March 10, 2009

The Economy - Some Lessons Learned

Be forewarned, I am bitter in this post. But, mostly, it sounds more bitter than I really am. In reality, I care much less about any of this than it seems. In truth, I would much rather watch reruns of Law and Order than the news. I just needed a weekly post and this appeared on the paper.


Every time I turn on the news, I hear another horrifying tidbit about our country’s economy and, well, what I really feel like saying is, “Well there rest of the nation, how the fuck does it feel?”


I know, not a popular attitude, but, frankly, the country could take some advice from New Orleans on how to act and what to do when your entire infrastructure collapses and you find yourself without a tax base.


For example, you may find that your home, which you had methodically and rationally(?) invested the bulk of your money in, is now worth mere pennies on the dollar. Yes, we  New Orleanians know how that feels. My house didn’t flood and we rejoiced in that tidbit of information for all of 30 seconds before we realized that we were now saddled with an unflooded yet unsellable house in a burned out, bottomed out, flooded city. Gee Maw, aren’t we lucky?


Additionally, you may find that although you have not lost your house or your job, that perhaps every other household on your block is facing foreclosure and maybe even there are some abandoned houses on your block. I know how you feel. The house across the street from me has been empty and abandoned since the hurricane. Yes, directly across the street from me is a blighted property and it has been there since 2005. Cats use the house as a giant den of iniquity and as a humongous liter box. The owner, who has relocated to Dallas, comes in occasionally to sit on the front porch and talk about how one day he will come back. But, he had no insurance and I doubt he will ever come back. Besides, he is awestruck by the level of competency he sees in TX government. Really, can you blame him? He lived here his whole life destitute and futureless. Now, after 3 years in Texas, he is practically J.R. Ewing.


You may also find that with foreclosures on the rise, there will be no property tax base to fund your public school system. Well, who better that New Orleans to tell you how to get by with a sub-par education system? Simply invest those dollars in cleaning the French Quarter and then pretend like the murder rate skyrocketing is just something completely and totally unrelated and unimportant. It seems to be working fine here in New Orleans and you could practically eat off of Bourbon Street. Perhaps, and this is just a modest proposal, we should just eat the poorly educated youth? Just a thought.


Finally, as the times get rougher, you may find yourself drowning in fear, anxiety and depression. As your friends and loved ones come unhinged around you and, despite the pain, life continues to go on and people die and children are born, you will, without a doubt, begin to turn on your spouse. He or she will be the closest person to you and therefore the one to take the brunt of your fear and anger. The mounting pressure of unpaid bills, uncertain futures, and sheer terror at the prospect of how you will go on will add fuel to the fire.


This is when you and your spouse need to find a common enemy. This is very important so don’t rush this step. Make sure you choose someone you both despise (for example,  the neighbor across the street who won’t come back and deal with his blighted property) and then spend countless hours detailing how you would exact revenge if you weren’t so completely drained and void of all energy and emotion. For instance, you might fantasize that you would throw a Molotov cocktail through the window of the place or maybe plant drugs in the house and call the DEA? Or, maybe you would just shake your fist and snarl at the man every time he comes in to visit his own personal addition to the decline of a major and celebrated historical city?


If all else fails and you still find yourself struggling to wrap your tired brain around all of this seemingly nonsensical economical blah, then that is when you take your cue from New Orleans – have your governor turn down federal dollars on principle. What better way to say “fuck you” to the remaining battered citizens of New Orleans?



1 comment:

Laura Ferry-Jimenez said...

very few can make me laugh out loud! congrats and sorry it was at the expense of your bitterness!!! haha.