Fat Louie, a duck with gout, a parable about fowl economic stimulus

Louie was a fat, fluffy, white duck.

He lived on a small private lake, east of Atlanta.

The lake was man-made as an amenity for a small condominium community of rustic, 2 story wooden apartments  known as Snapfinger Woods Estates.

The creek that ran through the small wooded area was known as Snapfinger Creek  and, hence, the name Snapfinger Woods Lake.

When Louie was younger he was the head duck of a small flock  that claimed Snapfinger Lake as their home.

In the Spring, the flock usually consisted of 12 – 14 adults  and would expand to 18-20 by the end of the Summer.

The residents of Snapfinger Estates loved to feed their flock of ducks.  They would throw bread and stale cakes into the water and watch as the ducks raced for the food.

Louie being the leader and the fastest swimmer, usually got to the food first  and he would gobble the morsels in a splashing frenzy of duck gluttony.

As the seasons passed, Louie got bigger and fatter from eating all the rich human foods.

One morning he woke up and realized his right leg hurt. It was swollen and painful for paddling. Louie had the gout.

The Ducks, being wild birds and advocates of the premise “survival of the fittest”  quickly fired Louie from his position of head duck  and expelled him from the community lake.

Louie was devastated.  For weeks he wandered around the Snapfinger Woods Apartments common areas and the parking lots.

He would waddle, dragging his right  foot for sympathy.     The residents  took pity on Louie and continued to feed him.

The following Fall, the greater economy of the Nation fell into a deep recession and many of the human residents of the Snapfinger Woods Apartments lost their jobs.

Fat Louie’s sources of  gratis food became increasingly difficult to find.

He decided that it was time to go to work ,  so that he could afford to buy his own food.

” What can an enterprising, hungry duck with the gout do to earn a living?” He  thought to himself.

“Of course!”  he quacked, ” Humans love down pillows! …And… Who knows more about down  than a duck?”

Louie did some investigating and found that there were 10 duck -owned, Down production facilities in the greater Atlanta area, employing over 10,000 ducks.

During a bad recession, demand for down pillows and comforters is sluggish, but Louie didn’t  care.  He had a business plan to establish himself and his flock as the Down Kings of  Georgia.

He contacted the Greater Atlanta Duck Association( GADA) and requested a meeting with their Drake  financial chief .

Over the years, the Federal Government had been a major recipient of bird droppings, which was valued as fertilizer .  Louie proposed that GADA call in some political favors.

The Congress and the President had appropriated massive amounts of money as part of several stimulus packages to help fight the recession.

Louie proposed a joint venture with GADA to get some stimulus money for a proposed new down factory.

With $3 million of Federal stimulus money, Louie opened a brand new state of the art down factory.

The new factory, with the massive influx of cash,  had a major competitive edge over the more established and conservative down factories.

Soon, Louie’s factory was growing geometrically and he was able to hire 4000 ducks .  He squeezed most of his competitors out of business  by lowering his prices. After they were out of business, Louie raised his prices by 50%.  After all,  he no longer had any competition.  He DID  have all that stimulus money helping to subsidize his operation though.

The net result of the government stimulus program:

6000 lost jobs.

Hundreds of thousands of $ lost tax revenue from former down manufacturers.

A heavy increase in unemployment insurance claims by the ducks of Atlanta.

Fat Louie got fatter yet, and his gout got worse.

No Responses to “Fat Louie, a duck with gout, a parable about fowl economic stimulus”

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  2. Angela says:

    the last quarter of 2009 seems promising as we have seen lots of signs of econic recovery against the massive economic recession. i hope that in 2010 all our economies would be back on track. recession really sucks.

    • champion says:

      From the point of view of a small business owner/CEO it feels as if the recession is getting worse.
      None of the stimulus money has filtered down to the middle size corporation and we are slowly sinking.
      I have struggled to keep my people working, but it feels like I am sinking into a bottomless pit.
      I hope I am wrong, but every day I speak to several dozen contractors, ,dealers, store owners and major architects and designers, and the consensus I am getting is not good.

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