A Politician, a Banker, and a Multinational Corporate CEO Walk into a Bar

We have a weird set of bedfellows running America. Without contemplating each other’s impact, our politicians, bankers, and multinational corporations (MNCs) nonetheless combine their efforts to make a mess of our country.

[ A politician, a banker, and a multinational corporate CEO walk into a bar. The politician closes down the bar for regulation violations and sends the crowd packing. On their way out the door, the patrons hand their wallets to the politician who gives them to the banker who lends them to the CEO who uses them to buy the bar and send it over to China. ]

Our politicians attempt to make our world brighter by passing regulations that add social costs of production to the cost of our local businesses’ products. Yet, they turn a blind eye to other nations’ lack of regulation that similarly pollutes the world while providing their industries a regulatory subsidy against American competition. MNCs then arbitrage lower foreign regulatory and labor costs to bring lower priced finished goods back to America for sale.

Rather than construct level playing fields, our politicians pander their votes to bankers and MNCs, providing one sided regulations and free trade legislation that subsequently reduces demand for American workers. Not deterred by America’s rising level of structural unemployment, they then pass extended unemployment benefits to pacify the electorate, refuse to raise taxes to cover the consequential damages, and instead ask the Fed to print money.

Our Federal Reserve has dutifully printed money for our politicians for decades knowing that one day it might have to print money for itself. That day came and the Fed helped itself to a whopping 2 trillion dollars of self help money creation. The Fed now stodgily claims that two trillion in quantitative easing will not affect the value of the dollar. Armed with economists to defend its actions, the Fed claims that the economy will grow as the result of QE 1 and 2, requiring more money for more transactions, that the Fed has means to reduce the growth in spending and tools to offset an expansionary increase if necessary, that because of heightened instability in the world market, QE 1 and 2 are being held abroad as reserve assets and thus will not impact price levels, and that it can easily remove any excess supply of money if its QE efforts have overshot.

[ In that same bar sat an Indian, a Chinese National and a West African sipping economic Coca Colas, as was their usual custom. To keep their economy colas cooled from unexpectedly overheating every time the Fed ran into the bar with a teapot of steaming hot water and forced them to take a shot of inflationary devaluation, they kept a few ice cubes of reserve currency on hand. This day, however, was different.

The Fed drove up to the bar in a dump truck filled with steaming hot quantitative easing, forced the three countrymen to place their colas at the rear of the truck, quickly lifted its bed with its sloshing steamy payload directly above the little glasses, opened up the back gate and drowned the colas with a two trillion ton tsunami of worldwide, commodity buying, inflationary steamy hot dollars. The Fed’s two remaining economists who, up to now, were willing to sit publicly in the bar looked sheepishly at each other before quietly removing themselves out the back exit.

An American businessman sat in the bar cheering on the Fed’s hubbub as he chatted with a local barber and a Tunisian barber. He shouted to the two barbers, “Now America will bring back our factories and compete with the world.” He hoped the Fed’s action would devalue the dollar enough that America’s businesses could afford to add value through American labor to globally priced commodities and resell the finished products competitively on the world market.

The Tunisian barber leaned over and quipped to the American barber, “Yes, now you too can come home from cutting hair all day, tend to your chickens and till your garden into the night to feed your family.” Overhearing the Tunisian’s comment, the American businessman wondered if the dollar value actually decreased enough to make American factories competitive, that it perhaps might not be such a good thing for American barber he had just befriended.

The American barber smiled to the businessman and the Tunisian, got up and left the bar in his automobile filled with metals, plastics, rare earth, and oil derivatives, drove to his home beaming with wood, copper, metal appliances, and internet streamed CRTs, cooled by combusted hydrocarbons, reached into his refrigerator and pulled out a relative feast of supermarket distributed, oil grown food commodities for his snack. All the while he was unaware of the coming “QE 1,2,3..n” commodities inflation that would level his playing field down to that of his Tunisian bar buddy. ]

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Filed under American Governance, American Politics, Foreign Policy, Free Trade, Multinational Corporations

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