The Economy is Stupid


James Carville helped Bill Clinton to the presidency in 1992 by declaring, “It’s the Economy, stupid,” but I think it’s time to declare simply, that the Economy is stupid. A senseless, brainless thing of shreds and patches…a MacGuffin*.

I’m not talking political wisdom here, I’m talking about perfectly good human beings overcounting things like jobs, lumber and beach visits so they can feel good about themselves.

“The Economy will expand and then it will contract, and then it will go shopping at Lowe’s.”

What I want to know is whatever happened to humans? They went from free individuals to counting beans. And now all the bean-counters have the rest of us by the balls, and since bean-counters have no balls to begin with, they’re in no danger of losing them. Time for an extreme left turn.

Have you noticed that every news story out there talks about how it will affect the economy? And it is spoken with some sense of gravity. Like the Economy has a broken hip and may not survive without assisted living.

“Murders Down, Homicides Up, Key Economic Indicators a Factor”, “Parents Protest as Fed Rates Economy PG-13”, “Girl Found Mauled by Wolf at Grandma’s House, Economy Suffers.”

Is this human nature? Or Capitalism, or both? Did the Romans say, “Oh too bad the Christians are dying so fast but it sure is good for the Economy.” I hope not. I hope they had something better to do with their time. I wish we did. Because every time you’d rather talk about the Economy you’re ignoring human beings. That’s right your wonderful neighbors who you SAY you like, who you SAY if you could only get together we could solve global warming or at least picket Dunkin Donuts for better coffee. That’s right, those neighbors. Amazing how amnesia sets in when you’d rather not face your own shit. But you have no problem talking about the Economy until the cows come home and the Sherpas fall asleep.

In fact, and arrogance aside this is a truth so I hope you’re listening, it’s those same neighbors who are your salvation. How is that possible you ask? Because your positive vibes affect their positive vibes and vice versa. How could they not, they live next door! And let me tell you, vibes are vibes–they have nothing to do with the Economy. Unless you buy your neighbor a gift, which 54.9% of neighbors do in Wisconsin, thereby creating 4,200 jobs and adding 1.2 million to the local economy. But forget about the gift, it should be homemade anyway, some baked goods, or a duck tape wallet for which you need tape, exacto knives and cutting boards, creating 2,150 jobs and adding $800,000 to the local economy. Shit. Now I can’t get out of this loop. Can someone help me out of this loop? What I’m trying to say is do something for your neighbor. If they’re happy, you are more than likely to be happy. Plus they have a nicer house than you do, so maybe it’s time for a little trip to Bed Bath and Beyond…more spending, more hiring…oh shit.

Since we seem fascinated by counting things, someone tried to move our cheese. They had the bright idea to create a Happiness Index so we could all judge just how happy we are, not by dollars, but by our spot on the index. But don’t you see that if you seek for your happiness outside of yourself, what if you’re Greek? Greece is in last place! If you’re Greek and you subscribe to this index, you’re screwed! You’ve bought into Happiness Index Syndrome! Which could be worse than Economy Syndrome. (Greek pharmeceutical firms should be having a field day. Expect Drachma-zac to be a big seller.)

And if you’re from Thailand (first place), you get to look down at your unhappy fellow nations and gloat. Their Economy may suck, but they’re happy about it. See? Wasn’t that easy?

The Economy is really just one more sign that we are looking outside of ourselves. That modern philosopher Alfred Hitchcock said, “If I won’t be myself, who will?”** The story of you is one incredible, unbelievable, head-smacking yarn that starts with the Big Bang and goes right through that box of Cheezits you shouldn’t have eaten. Awesome!

So next time someone tells you to go shopping to help the Economy, tell them shopping is for losers. No stuff you could possibly buy is as transcendent as the stuff inside your beautifu soul. That’s what counts.

*Alfred Hitchcock’s term for a plot device in a story that is only important in getting the story going, but ultimately completely unimportant to the plot.

**Although he also said “The length of a film should be directly related to the endurance of the human bladder,” so take this with a grain of popcorn.