We’re headed, beyond any doubt whatsoever, for another Great Depression. Hopefully this Great Depression will be even better and greater than the first. And yet, reading Clunkline, you wouldn’t know it. Why? Because the economy is not just impossible to understand—it’s also mind-numbingly boring.
Because of my undying love of politics, I force myself to read about things as amazingly dull as the bailout bill. But I can’t ever bring myself to finish. It’s just too fucking thick. It’s like trying to chew a canvas tent. I can only read about how it influences politics, and I could explain that side to you in great detail. How it will affect the markets? Frankly, I neither know nor care. I know it will affect me in the end, but even my inevitable poverty can’t make me give a shit. I’m already poor and don’t care, why should I start caring now?
Every time I go to a gas station, as I’m filling up, I make sure to loudly declare to the whole station, “Oh, look, it’s the American worker paying at the pump!” Because no matter how true such platitudes are, I find them boring. I’ll remark to my roommate in the exact words of politicians how “I just don’t know how I’m going to afford this month’s energy bills.” (Our landlord pays the utilities.) If caught biting my own fingernails, I will blame the “rising costs of food throughout our nation” and maybe even “corporations that ship jobs overseas.” If I fail a test in school, I blame “unbridled greed on Wall Street”. Have I lost a job because of the recession? Yes, and it has affected me deeply—if you need any evidence, just look at our dipping ad revenues. But that doesn’t excuse the economy, and the way we talk about it, of being boring as fuck.
Civil liberties, torture, checks and balances—these things are interesting. Foreign policy, preemptive war—these hold my attention. I will never cast my vote based on the money that is or is not in my wallet, and it deeply bothers me that nearly all people do. It says that they don’t care about things like privacy rights or war or the encroachment of the Executive branch or anything but their self-interest. Well, we weren’t given the vote to vote for our self-interest. We were given the vote to vote for what is right.
My support for renewable energy has nothing to do with how it will affect me and everything to do with it being necessary for the survival of our species. Americans need to learn to take a stand on principle. If we did, we wouldn’t have to wait for a crisis before we react. Frankly, for the environment and economy, it’s too fucking late. We needed to act thirty years ago. This is not a “verdict on the failed policies of the last eight years.” It is a verdict on the failed ideas and unwavering me-first attitudes of the entire so-called “Greatest Generation” and their vile Baby-Boomer spawn. We Millenials owe these idiots no respect, and we deserve none either unless we can avoid their mistakes.
Unless McCain is elected, and thank God he won’t be, the economy will likely remain unbelievably uninteresting. If he is, however, then he’ll fire people left and right, hire someone new, and fire them again, blame Congress for both action and inaction, declare our fundamentals fundamentally unfundamental, and various other things that might in some way make it exciting to follow financial news. But until that doesn’t happen, you probably won’t read about the economy again here. Probably because you and I will be fighting over scraps.
But I will be fighting disinterestedly.