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The One-Percenters: a surplus commodity?

By       Message Maynard McKillen     Permalink
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(With Remedial Contributions from an Emerging Social Science) 

From Capitalists: a surplus commodity?
(Image by mayeesherr. (away))   Permission   Details   DMCA

In a free-market economy [1], an excess of any commodity, no matter its stated or perceived value, decreases its value. Free-market forces also allow consumers to discover, even demand, less expensive, more innovative, and more efficient alternative commodities, which imaginative entrepreneurs race to provide.

Disruptive innovation, too, can vaporize demand for certain products. Paradigm shifts in the market render some commodities obsolete, mere oddities that become the butt of jokes, or props in satires and comedies. As automobiles began to dominate private transportation, the buggy whip met this fate.

Today the United States finds itself, by all but the most liberal and far-left of assessments, wallowing in the legislated molasses of an over-regulated economy. The effect of these regulations has been profound. Economic growth has been throttled, recovery creeps along, and an excess of certain commodities has flooded the market and found no buyers.

Those commodities? I am speaking about the affluent.

From Conspicuous consumption masks affluence-addiction syndrome.

The marginal utility [2] of this class, always hovering near nadir, has plunged below measurable significance. The nation's trade representatives are negotiating with the EU, with Oceania, and with various friendly and hostile nations, desperate to unload the U.S. surplus of wealthy citizens, to no avail [3].

Having manufactured millionaires and billionaires for decades, the over-regulated market is now awash in this near worthless commodity. The nation now struggles to accommodate a tidal wave of capricious demands,  tantrums, and snit fits from the oversupply of under-performing CEOs, CFOs, and trust-fund babies who want things their way, right here, right now, more, more, more! [4]

In response, a grass-roots movement has sprung up, complete with its own new Social Science, to remediate the economic malaise brought on by this surplus of preening puffers [5]: Pragma-Economics [6].

Eschewing the utility of many traditional economic constructs, Pragmaconomists have diagnosed the economic ailment and offer practical, shovel-ready solutions.

The public, skeptical after being thoroughly fleeced by the empty rhetoric of the Tea Party, are increasingly receptive to the proposals of these "guerrilla" economists, who promise to downsize the affluent class and thereby stabilize the economy. One innovative idea was submitted by Pragmaconomist and Navy Captain Sarah Schmidt. Excessed "Richies" would embark on an exclusive luxury cruise across the Pacific, this to coincide with live-fire exercises by a task force of guided-missile frigates [7].

Several inside-the-beltway Pragmaconomists would assemble a coterie of the affluent aboard a fleet of dirigibles, the attraction being a superior view of Independence Day fireworks along the Potomac. Asked to explain the utility of this inflatable parade of inflated egos, proponents expounded at length about a "Hindenburg Solution" [8].

Another proposal would have the nation sequester these under-taxed commodities off shore in container ships, in the hope that some foreign nation would pity the teeming refuse and solicit help from UNEMURF [9].

While mainstream Pragmaconomists argue the effects of such proposals are immediate, sustainable, and allow the market to self-correct, a splinter group of so-called gradualists has offered counter proposals. In a spirit once entertained by Congress, these have been given equal air time in the marketplace of ideas.

Chief among these alternate proposals has been a trial-run invitation for top-level financiers to join an extended tour of a maximum-security gated community in scenic Fort Leavenworth, Kansas [10]. To appease these discriminating visitors, who often possess a nearly paralyzing fear for their personal safety, each block of lodgings will be assigned its own guard dog and security detail.

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Satirist Maynard McKillen hails from Wisconsin, where he enjoys skewering the idiots of the Republican-majority state government.

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