You know, I’ve been investing in stocks since the day I was able. I made some exceptional returns a few years back, but the past few months have been brutal. You already knew that, but wait: here’s something you may not expect. I DO NOT WANT YOU TO BAIL ME OUT.
I knew exactly what I was doing: risking my money; you did not risk my money. If I lost it all at the casino, I would not expect you to reimburse me. If I maxed out my credit cards, I would not expect you to reimburse me. If I ate out every day, bought cigarettes and alcohol, drove expensive cars and never used public transportation, and then opened my bank account to find I was in the red… I would not expect you to reimburse me.
On top of that, if I became a multi millionaire tomorrow, because of risks I took years ago when others were too risk averse – I certainly would not expect you to have your hand out. I’d already be pissed that I had to pay ridiculously high taxes on money I risked to build companies you work for.
You see, I may be young, but it seems obvious enough to me… Your money should be yours, my money should be mine, and we should be able to do with it as we please. (Whoa, almost beginning to sound like a free market.) You buy hamburgers with your five dollars of discretionary income every week, I buy stocks with mine. You go broke: your problem. I go broke: my problem.
Now, being the humanitarian I am, I may decide to help you, but I certainly would not want to be forced to. If I were forced to, I would consider it to be robbery.
So, there are a few million of us. We risk our money, we lose our money: yeah, our problem. The fact that we have less money may impact your life, you may want to do something about it. But it should be your choice, you know, how to use your money.
And if we team up, and make excuses for each other, and convince ourselves that it is OK to rob you, well then, what have we learned? Not much. But you, well, you have learned to take your money and run. You certainly should not ever let it happen again. Of course, something else happens too: we destroy the free market. We tell you what to do with your money, and all of us lose.
So, there are millions of us. Group us under common names: call us corporations. When we go busted, because of our own decisions – if you have money, and if you have sense, take your money and run. We’ll all be better off. Hell, some other group of people might come along, under a different name, and they might take our place. They may even be better. They may even be foreign.
Us… we’ll muddle through. We’ll get jobs if there are any. If any of you bailer-outers were dense enough to stick around, maybe you can pay us to do something. Maybe we’ll pay off our own debt. Maybe we’ll stop making excuses when we realize no one is listening. Maybe we’ll take responsibility for what we’ve done and what we’ll do.
Oh, the possibilites, when I control my money and you control yours. So take yours and run, while you still have yours.