Growing up, whenever I would gripe, carp, grouse complain or kvetch about the various rules laid down by my parents, I was gently reminded of an old maxim: “If you take the king’s shilling, you do the king’s willing.” Translation: As long as you are living on our nickel, you will do what you’re told, when you’re told, and without any back-chatter.”
With that in mind it is interesting to note the news that broke yesterday that Bank of America has decided to end its relationship with McMillan Group International.
Apparently the bank has severed the ties because McMillan is involved in the manufacture of guns and accessories. I’m no businessman, but given the fact that the gun industry has actually grown over the last few years, the parting of the ways seems like a rather bad idea on the part of BOA.
There may be a number of reasons for the move. The recent furor over the “Stand-your-Ground-Law” may be one of those, and BOA may just want to appear to be warm, fuzzy and politically correct to the rest of the nation. Or could it have anything to do with the fact that BOA was the recipient of TARP money, or that it is one of the vendors that processing the donation cash for the President’s re-election efforts?
Which brings us back to shillings.
BOA didn’t welsh on its obligations to repay its TARP money, but hey it did take the cash. And processing the President’s campaign donations? I imagine that has to be a lucrative concession. I’ll bet that the bank is making some bank on that. And to do that, one undoubtedly has to come down on the politically correct side of such things as guns and gun control.
I’m a believer in capitalism. And as such, I also believe BOA has every right to pick and choose with whom it will do business. If it doesn’t want a firearms company as a customer that is its purview. That having been said, as a capitalist, I also believe people are free to bank where they want. And I’m thankful none of my shillings are in a BOA account. If you keep yours there, and you’re okay with BOA’s move, well then happy banking.
And speaking of shillings and doing one’s willing, we are getting into political convention season, and soon your friendly neighborhood politicians will be interested in what you have to say. It may be a good time to mention that if BOA has do as it is directed by the hand that funds it, so too should the Federal Government.
It may interest you to know that the Office of Fiscal Research (a Dodd-Frank production) has a budget of $158 million for FY 2013 funded by assessments on bank-holding firms worth 50 billion plus in consolidated assets. I can’t do the conversion off the top of my head, but $158 million is a lot of shillings. And I have to wonder if the OFR has taken a good look at BOA? Maxine Waters is all for this office, because after all, these are your shillings going into this super-sized government. As a former politician I know once said in jest “We’ll give people all the government they can pay for.”
Except the Democrats are not jesting.
Which brings us full circle as election season starts to ramp up. If the government takes the people’s shilling, it must do the people’s willing. And you need to make the next president congress and senate need to understand that, lest you find yourself out of shillings by this time next year.