now already old news – and if there is one thing that I’ve observed, it’s that most of us seem to have a very short attention span.  Perhaps because there is so much “news content” available that we flit from subject to subject quickly to be sure that we don’t miss out on anything.

I had rather expected to hear them say something about the trial of former Democratic Senator and presidential candidate John Edwards which is currently on-going for alleged violations of Election Contribution Laws because yesterday every news source I read had some comment on it.  Furthermore, it is a great source for those who enjoy gossip as the former Senator’s conduct and relationship with his mistress have been reported in the most salacious terms by the reporters covering this trial.

Perhaps because we have gotten so used to politicians getting in trouble over sexual misdeeds, we have just become inured to all of it.  But in any event, Chase was the focus of these two ladies’ conversation.

One of the women said, “You see, it just proves we need more regulation of those SOB big banks.  They’re making wild bets with our money and if the government doesn’t get them under control we’re going to have another financial crisis.”

Her friend nodded in agreement and then said, “And you know, those bastards make so damn much money it makes me sick.”  Her companion nodded her agreement with that statement.  Although I was tempted, I refrained from getting involved in their conversation.

These two ladies continued to chat for a few minutes and then left, saying goodbye to Gracie and me.  After their departure I thought about the incongruity of these two statements – and the fact that neither of these women seemed to realize the inherent conflict between them.

On the one hand, they were critical of Chase for the huge trading loss.  On the other they were upset that big banks made way too much money.  So I began thinking, what is it that the many people in this country who are “anti-big-bank” really want?

Surely, they don’t want the surprise of going to the bank with their paycheck only to discover that because their bank has been losing money on a consistent basis that the doors are closed and the bank has been taken over by the FDIC.

I guess what they really want is something that grandma told me would never happen.  They want to have their cake and they want to eat it too.



  1. No they wanted to have a conversation … sounds like the entire thing was without substance, based on hearsay and emotion …

    • And the same “thought process” probably goes into their selection of candidates for public office – which may go far in explaining why we have some of our problems.

  2. People’s ‘thought process’ is a reflection of their maturity and wisdom, I reckon.

  3. I see on my internet headline news this morning the man at the top has apologized. I wonder if he would be able to find a job at his present level should he be out of work in future. Probably not!

    • Mr. Dimon is one of the few standup people left in American business. He took responsibility for his actions and admitted this happened on his watch.

      This is a lesson those we elect to public office could well learn by.

  4. You bake doggie treats??? 🙂

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