It seems like we're going to have a stimulus package. Maybe it's just me, but that collection of hot checks and IOUs looks about as stimulating as the full-frontal of Phyllis Diller on a mechanical bull that was last week's centerfold in Modern Maturity.
There is nothing wrong with spending money we don't have on stuff the previous administration shamefully neglected, as long as we don't run out of paper and ink and the Chinese keep buying the abstract art we laughingly refer to as Treasuries, but it's not The Answer.
What we need is a new bubble.
It is time to face facts. This isn't the America of the Great Depression. So-called "spade ready" construction projects are a great idea when you want to get the hobos down in Hooverville off the rails and into honest work again. Infrastructure jobs are just the ticket to get a nation of laid-off Johnny Lunchpails stringing wire into the Tennessee Valley, bringing the magic of electricity to the hillbillies. But that's not us anymore. America isn't an industrial society, we're not even a post-industrial society. We are creatures of the bubble.
There is no use denying it, we must embrace the truth. The only economics that matters is the economics of frivolity. That's where we'll find the new bubble, and beyond food, clothing and shelter it's all bubbles. If you want to grow an economy you have to get people to want stuff they don't need and need stuff they don't want.
You don't get there with health care, you get there with hunger. We were once so good at it we taught the world to crave things that didn't even exist yet! We perfected the art of paying focus groups to dream up new merchandise, just so we could make whatever crap occurred to their, fevered, fifty-dollar-a session-minds and sell it to them. "Hey, I've got it! How about we replace all interpersonal relationships with a screen you can hold in your hand! Yeah! We could, like, type to each other with it!"
We wouldn't be in this fix if the younger generation hadn't let us down. They haven't shown the innovative, can-do spirit that invents the junk that makes the gas that keeps the American economic blimp afloat. Kids, we need you to step up. We here in the Me generation are counting on you there in the Now generation to keep us in comfort in our declining years, and we intend to decline for quite a while.
Our generation did its part. We gave you television, Hustler, rock and roll, connoisseur coffee, crack cocaine and enough debt that you'll have to sell your children into slavery to pay it off.
And what have you kids done for us? Not much. Not a lot. Close to zip. OK, Beyonce and Facebook. Plus a nice crop of cute kids for sexual abuse by our congressmen, clergy and hot female teachers, but that's pretty much it. Your contribution has not yet been worthy of our generous gifts.
We taught you how to hunger so hard that now you're fat enough to cruise through this depression/famine and come out looking tanned and fit. We put those invaluable ninety extra pounds on you and all you did was whine about it. You'll thank us soon, but we need more than that. We need more than your apology, we need the next bubble!
You can do it, if you put your pampered minds to the task. Talk us into needing big, extravagant funerals, like those Mafia guys in the Godfather movies. Seventy-five million of us baby boomers will be passing to our great reward soon. That's a hell of a bubble opportunity for the wreath makers, florists, caterers, street performers, casket designers, pyrotechnicians, and more. It's just a suggestion, but you already have the hangdog, whiny bands playing sad, mournful music, why not put them to work?
If that doesn't appeal, feel free to think up your own. But, please, come up with something soon. Stimulus packages won't break the back of this depression. We need a bubble to do that.
We need a bubble like Bazooka Joe, like the late, great Don Ho, we need a bubble like Bubbles the Hippo.
You know how to make a bubble, don't you, kids?
You just put your lips together and blow.