Friday, March 17, 2017

1771 Your Car as Professor of Economics

Tell ‘em Groucho sent you

We have to go back in time for this, folks.  Back in the old days, you had a car that had a part that needed replacement, say a power steering pump.

Teddy the mechanic (they weren’t yet “technicians” in those days) installs the new pump.  And for awhile everything seems okay.  But a week later, something springs a leak and you rail against Teddy. “He must have screwed up something that will make me return for another repair.”

Yes, he did.  But it probably wasn’t his intention.  The vigorous new pump in an older car pressures parts that have grown accustomed to poor circulation or loose hose clamps. Something.

Everyone wins and everyone loses.  The mechanic gets an extra job.  But he loses some of his capitalist capital with the car owner.  The car owner gets a better running car.  But he loses some bucks. Sometimes more than a few.

The failed economic policies of the United States are just like Teddy and your car.  They fix something and immediately, the power of the fixed segment becomes too much for another part of the system to withstand and something else breaks down.

The right has long advocating lower taxes for the “job creating” upper crusties. A good idea.  Except for one part:  that’s not what happens.  What happens is corporations stage wholesale stock buybacks which generally cause a bubble on Wall Street.  When the bubble pops, everyone loses.

But one segment of the economy benefits: Yacht sales.  Create jobs?  Why? We’re getting all this free money and what better to do with it than shuffle papers to increase the appearance of the bottom line and buy mid-size ocean liners so we can cruise all the way from Moote Pointe to Fire Island.

The only jobs that are thus created are people whose lot in life is to say things like “Would m’lady like her drink refreshed?”

Which probably is a little less tiring and slightly better paying than the people whose lot in life is to say “You want fries with that?”

--The president’s proposed so called budget includes a $54 billion increase in military spending, thankfully with better pay and better treatment of veterans. But a lot goes to weaponry for which we have no use.  That’s putting the cart before the horse.

--That $54 billion has to come from somewhere. Reagan, patron saint of the modern mainstream conservative, did it the old fashioned way, he raised taxes. The current president will do it by gutting the budgets of agencies that protect the environment, work to improve the nation’s health and collect taxes.

--In a burst of fairness, the Deep State is developing new technology. Soon it will place a warning MP3 on the phones it taps.  It will say “this call will be monitored or recorded for training purposes.”

--Note to so called Secretary of State Rexxon Exxon. When you decline to talk to the press, you’re declining to answer questions for the American people.  This is the USA, not USA, LLP where you can get away without filing information.

-“                               ”--Secretary of State Rexxon Exxon answering a question about… anything.

-When you finally get customer service on the phone, start the conversation by saying “this call will be monitored or recorded” and see how Bombay Bobby and Milly Manila on the other end of the line react.

I’m Wes Richards. My opinions are my own but you’re welcome to them. ®
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© WJR 2017

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