Thursday, March 31, 2011

A Case Study in Direct Loans

In the early 1990s the federal government experimented with the direct loans system to a further extent than now realized.  In today’s world you may be allocated a subsidized amount for college that you then later pay back.  But Albert Fredrickson and his team under the Clinton administration envisioned a larger pool to be used for practically any purpose.  Due to budget limitations however they were allowed just three test subjects; a college student, an infant and a mental patient from Our Lady of Peace Hospital and Rehabilitation Center.

The college student, William O’Brien naturally received the money for education.  He went a few months and figured out it wasn’t for him.  Or, as his judgmental Irish father might say he partied like a heathen and they kicked him out.  He now delivers grinders on a Segway.

The infant, Max Peterson, used his loan to buy a theme park, Wacky Fun World, he had seen advertised on television earlier that day.  He rode rides for five minutes, sold it to a wealthy business tycoon and, inspired by the E-Trade baby, put the money in the stock market.  He made billions and went on to be a televangelist.  He now scams money from suckers.

The mental patient, Florence Whitaker, placed a giant glass bottle atop her facility, and sleeps in a ship she built inside.  Occasionally she will yell pirate curse words at pedestrians and lower flying airplanes.  Florence now hopes to win the Republican nomination for President.

For the most part this case study was a failure and received no further attention in the scheme of things.  Bill Clinton did not mention it in his memoir.  George W. Bush, however in a footnote in Decision Points praised the initiative as a great way to own a baseball team and in the process become qualified to lead a nation.

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