ELEVEN COMMON SENSE WAYS TO BEAT THE RECESSION
BY IAN MURPHY
We all know the economy has taken a beating.1 But it seems like no one (including the – HA! – “economists”) has the slightest “idea” what to do about “it.”
In fact, from Tim Geithner to Larry Summers, the people in charge of fixing the problem are the very villains who helped make this mess! They’ve had every chance to redeem themselves, but their policies are proving as bankrupt as the US Treasury.
Well, America, it’s high time we grab the bull by the horns (you may want to put on gloves; you don’t know where they’ve been2) and steer the rampaging beast toward the red flag (not code for Communism3) of economic prosperity.
Ingenuity has always been our economic engine.4 And what we need now to overcome this recession is creativity – that can-do American spirit of invention! So here, I offer some new, practical ways to stimulate the economy:
1) Dinosaur Fighting League (DFL)
As if any more needed to be said about this plan to get the American public on board, let’s investigate the possibilities. From the scientist to the creationist, dinosaurs hold a special place in our imagination (right next to Jeff Goldblum5 and Jesus6). And what could be better than seeing two of them rip each other to shreds on live TV? It would dwarf the Super Bowl in both spectacle and revenue generated. New jobs would abound in the fields of genetics, cloning, animal husbandry, cage construction and giant band aid manufacturing. Picture it: two dozen American cities (sorry, Detroit) rooting on their hometown dinosaur. Stadiums would be packed, TV audiences would be epic, dino-caps, t-shirts and “We’re #1!” foam claws would fly off the shelves – local businesses would thrive! It’s a no-brainer.
2) One word: Thunderdome
If the promise of X-treme prehistoric fighting can’t quench our thirst for blood (and economic recovery) there’s only one thing that can. The Greatest Game of sanctioned homicide. Phil Gramm Vs. Bernard Maddoff: Two men enter, one man leaves. (The other will be eaten by dinosaurs.)
3) Automated robot that hunts and kills AIG’s Financial Products Division head Joe Cassano
Again, this plan’s title all but seals the deal, but let’s delve a bit deeper. Since Henry Ford’s first assembly line at the dawn of the industrial revolution, we’ve been using machines to increase productivity, stimulate growth and engender worker resentment. But no robot (except Paulie’s fembot from Rocky IV 7) has had as noble a purpose as the one proposed here. The R&D required to produce an artificially-intelligent robot with the capacity to hunt and kill Joe Cassano would provide a wellspring of new technology – robots that could hunt and kill Bret Michaels, for instance. The project would create new fields of research and thousands of jobs. Once we’ve mastered the technology required to manufacture a robot that can reason, reevaluate its goals and learn, we’ll be one step closer to getting our first robot Secretary of the Treasury – that can and will murder without remorse.8
4) Sell the economy
Just put the whole shebang on eBay in the hopes that Saudi Arabia and China will start a bidding war. (Force the price higher by bidding under a fake ID – like “Wealthistan.”)
5) Invest in Reeducation
President Obama’s budget greatly increases funding for education. This, as he says, is a longterm investment in America’s future. But what about all the young men and women now entering the workforce, who haven’t had the benefit of a “world-class education,” the people currently being left behind in the high-tech global economy? Reeducation! Now, I don’t mean tax credits for college, adult education programs or vocational training. I mean, through the use of various hypnosis and brainwashing techniques, reprogramming unemployed Americans into thinking that they are, in fact, Mexican! They’ll have no other recourse but to take jobs away from Americans.9
6) Print more money, stupid!
“Economists” will tell you that printing more money creates “inflation.” The “conventional wisdom” says that the more money there is in circulation, the less it’s worth; the price of goods and services goes up, nullifying the benefit of having more money in the system. I say, hog wash! Institute a price freeze on everything and print enough money to give a million dollars to every man, woman, child and killer robot in the United States. End of recession. You’re welcome, America.10
7) Promote consumer overconfidence
The economy is a fickle thing, and a social construct in many ways. If people feel financially secure, they spend more. The demand promotes employment and those newly employed people spend more, etc. (Happy Circle!) That’s called “consumer confidence.” But things are too dire for mere confidence at this point. People are scared and they’re not spending, demand drops and more jobs are lost, etc. (Vicious Cycle!) Like a balding bachelor with love handles and a limp, what we need is a healthy dose of unwarranted overconfidence!11 Need a new microwave, for instance, but only have two dollars? No problem. Simply bring the microwave up to the cashier, lay down your two bills as if they were hundreds and run quickly, and confidently, home. (In The Wealth of Nations Adam Smith called this “The Economy of Balls.”)
8) The Keynesian approach
Create jobs by paying workers to dig the grave of Alan Greenspan, and then fill it back in. Employ more workers to dig him back up, steal his watch and fill in the grave, yet again. (Repeat process until his entire body’s been sold on the black market or the recession is over.)
Billy Mays can’t think up every useless product. He needs some help, America! Here are a few completely idiotic products, which, if marketed ad nauseum, will surely strike a cord with couch potatoes: Newer Coke, Newest Coke, Pepsi Solid, Crystal Dijonnaise, Rubik’s Square, Pet Stock, iPoor, Tickle me Geithner, Cabbage Patch Elderly, ScamWow!, Shit in a Jar, Bed, Bath and Beyonce, the Popeil Pocket Hedgefund, cat trousers, the Pube Flowbee, the Calf Master, 5 Second Abs, the Crossbow Flex, nostril enhancement pills, V9 (one better than V8), sodomy in a box, Chrysler-Fiat. Order now for rush delivery! (Feel free to use any of these ideas for your own financial gain.12)
10) Tyler Perry’s Subprime Mortgage Restructuring
This is just a good idea – and Tyler Perry is so hot right now.
11) Two words: Beyond Thunderdome
If worse comes to worst, there is precedent for a thriving, pig feces-fueled industry (I’m looking at you, North Carolina!) and a moneyless economy based on the direct exchange of goods and services. Known as “Bartertown,” this last refuge of civilization and free trade may prove our last, best chance at economic recovery. (Sadly, problems may arise in determining “Who run Bartertown?”13)
1 Worse than Rihanna
2 Bret Michaels’s “Love Bus.”
3 Is code for Socialism.
4 That, and slavery.
5 America’s most valuable natural resource.
6 Rode a Velociraptor into Jerusalem.
7 To sexually gratify Burt Young.
8 Not counting Hank Paulson.
9 Like host of CNN’s “Lou Dobbs Tonight.”
10 This might not work. I don’t know. Try it!
11 And a cloud of Old Spice.
12 And I’ll feel free to sue you for all you’ve got.
Murphy is the host of CNBC’s “Clinically Insane Money” and the author of Your Kidney’s Your New 401K!