March 25, 2008
Due to the serious mismanagement of the economy by the Bush
administration over the past eight years, and the bipartisan abdication of
oversight responsibility by Democrats and Republicans in the House and
Senate for decades, our nation now faces the most serious economic crisis since
the Great Depression.
Instead of coming up with new and creative ways to solve the mess they
created, both major parties are blaming each other and suggesting the same old
stale solutions for failing banks and insurance companies. "Let's limit
executive compensation!" they cry. "Let's make sure the government gets a
return on this investment!" they sing in unison. What you don't hear them
saying is the important negotiations going on behind the scenes. "How can we
keep our friends and major donors from catching any flack or embarrassing us
any further?" they ask each other. Given the severity of this crisis, I find this
"business as usual" mentality and approach to problem-solving to be
inadequate at best, criminally negligent at worst.
I on the other hand, have some fresh ideas on what America should do with
the $700 billion earmarked for this economic disaster our Republican and
Democratic representatives (and their corporate owners and overlords) have
created. I'm 100% against giving money to these companies that have gotten
themselves into this mess. If you give your kid $20 to buy a Christmas gift for
your wife, and he instead blows it all at the video arcade, are you going to tell
him it's OK and give him $700 billion? Well I certainly won't.
I propose that we tell Bear Stearns, Morgan Stanley, AIG, etc. to screw off and
deal with the market realities they have created. Then we take the $700 billion
and look for new ways to grow this money for our citizens. Personally, I think
investing is boring. You have to look at earnings, growth projections,
competitive landscapes, etc. Who has time to do that, besides losers and dweebs
at companies like Bear Stearns, Morgan Stanley and AIG? And look where
that got them.
Instead, I think we should look at investment opportunities that are less
mentally taxing and are much more fun. Like lotteries. Everyone likes
lotteries. I don't know that it'd be worth spending $700 billion to win a $300
million PowerBall payout, but maybe we could split up the $700 billion and
"invest" it in lottery tickets in other countries. That way, the money we win is
coming from foreigners (not out of Americans' pockets), so it's a win-win for
the U.S.A. Nothing would steam the French or the Iranians like having to
hand over a big cardboard check to Uncle Sam.
The other thing we could do is spend the $700 billion on a kick-ass weekend in
Vegas. I hear that Vegas comps rooms for big spenders, so for $700 billion I'm
thinking they'd probably comp every room to American citizens. Since there
are about 300 million Americans and not quite that many rooms in the biggest
Vegas casino/hotel, it's likely that some people will have to share rooms. But to
take the edge off sharing a room with one (or several thousand) people you
don't know, I'm sure the casino will also comp us on drinks (we're gambling
with $700 billion after all). We could split the money out for people to use at
blackjack, the slots, etc., or we could pool the entire $700 billion and bet it on
one spin of the roulette wheel.
The way the market is trending these days, it's more than likely that any
investment in a publicly-traded company is going to lose value, or possibly
even end up being worth nothing. If that's the case, I say why not have some
fun in losing $700 billion. Worst case we lose it all (but we had a Hell of a
weekend in Vegas). Best case we win big and everyone gets free health care. I
trust you Americans to make the right call on this.
|The Economic Crisis - September 25, 2008