Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Live at the Economic Improv Club

If our economy wasn't in such terrible shape, this article in the New York Times would be side-splittingly funny. Where Did the Jobs Go instead proves that government of, by, and for college professors just doesn't work.

When our economy took its' nosedive just in time to affect the Presidential election of 2008, Barack Obama was poised, tanned and ready. He had a grand plan to reverse course and set sail for the economic promised land. Economists everywhere hailed his proposal as just what the country needed: a massive infusion of tax dollars to help prop up the flailing private sector. Millions of new jobs would be created with this money, good paying ones at that. Americans of every stripe would see their dreams fulfilled. There would be a chicken in every pot and a car in every driveway. Happy days are here again!

Wow, what a flashback. I may have turned the knob on the Wayback Machine a little too far that time. Ooops, sorry Mr. Peabody.

We gave the new guy a chance. We Americans are like that. You get the same chance as everyone else. You also get the same questions as everyone else, too. Like, "When will this work? How much will it cost? How long will it take to see positive results?" When it comes to ideas, we're all for the ones that actually work and achieve the expected results. No results? Bad results? Well, you had your chance and your ideas didn't work. At least now, we know what not to do. Next!

That's what makes this article so funny. Watching economists with advanced degrees and high sounding titles admit that they're baffled by the lack of results from Obama's fiscal policies. From the article:

Welcome as it is, progress toward finally capping the gulf oil leak hasn’t resolved the biggest conundrum facing President Obama before the midterm elections.
That conundrum, which reclaims center stage in Washington this week, is this: Why is unemployment so high?
That's a great one. Got any more?
“The stakes are enormous,” said Alan S. Blinder, a Princeton economist who advised President Bill Clinton, because the answers are “going to dictate the pace at which jobs come back.”

Well, no shit, Sherlock. Tell me something I don't already know. But you're still funny.
With eight million jobs lost since the recession began, “We’re climbing out of a gigantic hole,” said David Axelrod, Mr. Obama’s top political adviser. “Until we fill the hole, we’ll get limited credit.”
Stop it, Dave, you're killing me. Now I'm laughing so hard, I can't get my breath.
Christina Romer, who leads the council now for Mr. Obama, said, “We’ve done a lot of things to look at possible explanations.”

OK, Christina, I give up. I think I tinkled myself, just a little. I'll be right back.

Whew, alright, that's much better. I've got some dry pants on now and I finally stopped crying. You guys are a laugh riot.

Now that you're done, let me tell you what everyone else already knows. Everyone except you.

Once you get outside of the Beltway, there's this country called "America". The people who live in that country are called "Americans". They do something everyday called "work". When they work, they create something called "wealth". This wealth is also called "money", which is what they "spend" at places called "stores". These places sell things called "products". Now, here comes the tricky part, you guys, so try to pay attention. These "products" cost "money". The more "money" these "Americans" have, the more "products" they can buy.

Here's where you guys come in. You "work" in a place that doesn't create anything. You don't have to "produce" anything or make anything work. You make up things called "laws" and "regulations" that keep these "Americans" from doing things. The more of these things you make, the less money these "Americans" can "spend". The less these "Americans" can "spend", the worse our economy gets.

More laws and regulations equals less money to spend. Got it? Good.

Now, here come the part that I won't spoil for you, because I want to see the look on your face when you finally figure out what it is you're doing wrong and what you need to do to fix it.

We're waiting.

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