Saturday, January 26, 2008

Crack Whores

Does anything more clearly illustrate how American government acts like a bunch of crack addicts than the current bipartisan stimulus package response to the gathering economic doom. Let's see ... we worked ourselves into a crisis by loaning the ineligible too much money so that they could spend it on homes they could not afford. Then we traded the resultant worthless paper from hand to hand until somebody got stuck holding the bag, as it were. Then we decided that government should bail out a few of the borrowers and jury-rig the economy to save the bag holders. And when a relatively minor ripple worked its way through the stock markets, we offered every American a check for $600 so we could spend our way out of the crisis.

We're on crack.

Crack whores (no gender reference implied) know that the key to a successful crack existence is a steady stream of five-dollar bills. No point in wasting time creating a stable economic existence when five bucks every three or four hours will keep the demon spawn in your lungs. So government, following this dubious economic theory, in the face of unsustainable waste and graft and over-consumption answers with a metaphorical pile of fins to the masses. "Don't worry, ma, about the world collapsing. Let's go shopping."

A few nights ago, exhibiting my "male gaze" (and I use the term dripping with sarcasm) through channel surfing behavior, I caught 2.5 seconds of the McCain creature speaking ... he said, "We need less government regulation." He would be such a disastrous president. Less government regulation, but "mickey fin" style crack subsidies for the lower American middle class. (Isn't supplying checks to everyone out of the nation's piggy bank "government intervention" ... is that an example of less government? Give me a break.)

Republican economic theory (and I use the word "theory" lightly in this context) is like the theory that led to the crack epidemic. Crack is just cocaine packaged for the less-well-off. It was a brilliant stroke of commodity manipulation ... a Walmart approach to drug sales. Now everyone could afford cocaine, and the drug of the elite became the bane of the inner city, as well as job security for the prison unions. In the same vein, as it were, Republican economic theory is based on the notion that government is always bad. This makes sense to the billionaires, but for ordinary people bad government means no streets, no services, crappy schools, expensive health care. So how do you package this win-lose economic theory to those who have the most to lose? Give them cheap crack ... Walmart crack, ideological one-liner crack, swaggering populist crack, Fox News ... and every now and then, give them 600 bucks a head. You take the elite drug of choice ... Reagonomics ... and you turn it into crack ... dubya-ism.

And the well is so poisoned that no reasonable Democrat dare oppose this nonsense in an election year because ... because we're all addicted to political crack.

What would happen if we did like FDR ... we took that $150 BILLION they are planning to shovel via you and me into Walmart and Targ├ęt, and underwrote the construction of 300 Orange Country style water treatment plants? Or, more reasonably, a combination of water treatment plants and sundry carbon saving power plants. We would give people jobs, jump start the most innovative part of the American economy, save the environment, and let the world know we are looking to go about our business in a more rational way.

No way ... cuz we're a bunch of crack whores who ache for more bling made in China. "I need a new plasma TV, mommy." Sure, sez mommy, just wait till I get my government check.

Crack whores ... going to hell on the fast track.

Photo by Arod, taken today on 18th Street near Castro.

No comments: