A User’s Guide To Economic Crisis

So there we were in a certain universe.  The Great Campaign of ’08 was proceeding exactly as all the others, with a very familiar final act unfolding before us all.  That is to say both candidates were proceeding to out-dull one another into a submission hold of fatigue and predictable political ploys.


And then, in the midst of this election of Change (TM) something truly remarkable happened.  Something actually changed.

And of course by “change” I mean “collapsed on an epic level” and by “something” I mean the United States economy.  Not that economy hasn’t been an issue the entire election, but now something has started to happen that has given both candidates an opportunity to rise to the occasion… to take bold uncompromising steps toward leadership as a crisis unfolds in this election’s latter days.  And, to their credit, one candidate DID make a slight halfhearted attempt at it.


So with both Obama and McCain trying their best to sound as much like one another (and the polled preferences of the majority of likely American voters), their opinions on the matter are effectively irrelevant.  I imagine they’re JUST as irrelevant by phone or in person, in case it matters.  The important thing to note is that the immediate state of everyone’s credit and finances is in the hands of the US Federal Government.  So really, how can there be anything to worry about?  They do such a bang-up job on everything else.


The United States Department of Pulling Numbers Out Their Asses have apparently generated a $700 billion dollar price tag on what is, to my understanding, the economic equivalent of cleaning out an engine and all its filters so it doesn’t blow up on Dead Man’s Curve down by the old Thompson Farm.  Except that no one knows if engine gunk is actually the problem.  But whatever that problem is, it doesn’t act like anything else that’s ever been solved by conventional means on a car engine, anywhere, any time.

For the average citizen, there are two main responses to this crisis.  The first is open sarcasm.  As such, here are your Final Four brackets for all the banks in the Free Market.  Everyone feel free to start office pools, I’m sure that’s why it was created:

The other path is political action of some sort.  And here I have a proposition to my fellow Americans.  A proposition as to the path that we can take in the immediate, for we are fortunate enough to have a catastophe too fresh to wear off by Election Day.  Allow me to outline my proposal.

For the next few days, and on into forever, you’re going to hear Republicans and Democrats do what they do best: blame each other for shit going wrong.

Since a few Republicans suddenly decided that NOW they were gonna remember the Constitution, it’s already begun.  The point-counterpoint that followed as even the President seemed to shrink to irrelevancy only served to further drive home the point that zealots and pricks have taken over Congress.

Mind you, I’m not saying the bailout is a good thing or a bad thing.  I find it a CURIOUS thing when one considers a few points.  First, the majority of economics experts are predicting something far less dire than people seem to be imagining (myself, at times, among them).  The second thing to keep it mind is that if the US taxpayer winds up having to foot this bill, and I honestly don’t see how we’re not gonna get stuck with this, then there’s a HOST of other things $700 billion dollars could be used for that don’t involve a plan that might not even work.

A few examples?  Well, $365 billion could fix every collapsing road and every shitty railroad line in the United States.  For another $185 billion we could establish BOTH a national health care system and a universal automated health information system, something I was shocked to learn we don’t actually have already (the two groups with the finest communication of respective medical histories in this country are veterans and convicts).  That’s $515 billion, and I’m not done.  Because if the Gila Bend solar array is any indicator of potential, another $85 billion could conceivably provide power to nearly SIX MILLION US HOMES and that would STILL leave us another $100 billion for the infrastructure necessary to carry that power from the southern deserts to wherever the fuck it needs to go.

It should also be pointed out that these projects all address issues that have ALSO been pestering the United States Congress for several years, each one of them threatening this nation in one way or another.  It suddenly becomes very funny how Congress can come up with 700 billion dollars when their rich friends are in trouble.


The apologists for this bailout will make a big deal about how the government may recuperate all its losses from flipping reams and reams of shitty credit.  Because if there’s one thing everybody’s going to rush to do, it’s buy bad loans from the government.  They also point out that any one of the ambitious projects I just brought up will DEFINITELY mean a tax increase (which isn’t totally true, but it might).  They don’t mention, however, the number of jobs an infrastructure overhaul alone will create, to say nothing of side industries.  Definitely a tax, but definitely a return, which is more than we can say for Operation: “Panic And Throw Money At It”.

But regardless how you feel about the plan, one thing we can ALL agree on is the need to do precisely what DIDN’T get done this week.  Which is to say, something productive.  Maybe the bailout is a better idea, maybe it’s not, but… I don’t know… ISN’T THIS WHAT WE ELECT THESE FUCKERS TO FIGURE OUT?

And so enters my aforementioned humble proposition.  I propose, my fellow voters, that we all do something to blow their fucking minds.  Something none of their pollsters could POSSIBLY envision.  We act like responsible voters.  We use our powers of democracy to attack the REAL culprits of government ineptitude in the face of crisis.

We vote against incumbents.


Fuck all if they’re Republicans.  Vote Democrat.  Democrats?  Vote Republican.  Or vote third party.  Just make a showing against whoever is CURRENTLY in office, and that you’re eligible to vote against.  Rush the polls.  Toss a bunch of close races the other way, or narrow the margin of a sure-thing enough he or she notices.  Send them a message.  All of them.

Current economic wisdom says this crisis traces its roots as far back as the mid-1990’s.  Now I don’t know the numbers, but I HAVE to guess there are a lot of motherfuckers (and fuckerettes) who have been in the Senate and the House since at LEAST then.  I’m talking Republicans and Democrats ALIKE.  Maybe it’s time these fine individuals sought work elsewhere.

So fuck it, then.  They can’t get their act together, for WHATEVER reason?  They ALL let this situation get to this point in the first place.  Let’s remind them they work at our pleasure.  Let’s make them feel some real “change”.


Out For Now…

– Paris ‘Rev’ Battle

(If you’d like to know which of your current Senators or Representatives are incumbents, and whether or not they’re up for firing this year, the full lists by district may be found here and here)