Huffpost Business
THE BLOG

Featuring fresh takes and real-time analysis from HuffPost's signature lineup of contributors

Jonathan Tasini Headshot

It's Bozo The Clown's Fault, Not The "Free Market"

Posted: Updated:

Yes, to begin, let's posit that a president with the lowest approval rating in the history of polling has no credibility about any subject of importance -- and, in fact, most of the country would like, as David Letterman joked, to let Barack Obama start his new job right away. But, the current president's pronouncements that the "free market" isn't at fault for the financial meltdown -- a position no doubt held by many in government and business -- led me to dig deep, investigate and discover the real culprit: Bozo The Clown.

You see, if the mess that we have endured -- that we, our children and their children -- have lived with for the past few decades and will live with far into the future is not the fault of the so-called "free market", then, it has to be the fault of Bozo The Clown. Only Bozo The Clown could have screwed this up so badly.

Here is what the president said:

"The crisis was not a failure of the free-market system, and the answer is not to try to reinvent that system," Mr. Bush said, in a 24-minute speech at Federal Hall in downtown Manhattan.

He added: "Free-market capitalism is far more than an economic theory. It is the engine of social mobility, the highway to the American dream."

Very helpful.

Now, I get it. The fact that wages have not kept pace with productivity for the past 30 years -- and, if they had, the minimum wage would be $19.12, not $6.55 -- because profits and CEO pay were more important than in fact putting people on the "highway to the American Dream", is not the fault of the "free market".

It's the fault of Bozo The Clown.

The fact that actually our country's economy did better when it was a "closed economy" from 1946 to 1973, in terms of raising living standards, then, it has in the past three decades under the mania to have an "open economy" is not the fault of the "free market".

It's the fault of Bozo The Clown.

The current financial crisis was not the fault of the love of the "free market", which allowed people from Robert Rubin to Alan Greenspan to preach about the wonders of debt and leverage and for companies like the Robert Rubin-lead Citigroup to create the secondary markets for predatory mortgages.

It's the fault of Bozo The Clown.

The reality that, rather than being on the "highway to the American Dream", more than 30 million people have been pushed out of jobs since the early 1980s, and only a third held of those people found new jobs two years later that paid as well as those that were lost, another third found work paying 15 to 20 percent less and the other third just dropped out of the workforce all together -- that isn't the fault of the "free market".

It's the fault of Bozo The Clown.

Executives piled on tens of millions of dollars in compensation and pay, gave themselves stock options worth billions of dollars and arranged for pensions that often equaled more than the combined pensions of the rest of a company's workforce. But, that greed was not the fault of the "free market."

It's the fault of Bozo The Clown.

The idea that hedge fund managers only pay 15 percent tax rates on their income, not the 35 percent other top earners pay, is not the fault of the "free market" and lobbyists who fashion it.

Nope, it's the fault of Bozo The Clown.

And, since everyone, including the president, likes to talk about what the wonders of the "free market" has brought to the rest of the world, the fact that growth in Latin America has basically been nil for the past 25 years, robbing an entire generation and more of a decent living standard, is not the fault of the "free market".

Nope, it's the fault of Bozo The Clown.

And the savings and loan debacle of the 1980s, the wonders of de-regulation of the airline industry, the Internet bubble and now the bursting of the housing bubble, which wiped out trillions of dollars of peoples' savings (either in stocks or their home equity) -- all those are not the fault of the "free market".

Yes, it's the fault of Bozo The Clown.

So, it is Bozo The Clown who should be fired from his job. All the other wizards, business leaders, pundits, economists and political leaders who cheer-led for the "free market" should be re-upped for more service, promoted, encouraged, given Cabinet jobs and higher compensation.

Because they did such a great job.