Once again, it's time for dull, ordinary citizens to ask Professor Recession questions about the current fiscal climate, money problems, and other matters concerning their dull, ordinary lives. (Note: Professor Recession is not a real professor but he exudes a scholarly air and confidence that are far more valuable than any "academic ranking" or "knowledge.")
Professor Recession: Is it more important for the government to concentrate on immediately stimulating the economy through massive spending or to establish long-term repairs to our economic infrastructure and prevent a possible depression? - Octavius Huthramm, New Canaan, Connecticut
Octavius, neither approach will work. What is needed is a classic policy of deterrence, or Mutual Assured Destructive Economy (MADE), which will delight liberals and conservatives equally. First, taxes are raised through the roof. Second, Congress passes a series of sweeping economic aid packages amounting to roughly 100 trillion, buh-zillion dollars. Third, the money is collected but not one penny of it is spent to stimulate the economy because that's what a depression wants us to do. The mere threat that the money could be spent is enough to convince a depression that it is in its best interest not to strike.
Professor Recession: As the stock market crisis continues, how can we prepare for the future? - Marlene McMacamac, Titusville, Florida
With common sense and a can-do spirit, that's how, Marlene! Beginning at the age of ten, an average American working nine or ten jobs in Mexico or Newfoundland for 50 years will be able to easily amass almost eight percent of what they make from current salaries in this country. (This figure assumes that an average American sleeps every other year.)
Professor Recession: I am 55 years old. Half of my savings was wiped out in 2008 and I have been laid off along with most of my friends. I had planned to retire at 60. How can I afford to do that now? - Bruce Tummler, North Platte, Nebraska
Bruce: You can do it if you stop whining and learn to trade down. For example, instead of living in a two-bedroom apartment, move into a Habitrail or inside a goat's stomach. Also, as people stubbornly continue to grow old in this country, it is clear that an age cap of 62 must be established, followed by voluntary suicide, stoning, or local firing squads to provide instant relief from economic problems and an example to others of what real sacrifice entails. Soon, death will become a cherished, eagerly anticipated social event and the nutrients from older persons' bodies easily extracted and used to feed the younger generations, thus continuing the circle of life in a most profound and beautiful way. Younger people should also be part of the solution and, following the example of the California mother and her octuplets, be encouraged to give birth to an endless supply of babies which can be sent to farms and raised as food or harvested for organs. So--you've got seven years to go, Bruce. Live it up!
Professor Recession: If I save all of my piggy bank money, will I be able to go to college? - Timmy Tuberoff, Mount Airy, North Carolina
Timmy, I have discussed this with your parents and all the money in the world will not help--you're simply not college material, unlike your smarter, athletically gifted brother Tommy. Trust Professor Recession on this one. And if I see you anywhere at my college, I will have you forcibly removed.**
Professor Recession: If the global financial disaster worsens along with shrinking tax revenues, our inability to pay down the debt, decreased sales of goods in foreign markets, and an unending reliance on borrowed money, will there be a need to reexamine the basic tenets of capitalism and the connection between free enterprise and our government? - Lowell S. Tellster, Plainview, Texas
Congratulations, Lowell! For being Professor Recession's 1000th question-asker, you will receive a free T-shirt with "I Asked Professor Recession a Quession" on it to wear or display on the car dashboard of your choice. Please send a self-addressed stamped envelope to Professor Recession, P.O. Box 35678, Ramsworth, California. Include $175.00 for postage, shipping, and handling.
Professor Recession: Am I pretty? - Kelly Fortrent, San Aselmo, California
No, Kelly. No, you are not.
Professor Recession: Why do the already insanely overpaid heads of major corporations continue to get huge bonuses for their gross incompetence and their culpability in this economic fiasco? - Angelo Rudelo, Asbury Park, New Jersey
Dear, dear, Angelo--because rich people are better than you and everything they do is correct. Their superiority is reflected by their awesome wealth and the more they flaunt their status, the more dull, ordinary citizens like you are alerted to this fact. Remember: If they aren't superior, how come they're so wealthy? Think about it. I know I have.
** Professor Recession is not affiliated with any college or institute of higher learning