Friday, July 11, 2008

The I-Phone, Bobby Bowden and the Mental Recession

For starters, this article has nothing to do with Bobby Bowden (right). I simply thought the title was catchy. This may become a trend, so be aware.

I did want to write about the economy, and the winner of the inaugural "turd of the week" award , McCain co-chair Phil Gramm. As many of you by now know, this week's turd said we are dealing with a "mental recession."

On the face of it, there is some evidence that he is right, to a point, and a technical point at that. Our GDP has not declined for 2 quarters, so technically we are not in a recession, and three-quarters of the U.S. population thinks we are in a recession. Therefore, if our economy does not meet the textbook criteria of a recession, and the vast majority of the populous thinks we are in a recession, then this is a mental recession, and on that front I have no problem with Phil the Turd's comments.

However, I do have three fundamental problems here, and they are as follows:

A) Exports are driving the overwhelming majority of our economic growth. For what is supposed to be a service based economy, that is frightening news. The reason exports are doing well is that our currency is so weak that firms from Europe and Asia are using us as their 99 Cent Store. Our currency is weak because our economic house is such a mess, mostly because we have a short sited government that is elected by a short sited populous, and many of the people who know the score are either too cool or too depressed by the choices to vote (and too many times these categories are intertwined).

But this is all bullshit, and anyone that is not rich and heartless can see that. Anyone that is paying nearly double what they were paying last year for so many things, from gas to wheat-grass understands that. I saw on the "news" this morning that retail sales are up this month, especially at stores like Wal-Mart. While I may be wrong about the metrics, it is my assumption that this could be because we are paying more for so many items. If stores are selling items at a higher cost, wouldn't sales increase? Aren't profits the only significant measurement?

Yet, t.v. talking heads, Wall Street addicts, and government spokespeople are crediting the rebate check my yet to be conceived child's child is going to be paying off when he enters the work force as being behind this number, because someone has to justify the blunder that was the rebate policy.

I got side tracked. I hate that rebate policy and the thought of it always throws me off. Bush's policy's have a way of doing that... oh, yes, the mental recession....Well, we are not in a recession, we are just in a shit economy. And then again, there are the legions waiting in line for technology they will be able to get 6 months from now for a fraction of the price, so maybe he is on to something....

B) Why does Gramm need to be so mean about all of this? Why did he have to call us a "nation of whiners?" Granted, in many other contexts that is true. It was his tone, which unearthed a Marie Antoinette (left) disdain for the suffering of the peasant masses that made me want to do to him what Rev. Jackson wants to do to Obama.

Furthermore, would you not be surprised if he wasn't one of those lobotomy looking folks in the fall of 2001 that argued criticism of the U.S. or its people was unpatriotic? Wouldn't you imagine John McCain was as well? If so, does that not mean that McCain has an American hater as his co-chair?

C) Gramm, as of 11:15 a.m. PST is still supporting McCain for president, and that is just a silly thing to do.

So, in closing, most Americans don't know the textbook definition of a recession, because they sold their Econ 101 textbooks for beer, fast food and weed. But they do know that they are broke and that bad things loom in the distance. My advice, buy back that Econ textbook right away. Not because the information will help you, for we have passed the point of rectification. No, you'll want it because soon, when you can't afford the electricity to run your t.v. or computer, you can't afford the gas to leave your house, and you only have enough money to get yourself to work (assuming you have a job) and to buy white bread and candles, reading will be all you have left. Hell, you might not even be able to afford your beer, fast food or weed.


puddy said...

"...bad things loom in the distance"

then we're going to need more beer and weed (you can keep the fast food... i do all the cooking at my house).

BD said...

The posts over the past several days have been trenchant and insightful like a good blog should be. Good work. I was getting a bit worried when you guys had post after post of youtube clips with no commentary. And I'm not talking about the Carlin clips or other similar posts.

And the FISA bill just saddens me.

Kup said...

Thanks Brent! I think things are worked out now.

Randal Graves said...

If I'm going to be reading in the soft glow of frozen candles in the dead of winter, it ain't gonna be a fucking Econ 101 book.

And no point in sending it to any Republican, because he or she won't read it.