Sunday, July 13, 2008

Economic Prozac Wanted

It turns out the receding economy is just some paranoid delusion. It's all in my head. Worse yet, it's in everybody else's head, too, except Phil Gramm's and John McCains's, which are too full of something else to make room.

I should have recognized this sooner. After all, back in the 70s I wore a "Whip Inflation Now" button and determined to employ all the grit and positive thinking I could to get inflation, which was just a delusion we were all carzily acting on, to come down. That was President Ford's program, the WIN button. President Carter told us we were in a "malaise" and needed to snap out of it. President Reagan declared that it was "morning in America", and not the kind where you have a massive hangover, and certainly not a Monday morning. The Reagan "administration", which I'm no longer sure actually happened, beat inflation by, and this was pure genius, changing how it was calculated. Inflation too high? Not to worry. We'll stop counting food and energy where a lot of price instability seems to happen. That way we can decrease those pesky COLAs and take credit for curing America of its inflation delusion.

Unfortunately, we were hit with a savings and loan crisis delusion and started imagining that banks were failing and would have to be bailed out by taxpayers. And we began to worry about "deficits" and how they were dragging down the economy. Pretty soon, we were all deluded again into thinking the economy was bad. GHW Bush tried to help us by denying it was so and proving it by buying some socks on TV. It took President Clinton to bring us around, except he made us "irrationally exuberant". It was hard to come down from that high.

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