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The good news for economy â I use the word in its old, perhaps archaic, sense â keeps on coming, but we are told the current âeconomicâ crisis is a tragedy for the nationâs living standards. Far from it. First of all, letâs define economy. What we are hopefully entering is a period of real economy, which means conserving, scaling down, simplifying, saving, spending prudently and wisely and only for the things that one needs. A decent meal of greens and simple protein (I suggest beans and rice and spinach), good drink (Budweiser works wonders), clothes and shoes that last and can be mended for the long haul (try old military surplus and paratrooper boots), shelter that is modest and affordable but functional and not a credit scam. Having a beautiful wife or girlfriend who doesnât like to wear clothing also helps.
But everywhere the consensus trance holds that a slow-down of consumption signals the End Time, the shuttering of hope, chance, freedom. Look no further than how the New York Times spins it from the usual gibberishing oracles: âThe last few days have devastated the American consumer,â says retail consultant Walter Loeb. Americans, avers Loeb, âall feel poor.â Really? So too we are meant to believe that âwhen consumers get concerned aboutâŠtheir country, they need entertainment,â per the wisdom of the Entertainment Merchants Association. So too is it âamazing how much even these 10-year-old girls are aware that something is going on,â the chairman and chief executive of Tween Brands tells us, who has been traveling the country to âlisten to moms and little girls.â And what does the CEO hear? âMom is saying, âI canât afford that.ââ
Tragic, darkness at noon, a nightmare I tell you. The reporters in the mainstream press, as dimly discerning as dreamers who know nothing but the dream from which they refuse to awake, escort us through the envisaged circles of hell of this âunaffordableâ world. The benefits of the descent are manifold but tacitly unrecognized: the malls no longer trap rats with credit cards, the casinos no longer suck blood from the arms of degenerates, the lousy restaurants no longer make you nauseous for $100 a plate (gasp â the Times reports that the ungrateful citizens are eating at home!), the retailers no longer ask you to throw away perfectly good shoes, the jewelers no longer sell to serious adults the silly shiny trinkets meant for the pleasure of cretins, the auto dealerships no longer peddle cars half as efficient as last yearâs model, the cellphone hawkers no longer sell the I3869Zed Super-Iphone to burn out the brains and tire the ears, the home builders no longer slap-dab junk homes in exurban fields meant for farms that can sustain something we once called the future.
Nor, according to the New York Times, will the new blah-blah Super-Blah be available, because of the contracting âeconomy,â and the other new blahs from Blah Inc., and many other new blahs that Blah Investments recommends â because the consumer just wonât make the penny scream, wonât play the game. The game, of course, is predicated on being an infantilized weirdo, a grasping entitled half-fetus on two legs with a college degree crying âawn it awn itâ from inside the womb of cash, cycling through the drooled suggestions of the marketeers as if our âfreedomâ depends on how much money we can waste rather than how much we need to survive.
Like I said, recession is all good news, and not just for our brains and souls, but for the planet and the real chance for Americans to survive in some kind of non-debased, non-infantilized, non-crap-inundated form â a race of fully matured and, dare I say, noble creatures. Every time I hear the New York Times lamenting that the average American refuses to open his billfold for bullshit, I envision less metal in the junkyard, less garbage in the scow, less forest turned into the Times, less pollution in the skies and water, less stupidity in the shape of owning more. I also envision a resurgence of cobblers mending the soles of shoes â cobblers who I canât seem to find anymore in these fair United States to fix up my boots.
If itâs true that consumer spending now accounts for two-thirds of the American âeconomyâ â god help us â then thereâs nothing economic about it, as defined above. In other words, if it doesnât economize, then the âeconomyâ is not worth maintaining.
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