We live in a world gone mad on stimulus. From “five hour energy drinks” to natural male enhance, from bodily augmentation to three dimensional television, there is little left in our daily lives that is not, well, “stimulated.”
It should come as no surprise, then, that once the economy hit the fan, Bush and Obama would both choose Keynesian “stimulus” over that vanilla-plain Hayekian approach. We could have it no other way. If any people on Earth could be said to burn the candle at both ends and still curse the darkness, it is us. Wait out the business cycle? Forget about it!! We want action! When do we want it?? Now!!!
Whether or not you agree with the Tea Party, one thing is certain: when socialism comes/came to America, it will be so much more interesting than those European fuddy-duddies could ever imagine. After all, we could have it no other way.
You see, when Europeans think of socialism, they imagine themselves on one endless vacation, perhaps sipping café au laits, all the while noshing on artisan breads and preserves in front of the balustrade of (what we are told is) a very old building.
Now, I don’t know about you, but in this country, when we talk of socialism, the coffee-sippers are completely out of luck. We throw our money at banks and the stock-market in the good old U.S. of A. The Europeans can have their vacations and coffee, we want our portfolios, our dividends, and our home valuations. The Europeans are too free-thinking for us: we are paranoid quantoids to the core.
The problem with all this stimulation, of course, is the morning or weeks or years after. While rising stock portfolios are certainly more exciting than sipping strange coffees in front of old castles, is it any more prudent in the long run? As any over-stimulated American should know: after the caffeine/sugar/HGH/Botox/Viagara/steroids rush comes the crash. And as any elementary student can tell you, what goes up must come down.
With the Europeans, they at least know what to expect: they will continue sipping coffee on vacation. Think about it: when was the last time you saw a travel show about Europe where the streets were empty because everyone was at work? At least there is continuity in expectations on their end of the pond.
Here in America, however, our economic distortions give us the temporary illusions of economic recovery. Sweetie, should we get that new car and hey what about sending Johnny to that nice school? Your guess is certainly as good as mine. I have long given up the illusion that the spread of economic literacy would get us out of our current mess or any future mess for that matter. I now believe we would best improve our lot by studying surf-boarding, so as to learn how best to ride the waves and corresponding crashes our economic masters believe we must have. Well, don’t just sit there: pass the energy drinks and, of course, “surf’s up.”