If you saw my tweet last night and/or have been reading this blog for a while, you know I have some concerns about bailout(s) for failing companies.
You’ll also notice when I tweet angry I almost always screw up somewhere, like leaving the “n” off “an” – I HATE MY TWITTER TYPOS! I am the Typo Queen.
But the point is still the same, with or without the N. I don’t understand the bailouts, and along with the rest of the country, I am angry over how they were handled. I am glad that Obama is kicking ass and taking names. Call it socialism all you want – when you are using my tax dollars for your dilapidated company, I expect some oversight, some governance. Because that is MY money, dudes. Moreover, that is DECLAN’s debt.
Enter the stimulus package.
I do not claim to be an economic expert. (You should see me try to help my 1st grader with math. What a joke.) Whether we absolutely, positively “NEEDED” the stimulus, I will never know – just like we’ll never know where all that fucking money went for the Iraq war. [Cough, cough, Cheney.]
But I *can* tell you, absolutely, positively, that stimulus is going to better places than bailout.
It’s going to me.
Here’s where I come clean about my company. Full disclosure. Seven years ago, my business partner and I left the cancer center we worked for, took our 12 employees and started Klein Buendel. The name means “small bunch” in German and is derived from our maiden names. We are 50/50 partners, now have 30 employees, and are the 49th largest woman-owned company in Colorado. My partner has a public health background, I studied graphic design. Roughly translated, we build health education web sites. Most of which are funded through grants from the National Institutes of Health, even though we are technically for-profit. Being a for-profit gives us more flexibility than we had at the cancer center, in that I can accept profit jobs to build web sites for outside clients [or logos, or print work, or whatever – including a How To Twitter class I am building at this very moment]. We have more control over our destiny. But we still have the security of getting grant funding from the government to build research driven health communication projects that make a difference in people’s lives.
Will we ever be rich? Hell no. But that was never the point.
Our company is pretty much a freak of nature. Banks didn’t understand us. It took me an hour to get our landlord to dig what we do so we could actually have some office space. We’re just a weird little hybrid, and we keep on keeping on.
Enter the economic crash.
Friends, family, tweeps – everyone is suffering.
We’re not. We just got word that 4 major projects will be funded, including 2 from stimulus money.
Can you imagine the guilt that inspires? We all have been standing around the halls over the last few months with a glazed look in our eyes, feeling like we’re watching the recession march by while we’re ensconced in a hazy, happy cocoon. Feeling really really really lucky and really really guilty. Everyone asks that ominous question with a cringe, “How is your company doing?” and I cringe back as I answer, “We’re just fine.”
But you know what else? I am proud.
Proud as I see the details come forth for stimulus money, the restrictions placed on it. The fact that it is going to states with high unemployment rates, the projects being funded rated on jobs retained and jobs created, seeing the time limits set for the money spent – meaning they want it pumping back into the system, rather than me hoarding it like a squirrel with my mound of nuts.
Proud that while I am not sure about the government’s recovery plan, at least I agree with the terms this time around. And while I feel guilty that I am doing OK, at least I may be able to help others back on their feet in the process.