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Who is the economy calling stupid?

Okay, I’ve had enough of our readiness to believe, about the economy, that nobody knows what’s going on. Nobody will tell you what’s going on, is what’s going on.

Even my deepest thinking friend tells me, “Eric, they really don’t know” (The game theorists, the would-be global axis shifters, don’t know.) He may be right, but that’s not who we’re talking about. Between those guys, and you and I, who have no clue about where the economy is going, is a hand-basket courier. That composite abstraction at the handlebars knows the destination, he’s being paid cost-plus for the delivery, and he knows enough to collect his fee in advance.

We thought “it’s the economy, stupid” was directed at George Bush the Senior. Who is/was stupid? I’m finding the syncronicity of Alanis Morissette’s Jagged Little Pill song “Isn’t it ironic?” superlatively ironic. The era when a mass audience un-learned the meaning of irony, was when the joke was really on us.

Today the accepted theme to describe the economy is: nobody knows. I recently heard the governor of Colorado speak to the need for budget cuts in these hard times. He introduced the subject of the economic downturn by explaining, almost as a throwaway foregone conclusion, “Nobody saw this coming.”

I thought, really? This is what Americans are satisfied to expect for leadership? Elected authority figures return our system to us, broken, with not a mea culpa, but mea confuso. And we buy it.

For me, this no-comprendo motif doesn’t play well in Adagio. Today DC’s new lawmakers want to know what’s become of the first half of the TARP bailout money, and the good-enough-for-primetime answer is “nobody knows.” Don’t you just want to stand up and beg your fellow audience members for a collective show of incredulity? “NOBODY KNOWS?!”

Whoever pocketed the 350 Billion, KNOWS.

From explanations of the graft in Iraq, we the television public KNOW that just one million dollars in t-bills weighs more than you can get past surveillance cameras.

From nighttime video of the economic collapse in Argentina, documentary footage viewers know it takes a continuous train of armored trucks to do a run on the banks before the public gets there.

By the way, I’m certain Billion is always capitalized, out of respect for its size.

“Nobody knows” where went the 350 Billion? No. Nobody who knows, intends to tell us.

Either way, we don’t get to know, but the distinction makes a difference, don’t you think? The excuse we’re given for not dwelling on this incongruity, nudge nudge wink wink, is that all misdirection is for the sake of consumer confidence.

To look behind the green curtain is to become dis-illusioned. If you explain the slight of hand, instead of building confidence, you throw fuel on consumer doubt.

The better economists opposed the bailout. Hundreds of them signed a petition to tell us what’s going on is a heist. Under George Bush, bankers have been making off with the US treasury. What they couldn’t spend pay themselves to foist a war, or give themselves in tax cuts, they are having to abscond with under cover of an eleventh hour “bailout.”

The best of the honest economists, Paul Krugman, was given a Nobel Prize. At the same time, our president-to-the-rescue is saying he’d consider the advice of “even Paul Krugman,” like Krugman is a fringe opinion.

Do we empower the American public beast with a truer education about what’s happening to their finances, or do we narrow their peripheral foresight like the gangway to the abbatoire?

P.T. Barnum said no one ever went broke underestimating the American public. Barnum saw opportunity and he took it. I’ll bet he wasn’t satisfied to invest his winnings on the advice of the public’s broker.

The economy is tanking because the Bush investment banker free-for-all is over.

The cash heart of the consumer confidence fattened-calf is already in the bloody hands of the high priests. The American consumer is what’s being thrown off the wall. And the communal wealth of America’s middle class can’t be put together again because the pieces which formed Humpty Dumpty’s actual pre-confidence-ballooned size are going to come up missing.

Not missing, exactly. Look at the corporate jets, private skyboxes, enormous estates, private island kingdoms and advance ticket sales of quarter-million-dollar fares into space.

With much recent ballyhoo, George Bush set aside for protection some nature preserves in the Pacific. Unlike Yellowstone, or Yosemite, these parks of azure coral reefs are inaccessible. To you.

Barack Obama’s spread-the-wealth-around campaign lingo had nothing to do with the mad scramble to divvy the pot. Obama represents our non-insider’s reflexive grab for the fewer spoons. If Obama represents a wisening up at all.

Beyond buy low, sell high, here’s an example of how the scam worked: If a $100K house can be made seem worth $500K, a broker gets five times the commission, say $60K instead of $12K, and collects that money in cash. When the cows come home, you’ve got just a house, and let’s admit that value is arbitrary. But the broker is free and clear, his gleaning of a cash value done.

And actually, your house is not even worth the cost to build it. As the democratic capitalist apparatus downgrades, and the wealthy lose empathy for the lower classes, your house is worth just the value of the shelter it provides. Look at the concern they show for your health care. Your well-being, food and shelter wise, is worth only as much as the value you add to your landlord’s pleasure.

2 thoughts on “Who is the economy calling stupid?

  1. Of course we know what’s going on, the Robber Barrons are pulling the biggest heist in world history. And both Republicans and Democrats are helping them get away with it.

    We the People are fucked.

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