Feathered Bastard

Doug Ducey Kisses the Koch Bros' Keisters, Claims Cold Stone Grew without Gub'mint Help

Anything to do with the billionaire Koch bothers gets the liberals riled, just as anything to do with Benghazi, gun control or lefty billionaire George Soros sets Teabaggers aflame.

Don't get me wrong. Charles and David Koch's influence over the electoral process is a legit issue, but there's only so much left-wing raving over the Koch bros that one person can take, even if you're part of the left wing.

So the "revelation" by American Family Voice's YouTube channel The Undercurrent and The Nation that GOP gubernatorial nominee Doug Ducey attended a Koch brothers' shin-dig in June to pitch himself to them and their fellow billionaires is a bit of a yawner, considering Ducey's politics.

I'll leave the impersonations of Robert DeNiro's gurgling descent into the marsh in Cape Fear to others.

Instead, the thing that struck me in this recording of our state treasurer's fawning before the Koch clique was his claim about how Cold Stone Creamery grew itself from the ground up without any assistance from the dang gub'mint.

"We started small with a good idea," Ducey states of his former ice cream empire, "and we built 1,440 stores in all 50 states. We operate in 25 countries around the world today, and I want everyone to know we did it without government. We did it without subsidies. We did it without tax incentives for chocolate-dipped waffle cones."

Um, actually, Doug, that's a massive pant-load. Cold Stone franchisees, like franchisees of other fast food joints, take out Small Business Administration loans to get started.

Cold Stone franchisees' failure rates on those loans has been around 30 percent, according to a recent analysis by those rabid socialists over at The Wall Street Journal.

In fact, the ice cream chain had the fourth largest failure rate among franchises, one that Cold Stone's current owners blamed on "the `extreme growth' that occurred in the years immediately preceding the [nation's economic] downturn."

Ducey and his partners sold the company in 2007. He clearly takes credit for the exponential growth referenced as the source of SBA loan failure rate.

The WSJ notes that,

"High failure rates aren't necessarily a problem for franchisers as they can still consistently generate millions of dollars in revenue every year from sales of new units. Some franchisers also offer discounts to entice buyers to purchase multiple units at once."

Hey, that's capitalism, right? Churn 'em and burn 'em. The all-American way.

Though it is a helluva lot easier when the government is fronting you the cash.

As the WSJ article explains,

The 7(a) loan-guarantee program is the SBA's most popular loan program by far. It was set up six decades ago to help borrowers who can't qualify for traditional loans obtain funding to start or expand franchises and other small businesses.


The SBA collects fees from lenders making the loans it backs. It sets the fees at levels it hopes will cover projected loan defaults. When defaults are higher than it expected, it may ask Congress for a subsidy, as it did in each of its four most recent fiscal years.

So Cold Stone was built, in part, with government guarantees.

If Ducey's gonna brag about Cold Stone's 70 percent success rate, he ought to at least give some credit to his silent partners: the American taxpayers.

Got a tip for The Bastard? Send it to: Stephen Lemons.

Follow Valley Fever on Twitter at @ValleyFeverPHX. Follow Stephen Lemons on Twitter at @StephenLemons.