I normally wouldn’t comment on a situation likeÂ Cindy Fairless Lay’s. Â She is closing her privately owned business here locally, and that’s none of my business. Â However, Ms. Lay wrote a guest column for the KNS (related article) today in which she explains why her business is closing. Â In doing so, she’s put herself out there, presumably to solicit opinion and reaction. Â I happen to have some.
Because the closing of my business is due to (lending) practices of my bank, legal loan-sharking of credit card companies, price gouging by oil companies, two governmental agencies arguing as to whether my cakes with cream cheese frosting can be sold, and a president that suddenly, as if he were innocently surprised, announces our country is headed for the worst economic shakedown since the Great Depression, I cannot remain silent.
Let’s break this down. Â Her business is closing for the following reasons:
- Bank lending practices
- Loan sharking by credit cards companies
- Price gouging by oil companies
- Two government agencies
- President Bush
What? Â The first two reasons lead me to believe this business was highly reliant on debt for operation. Â And that leads me to believe this business would have never even gotten off the ground without debt from banks and credit cards. Â Did Ms. Lay write an article crediting them for her success when the business was thriving? Â Seems fair to me. Â Maybe I’m wrong. Â Maybe this business was started from a pure cash position. Â Maybe.
And I wonder if her business accepted credit cards from customers. Â If so, does that make her complicit in their “loan sharking” practices? Â Or is it only loan sharking when they charge you high interest rates and punitive fees? Â I’m no fan of credit cards–don’t have one. Â But to lay the blame for the failure of your business at their feet while failing to recognize that it was you who agreed to the terms they presented is ridiculous.
Could it be that failure to effectively controlÂ debt leverage contributed to the closing of this business? Â That seems like a management issue to me.
And price gouging by the oil companies? Â If oil companies were gouging and getting away with it, why have gas prices dropped so much recently. Â They’d have to be fools to drop prices if they were getting away with unfair gouging practices.
No one is more irritated by the idiocy of government agencies than me, so I sympathise with Ms. Lay there, but their decision over whether or not a cream cheese frosting can be sold is a major factor in the business failure? Â Really? Â This would make sense if the business were “The Cream Cheese Frosting Company”, but this was a restaurant. Â Was the whole thing riding on the ability to sell cream cheese frosting?
Lastly, this is (obviously) President Bush’s fault. Â I guess that is a given, because everything else seems to be his fault too. Â Look, I’m no fan of Dubya, but I’ll give him this–he has to be the hardest working President in history based on what I’ve heard and read. Â I mean, to be personally responsible for every single problem of every single person in this country is quite a feat. Â Hell, I don’t even have the time to wreak that kind of havok in my own life.
Ms. Lay seems like a nice enough lady. Â She enumerates her virtues as a humanitarian in her article, and she sounds like a nice person to work for and with. Â Apparently her food is really good too. Â But at the end of the day, she has to realize that she took risks and lost. Â She was not forced to take these risks. Â In fact, she’s quite fortunate to live in a place where the opportunity to take these risks is available to her.Â Â I’m not sure what her purpose was in writing this article. Â Maybe she’s looking for a bailout?