Strange Brouhaha

Sunday, March 20, 2005

And It's A Total Disaster (But Angelina Jolie Isn't)

Remember how it was fashionable a while back to point out that George Bush was our first president with an MBA?

In this brilliant essay, Stirling Newberry shows exactly how Bush is treating Social Security the way the cowboys of the business world treat our livelihoods: like a cash cow. He maps out CEO Bush's all-too-typical shenanigans with America Incorporated--first, a hostile takeover (Iraq). Whoops, that didn't pan out (aka deliver massive short term cash flow). Next, a leveraged buyout (Social Security). Surely, thinks CEO Bush, *that* will break open the pretty piggy bank. Meanwhile, he's borrowing money hand over fist. If the United States was a person, nobody would lend them any more money; they're too busy paying off what they've already borrowed.

Can I just remind everyone that this has all happened *in the last five years*? We used to have a surplus, people. And a very short time ago. Now, we're sitting on the international street corner going "Spare change? Spare change? Spare change?"

Anyhow, the hostile takeover having proved just a teensy bit problematic, CEO Bush is pinning his hopes on the leveraged buyout, only this time, everybody seems to realize that it's not such a good idea. That is why Bush is pushing the crisis angle. (Apparently businesspeople do this a lot; when they want attention, a promotion, or funding for a pet project, they act like Chicken Little.)

It's all too horrible to contemplate, so I'm going to go see what's up in the ongoing Brad And Angelina saga. (I wasn't paying attention when this happened, but Angelina Jolie has stopped being Elvira without the humor and started kicking ass on behalf of the world's children. I am totally serious. She has found a purpose in life working on behalf of the phantasmagorically large numbers of children wandering around hungry, scared and in tears on Planet Earth, and more power to her.)


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