Thursday, June 26, 2003

Voodoo economics 101

I had a good night tonight, basically went out on a date with Anne-Marie. Dinner and a movie, talk of the future... we are getting ready to buy a house, since yesterday's interest rate cuts mean there has never been a better time to buy since 1958. The prime rate is now 1%... there's only so much lower it can go before lenders are unable to make any money, which means they won't lend... and then the housing market will collapse.

I remember when Reagan did the same fucking thing... I have memories of news reports where they were bulldozing acres of half-completed homes, because the funding was no longer in place to complete construction. Hrmmm... first Reagan starts playing fast and loose with tax cuts, and the economy tanks.... then Emperor Bush the First does the same, and fucking hell if the economy doesn't tank again. Lots of rich people (mostly Bush's cronies) got richer, but the Average Citizen got shafted. Bush the First tried to distract us all with a war, but he made the mistake of ending it too soon, so people had a chance to actually re-engage their brains before the election, and he got the boot.

Clinton came into office, and things were actually pretty good for the commoners for awhile, except for the ones who were apoplectic over the fact that he was getting more white-trash lovin' than they were. The nation as a whole got out of debt, the economy really boomed, perhaps even unhealthily, as stock indexes rose off the charts. The rich kept getting richer, but the non-rich also made out pretty well for awhile there too.

Now we have Bush the Lesser, and to his credit he is avoiding some of his father's mistakes: first, he just doesn't give a fuck what the voters have to say, so the concept of re-election is probably as much of a non-issue as his first 'election'... after all, if things don't go his way he can probably get his daddy's friends in the Supreme Court to hand him the next election too. And he's avoiding the problem of ending the war too soon by being very fucking vague about just who the hell we will be bombing next week... is it Syria? Iran? Los Angeles? He's pretty secure in the knowledge that the majority of flag-waving fucktards in this country that can't tell the difference between a war and a football game will continue to shout 'hooray for our side' even if they have no idea what the issues (if there even are any issues) really are.

Does anyone see a trend here? Every time we get a Republican president, we get economic turmoil and war, but patriotism soars. Maybe we are getting the presidents we deserve. Is this the trade-off that the majority of Americans are willing to accept? You can be 'Proud to be an American' (whatever the fuck that means), but you'll pay for it.

Whatever... being unemployed, any of Bush the Lesser's magic tax cuts won't affect me (they are mostly for his rich buddies anyway). If he wants to fuck the country over for short-term gain for his daddy's cronies, he should go for it... at the very least they deserve the reward for handing him the election.

The only bright spot for me is that we can pick up a home for pretty damn cheap right now. Mortgage rates are around 4% today, and might get even better.

Are you thinking of traveling outside of the US soon? This guy (link busted) has a t-shirt for sale that says, in the seven official languages of the UN, "I'm sorry my president is an idiot. I didn't vote for him". It's the 'American Traveler International Apology Shirt'. Be sure to get one if you dare to leave the country. On the other hand, maybe you shouldn't leave the country, since at this point in time US soil is just about the only place on the planet where you can be safe from America's foreign policy. Of course, domestic policy is getting pretty draconian too, so it's a toss-up. Good fucking luck, whatever you decide. Me, I'm going to hunker down in my newly bought home and eye my neighbors suspiciously.