This is Janie's Typepad Profile.
Join Typepad and start following Janie's activity
Join Now!
Already a member? Sign In
Janie
Recent Activity
If bad loans are guns, what are bad political candidates? Following this reasoning, shouldn't we require that everyone read and understand a concise explanation of the benefits and risks of each candidate's proposed policies before voting?
Toggle Commented Jul 3, 2009 on "The Optics Are Bad" at Obsidian Wings
1 reply
There does exist a viable, profitable middle ground between plain vanilla loan options and blood-sucking leeches. I used to work at a small bank that for many years (believe it or not) didn't do the above described sort of aggressive marketing of awful products. Then the board (wanting more profit) fired the CEO and replaced him with one who they deemed more ambitious. The first new "product" he bought and implemented was a $300 overdraft protection policy attached to all checking accts. The attitude of the lower level employees was still in line with the old management, so in addition to the mailed explanations of the new product we posted signs everywhere and went out of our way to explain to everyone how it worked, so they did not get fees from it by surprise. This worked very well, yet the bank made a FORTUNE from it anyway. Why? Because so many people were willing to pay $25 next week in order to access $50 (from their line of credit) today. I would ask them, "Are you SURE you'd rather get the $25 fee than wait two more days ('til payday)?" and they would always say yes. If they did this but then didn't pay their fees, when they came back to do it again I clearly explained our collections system and what the consequences would be if their credit score plummeted. I reminded them that the bank made more profit if they went ahead and cashed another check, that I was acting as their advocate, not the bank's, and I just wanted to make sure they fully understood what they were risking. They still wanted the $50. It's quite possible to thoroughly educate customers (even the not-so-intelligent ones and the ones with language difficulties) and still turn an impressive profit from the ever-increasing numbers of people who choose immediate gratification even when it's self-destructive. Ideally, of course, these people would be better protected as well. But how far should we extend consumer protection? Help with language difficulties... help with low intelligence... help with impatience and bad judgment... what's next--help with laziness? Too much of this and we could help ourselves into authoritarianism. I think the proposed regulations are necessary and long overdue. I'm just sayin', I think championing personal responsibility is important too. If we don't do it, the other side will, and then it will be all the more associated with secret gambling addictions, secret Oxycontin stashes, and secret jaunts to spend Father's Day with the mistress in Argentina. Just because our two richest political parties treat government regulation and personal responsibility as though they're mutually exclusive doesn't mean they actually are.
Toggle Commented Jul 3, 2009 on "The Optics Are Bad" at Obsidian Wings
1 reply
Adam Felber is great at these. Juice crumbs is one of my favorites.
1 reply
Gary nailed it. I think ObWi's subtitle should be changed to: The fact is simply that neither "the Right" nor "the Left" consist of Borg.
Toggle Commented Jun 13, 2009 on Fighting Words at Obsidian Wings
1 reply
Aloha to all. I'm a long time fan of this place. I love that you all genuinely welcome opposing opinions and can disagree vehemently with each other without getting spiteful. Makes my world a little brighter. von, Trevino is relevant to this issue because he exemplifies (in exaggerated form, which makes it a lot easier to learn from) an error of judgment that may have been what motivated Whelan to out publius in the first place: projection. Underestimating the otherness of the other. Trevino is like a surgeon in cancer remission who frantically cuts open a malaria patient looking for tumors, unintentionally hastens the death of the patient, unknowingly contracts malaria himself and starts an epidemic, and calls Larry King from his death bed to promote his freshly penned article: "The Sum of All Fears: Communicable Cancer and The Fall of Civilized Man." His projection is a force of nature. To him, we are all (like him) fighting internal battles between a bilious, obsessive, identity-exposing Master and a worried, hypervigilant, idealistic Smeagol trumpeting online integrity. We are all (like him) over-selling our openmindedness and moreso just capitalizing on the degree to which hunger for novelty resembles a serious commitment to checks and balances. We all (like him) assess bludgeonability in others as a normal practice and think of debates as a series of ripostes. Therefore, unless we show him that we're also forcefully committed to great and noble ideals which counter this tendency, he can only assume that our Master is winning. And we must be stopped--or who knows who we will bludgeon. He has difficulty seeing or believing that people can have entirely different internal dynamics and social interactions that work nothing like that. Whelan, lacking an understanding of publius's reasons, took a guess based on his own experiences. What might make *him* keep using a pseudonym despite the tradeoffs? Cowardice, he guessed. Incorrectly. When he read and understood publius's list of much more complex reasons, he apologized. Trevino is relevant as an ongoing example of incorrect projection without guilt or apology. It's a useful contrast. Also... publius and hilzoy, I second the opinion that knowing your real identities is relevant to me only so much as it makes it easier to buy books you may write and offer to buy you a beer if I'm in the neighborhood. For all intents and purposes online, you will always be publius and hilzoy to me.
Toggle Commented Jun 10, 2009 on Moving On at Obsidian Wings
1 reply