The Only Thing We Have to Fear…

By January 22, 2008Economy

Inspirational grousing from James Lileks, anticipating today’s multifold mongering.

I don’t look forward to today. Plunging markets, trading brakes, B roll footage of traders shouting on the floor of the Stock Exchange, top-of-the-hour radio news with the newsreaders using their Important Concern inflection because God forbid the story should speak for itself. Then tomorrow there will be an editorial cartoon that has someone selling apples. Panic. Stupid, useless snowballing hysteria. I’m not worried about the economy at this point; I’m worried what people will do save it. Rebates! Oh, that’s grand. Nothing restores fundamental consumer confidence like shoving money in their hands and yelling SPEND IT! SPEND IT NOW! ON ANYTHING! THROW PILLOWS! STEEPLY DISCOUNTED HD-DVD PLAYERS! BLOWN-GLASS GEEGAWS! TRAILER HITCHES! BUCKETS OF PICKLES! IT DOESN’T MATTER! Or you could tax everyone more so they feel poorer, so they spend less, then wonder why retail sales are down, commercial property is soft, and business tax receipts have cratered.

Just leave it all alone, please. It’s like a cold. You can put it off and cover it up but you’re going to have three miserable shuddering days of congestion and hacking no matter what you do. Unless you take zinc, of course.

That’s it! Spray the markets with zinc!

With historical lessons from 1948. Plus George Olsen, “Doin’ the Raccoon.”

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