Recession–the good side of it

Recession–the good side of it

By Ed Henry

Three hundred and twenty telemarketers are being laid off in my city. Hooray! Maybe politicians will stop begging for contributions. Maybe teachers and government employees will start questioning those dues they pay unions, realizing that the money would buy another hamburger and that their employers (the public) weren’t the problem after all. It was the management they supported in their cult politics. Let’s hope.

American manufacturers and others have been leading the way to more tropical climates for decades. At least, there should be plenty of English-speaking people in these temperate zones of the world by now. And plenty of good old Catholic suffering too. Maybe, you can help build some churches of gold and kidnap some wealthy company executives to hold for ransom. Look for work under the “national interests” section of government publications.

If you’re in the defense industry somewhere, anywhere, you probably will not have a problem. War, police action, and paranoia are good for the economy, especially when that’s the only major industry left in town. Try to get a job with whomever is in on building weapons of mass destruction or Star Wars devices. Start a union. Be an organizer. Or get injured on the job.

If you are young enough, and a good video game player, join the armed services, where you can be all that you can be. Enjoy the opportunity to sink some Japanese fishing boats, knock down some Italian ski-lifts, blow up some Chinese embassies or bridges in Kosovo, or shoot down some civilian airliners dumb enough to attack your battleship in the Persian Gulf. Show the world who has the ability to handle weapons of mass destruction.

If you’re good looking, can speak without a lisp, have good or contact lens-correctable eyesight, and can read a monitor without being obvious about it, then join the AOL/CNN/Time-Warner mega-monopoly on spin story television. You, too, can become a national personality spewing out trivia and propaganda somebody else writes, or if you’re really good, maybe give your own opinions in a talk-over hen-house discussion with others just like yourself and guests from the oligarchy. You will get to say things like “it’s the economy, stupid” or “Alan Greenspeak sitteth at the right hand of God.”

If you don’t fit any of these categories, join the government at any level. Of course, the higher you go, the better the perks. Most have pension plans rewarding you with as much as eight-to-one in matching contributions from tax dollars. Get in on the federal level, and you can enjoy all sorts of perks, including a Thrift Savings Plan that plays the stock and municipal or government bond markets with even more matching funds, and you can switch between investment choices at will. You will never need to worry about insurance of any kind. You will have medical, dental, life insurance, and even gift accounts coming from all directions. The only drawback is that you may have to live in or near the District of Corruption where pie-in-the-sky is the main item at restaurants, and no one has to step into the real world much beyond Arlington, Va. or Baltimore, Maryland.

If you’re just an ordinary working stiff, fortunate enough not to be laid off or forced into early retirement, then I’m afraid you’re out of luck. The rest of the nation is depending on you to keep working, keep sending in 15.3 percent of your payroll to support the retired, disabled, health care costs and prescription drugs, along with annual income tax payments for your bracket. You are expected to work longer for the federal government than serfs worked for their feudal lords each year. And I’m afraid you will have to pay the winter crops to utility companies. If you succeed, the government will take credit for a strong and booming economy. If you fail, it’s your fault. But don’t worry, the government will take care of you. Soon, they will stop bragging about the hundreds of billions they’re receiving in surplus and the trillions to come shortly. They may even give you a tax break that will help in 13 months or so. Hang on. Don’t give up. Help is coming. Alan Greenspeak told me so.

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