Who called economics the “dismal science?” A science, it’s not. Pretty dismal, it is.
Americans will foot the bill for Fannie Mae and the other Fannie, or is it Freddy, semi-private though government guaranteed operations to the tune—guesstimates have it–of 200 billion bucks, or about 625 bucks per American citizen.
Then the government for–who knows what reasons–refuses to bail out Lehman Brothers—no reason of course that they should—and the stock market drops bingo 500 points.
Then the government—whoever this government might be—decides to bail out AIG, because AIG is not an investment bank, but an insurer of such things as investment banks.
Many middle class people put money in AIG; it was considered rock solid. They are now looking into a hole. As one commentator on CNN put it, in a quite cavalier tone I thought, well the collapse of the market may mean for those close to retirement having to work 10 or 20 years more than they had thought they would. That depends of course on whether they still can have a job (what with firms laying off older people left and right cause they cost more); and for some that will mean working till the day they drop face down on that MacDonald’s hamburger grill.
But for young people, about 25 say, this is a good time. As a commentator put it, there’s blood in the water, so buy, buy, and buy. If you are young, you will have the ten or twenty years necessary for those stocks to turn around. I am not so sure things are going to turn around myself, and how many young people out there have money to invest? I wonder. When, it appears, half of the recent graduating class—just this last spring—will be going back to live with mom and dad because they simply can’t make it on their own especially with all those student loans to pay off.
Oh, excuse me, did I say McDonald’s hamburger grill? I was surprised to learn that MacDonald’s no longer sells Big Mac hamburgers. Why, no, they sell the Big Mac Sandwich. How a hamburger becomes a Sandwich I don’t know. In my mind’s eye, a bunch of hamburger between two pieces of white bread might qualify technically as a sandwich, but it would be a pretty bad hamburger. Of course sandwich—associated with such things as tuna (as in tuna sandwich)–sounds better than hamburger.
And the FDA (a virtual lobby for the drug industry) is about to approve the sale of genetically modified meat. One example. The placement of a cow gene in pigs to make the pigs grow more quickly. And when we eat it we will have not idea where it came from.
I wonder how the pigs feel about this.