Thursday, July 24, 2008


ARE WE STILL IN KINDERGARTEN?


I shouldn't demean the sharp little brains of genuine kindergarteners by comparing them to current US economic advisors, but I just got my in-all-seriousness Economic Stimulus check, sort of money-colored, with the Statue of Liberty on it, though it was only for $300 because being an expat with a good accountant I have paid no US taxes since 1972, and $300 is all that 36 years of zero taxes deserves. Great return on investment, though!

And not to bite the hand that stimulates me, but it strikes me somewhere in preschool that the US government, which I'd mistakenly thought had an economic department filled to the rafters with top-level financial advisers who knew way more than any of my economics professors ever did - in the face of the biggest national debt in history, negative personal savings, financial entities swooning and collapsing right and left, a trillion-dollar war going on, personal debt surpassing Everest, a sky-high Sword of Derivatives hanging over the world, housing foreclosures up the cliche ("When the Treasury/Fed team moved to rescue Bear Stearns and, more recently, Fannie Mae and Freddy Mac, the $5 trillion-plus burden of risk was neatly transferred to the American citizen."), multiple industrial giants on the brink of bankruptcy, pensions and health plans in respective black holes - sends a 300 dollar check (payable in fiat money, no less) to stimulate a guy on a mountain on the other side of the world! It's somewhat less stimulating to me than it is to a guy on a mountain back in the US, since by the time I get it cashed via the labyrinthine Japanese banking system, the dollar could well be toast and I'll wind up getting stimulated by maybe half a tank of gas, whereas maybe the guy on the other mountain can still get a case of world-class beer.

As hinted at in the aforegoing, I find it it a very unpalatable reality to swallow regarding my native country-- that a select group of America's best minds (excluding those currently creating the vacuum at the very top) actually got together, brainstormed and concluded that the best thing to do right now, to begin pulling the US economy out of its 10-year, multitrillion dollar hole (the money to pay for which will of course come out of the common taxpayers' wallet) is to send everybody some pocket change! They think they're stimulating the economy by giving people back a smidgeon of THEIR OWN MONEY! Your money, in my case. Nice of you; thanks.

There's always hope, though; maybe the next administration can get the whole class into the first grade...

4 comments:

MaryContrary said...

The disappointing thing is that while you have been stimulated my mother, who lives in the U.S. but not on any mountain, is still waiting. Being a retiree on social security and with no other income, she also gets the minimum amount of stimulation as did I because I was unemployed for a large part of last year due to the tanked economy the bright boys have totally screwed up. They are talking about another round but I don't know if I can stand much more stimulation. And yes I am being sarcastic.

Chosen said...

There were no economic advisors involved in the decision at all. It was all pure politics. President Monkeyface proposed it and the Democratically controlled Congress went along with him on it, just like they did with authorizing more illegal wiretapping and immunity for the Telcos who implement the wiretapping and pretty much everything else Monkeyface wants.

Mary Lou said...

We are still shaking our heads over it too. It just went to pay bills that I incurred by not having full coverage in my medical insurance. THey shoulda put it to better use in finding a universal health care system that will work for ALL citizens the same.

Jenn said...

"get the whole class into the first grade."

One can only hope. I remember when that EVIL BILL CLINTON was in office, and he told us that WE ALL had to TIGHTEN OUR BELTS for the economy... and low and behold, at the end of his tenure, our budget balanced. For as long as that lasted.

Because we all KNOW that the REPUBLICANS are the FINANCIALLY RESPONSIBLE ONES.

Sigh.