Friday, April 10, 2009


I bet the suits who sit around a table in a secure boardroom somewhere and come up with new names for old crimes had a big laugh among themselves when they came up with the latest euphemism for general and ongoing theft of your income.

As all the possibilities raced around their one-track minds, they likely threw out suggestions-- some of them serious, like 'Terminal EconoCare, 'or 'Painless Extraction,' some of them comical, like 'Fiduciary Exuberance' or 'Beltway Robbery.' Then they'd chuckle for a while and get back to pondering over coffee amid discussions of the psychoeconomic aspects of optimally deceiving the cashcow electorate, who have always done all the backbreaking work needed to actually create actual goods and actually earn actual money.

It wasn't that the econoguys were feeling at all bad about the idea of deceiving the public one more time, it was just that they had to give the official kleptoproject a name - that was part of their taxpayer-funded job - but they didn't want John Q to figure out what was really going on with the money; plus, there's always the aesthetic aspect to such efforts, of creating a classic bit of copy or a catch phrase that pulls the wool over in excellent fashion, like Ask Why, or Liebensraum, or Mission Accomplished...

Then at some point in one of those econocreative brainstormings, one of the participants threw out the term "Quantitative Easing" and the whole table just cracked up at the deceptive beauty of it, how not only was the phrase sufficiently opaque to befuddle Joe Sixpack and beguile Sam Lunchbox-- the reporters and anchors would eat it up! It was perfect!

They figured that with the right tone and spin, the Sixpacks and Lunchboxes of the land - who were too busy worrying where their next dollar was coming from anyway - would just think that the project had something to do with the quantity of-- something comfortable, something helpful that the government was doing, sort of like handing out easy chairs, when what it actually meant was that the Federal Reserve, a private corporation with no reserves, was going to print a few quadrillions of completely paper money out of nothing, so that the value of each dollar in the taxpayers' bankbooks and pensions would eventually go down to the basement of value, and the Sixpacks and Lunchboxes and their kids would have to work it all off (plus the econoguys' and their buddies' bonuses) without even knowing it! They'd say stuff like: "Boy, these bills are sure piling up, I'm gonna have to get a third job, things are really getting expensive, looks like you'll have to give up college," the same way they say "Boy it sure is raining!"

"Quantitative Easing": what a laugh there must have been around the table at that moment.

You gotta wonder if the trick is gonna work, but that's why they don't teach finance in high school.

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