There is a moment early in 1967's Bonnie and Clyde when the eponymous characters introduce themselves to some dispossessed farmers: "This here's Miss Bonnie Parker. I'm Clyde Barrow. We rob banks." This declaration becomes a point of pride as the photogenic bandits are transformed into folk heroes and champions of the poor, shooting and laughing their way across the midwest accompanied by "Foggy Mountain Breakdown" on the soundtrack and dying in a hail of cinematographically lyrical gunfire.
Clearly, this is an attitude we need today more than ever: Americans unafraid to stand up for what is right, even though it flies in the face of "the law." Since pundits continue to draw comparisons between the present economic climate and that of the 1930s, then we need to inspire a new breed of populist criminals to stand up for all of us, in the time-honored tradition of Bonnie and Clyde, John Dillinger, and Pretty Boy Floyd. In short, we need people to immediately plan and execute a series of daring, high-profile bank robberies across the country, in order to remind government officials that its institutions are answerable to us.
The immediate result of this, of course, will be a reminder to Washington that it's our money in the banking system, our money which is being used to bail out that system, and our money to take as/when we see fit. But, this is about much more than that. A rash of well-planned, dramatic robberies will restore banks to their rightful position as the number one symbol of monolithic power in this country, a symbol that can easily afford to suffer occasional attacks and is no worse for wear as a result. It will enable Americans to once again fear banks, not fear for them.
It will also enable the new recession-bred criminals to really test their ingenuity that our President consistently extols while allowing all Americans to target their frustration and anger into something positive for a change, as they live vicariously through the actions of those daring, scrappy citizens unafraid to take on the banks in the name of all of us. And imagine the thrill that families can share as they revel in the exploits of a new generation of criminals! (Colorful monikers will help, like the Fed Up Gang, or Geithner's Eleven.)
1. Americans will mind the bailouts less because, via robberies, they will know their money is going directly to other Americans just like them. And once more people get in on the act and more robberies occur, the more Americans will be able to directly share in the fruits of the economic recovery until bank robberies and subsequent bailouts become just a slightly more lengthy withdrawal process.
2. As there are more bank robberies and more people are put to work robbing banks, so more money will also be spent on law enforcement to capture those criminals robbing banks, creating a brand new cycle of spending that will further stimulate the economy.
3. As there are more bank robberies and more money is spent on law enforcement, there will be an increased number of news stories dedicated not only to the robberies but to the new heroes of these future crime waves. Failing newspapers will be able to get back in the game with specific coverage of hometown robbers-turned-heroes that only local papers can supply, thus saving and even creating thousands of jobs.
For those of you individuals unsure about embracing this righteous criminal life, think of how your actions will rejuvenate the spirit and financial stability of our country. Better yet, consider the words of Miss Bonnie Parker herself, from her poem, "The Ballad of Bonnie and Clyde":
From heartbreak some people have suffered
From weariness some people have died
But all in all, out troubles are small
'Til we get like Bonnie and Clyde.
The time has come to put an end to our national heartbreak and weariness. Get like Bonnie and Clyde. They would have wanted it this way.