Change. Hope. A sassy, no-nonsense demeanor that gets the job done. All qualities exhibited by Tony Danza on Who's The Boss. And, somewhat less importantly, by our President elect, Barack Obama.
What's that crazy Italian up to now? Why, Mr. Obama is planning a massive economic stimulus package, the largest amount of money spent on the American infrastructure since Eisenhower bought the U.S. highway system from the French (known at the time as "Ike’s folly").
As someone who plans to live well into his forties, I'm a huge proponent of using green technologies as a way to put Americans to work. Just seems like good sense, as long as the Russians appear bent on keeping our nuclear weapons manufacturing sector limp and lifeless.
But I've got to say I'm baffled by the amount of money being discussed here. While Barack hasn't come up with an official number, Congress has estimated the package will be around 600 billion dollars. That's a lot of Jack In The Box tacos, my friends. About 1.2 trillion, by my count. Which, coincidentally, is how large the national deficit is (in money, not tacos).
But Obama is unfazed. Just like the nation seemed relatively unfazed when we spent a similar amount on bailing out Wall Street. Just like people are now talking about bailing out the auto makers. Which brings me to my question:
When did money become imaginary?
I know we’ve been headed this way ever since we went off the gold standard, but I seem to have missed the actual point at which the number of zeros on a check lost all real world significance.
I think it has something to do with “borrowing from the future,” which, if true, sounds like a great idea to me. After all,
I’m not in the future, and don’t plan to ever be, barring a major breakthrough with my LSD-powered time-mo-gig (patent pending).
So, Mr. Obama (I feel I can safely assume you’re reading this, since your last Youtube address was stolen verbatim from my article on Lindsay Lohan’s gooch and funbags), I’d like to use my superior brain to point out some things we ought to be buying with our imaginary money.
More Spaceships: For decades, NASA has plodded along at a snail’s pace thanks to the exorbitant cost of science molecules. Let’s give them the 90 hojillion dollar shot in the arm they need to get us out there colonizing planets and enslaving alien peoples. After all, when this “save the Earth” thing goes down in flames, we’re going to need a nice terraformed place to put our stuff and/or selves.
Food For Everyone: While we’re at it, let’s get this “starving people” thing out of the way. Frankly, it’s an embarrassment that we could clear up with a well-placed order of 6 maximillian dollars’ worth of Costco pre-packaged microwaveable meals.
Houses: Whether you blame Clinton, Bush, or poor people, we all agree that the housing market is on the fritz. Nothing a 16 brazilian dollar stimulus package can’t fix. Plus we get to say “stimulus package” on the news more, which I find hilarious.
Guitars That Are Able To Be Played In Space: This primarily regards my previous suggestion about aggressively colonizing our solar system. We’re going to need some music out there in The Black, so I think it’s high time we invested, say, 1.4 nathanfillion dollars on space guitar technology. I know some of you might be thinking, “but Michael, don’t normal electric guitars already work in space?” And to you I say “do we really want to take that chance?” Besides, if it turns out I’m wrong—highly unlikely—we can invest the money in making the guitars more space-friendly…put some star stickers on there, maybe some glow in the dark stuff. I think you know what I’m talking about.
Battle Bots: No, not the TV show; that’s stupid. I’m talking about actual robot soldiers. We’re the most highly evolved species on the planet, it’s about time we stopped driving hunks of metal into each other at high velocities. It’s just rude. A small seed investment of 6 megecredits (or even 5.8) would go a long way towards developing battlebot technology. And just think of the televised entertainment revenue! Which reminds me--
The Show Battle Bots: Come to think of it, it was a pretty decent show. Outlaw that wedge bullshit and we’ve got a viable franchise.
If you’d like to order something with our vast build-up of imaginary funds, feel free to post a note to President elect Obama in the comments, which he reads religiously. But please note, these are not imaginary items, just items of possibly infinite cost.
The man’s not a genie for God’s sake.
When not solving world financial crises, Michael serves as head writer and co-founder of Those Aren't Muskets!