Washington D.C., A Few Generations Ago–Leading executives from America’s major communications and transportation endeavors are converging on the floor of the Capitol today to plea for federal bailout money from Congress to prop up their flailing enterprises.
A spokesman for AT&T–American Telephone and Telegraph–laid out his case for receiving government assistance to the tune of, say, $14 billion. “The telegraph industry is suffering a severe economic drought. If the taxpayers don’t pony up and help us ensure the ongoing stability of the telegraph…the telegraph industry may collapse. Do you realize what a catastrophic emergency that would be?!”
Representatives from Central Pacific Railroad and the Mississippi Delta Steamboat Company also made their case to elected officials for the critical need to immediately inject gobs of fluid funding into their bankrupt institutions. “These are American jobs we’re talking about here, people,” they read from a prepared joint statement, getting emotional. “America needs our businesses to continue operating, and to continue operating exactly the way they always have. If Congress doesn’t approve a bailout for us, how many good, honest, hard working Americans will be permanently out of work? After all, nothing could ever come along to replace those jobs. Railroads and steamboats are all we’ll ever have. And our stocks have dipped sharply recently. C’mon, America! We absolutely need to keep the railroad and steamboat stocks up. Without them, the future will surely be a barren wasteland.”
Similar sentiments were expressed by several other major American conglomerations of industry. In fact, when one Senator suggested that some businesses might get a bailout and others wouldn’t, a fistfight broke out between the officers of two of America’s most permanent pillars of stability: Horse and Buggy Franchises and Confederated Slave Holdings.
NOTE: Obviously I wrote this in a hurry, not doing any of the research the idea deserves. Please excuse the lack of rigorous historicity. Still, I think the point is pretty clear.