Divorce and the Economic Stimulus Package

The White House

Washington, DC

April 1, 2010
 
My Fellow Citizens,
 
On my flight back from Guantanamo Bay where I went to cheer up and support our Troops - BTW they are doing "a hell of a job" -  I had a few spare moments on Air Force One so I Googled my own name.  And what do I find?  Mr. Jan Polatschek's Economic Stimulus Plan that is posted on his website.  He was kind enough to mention my name.


Under the Freedom of Information Act and The Patriot Act, I had my staff investigate Jan's academic background.  It turns out that he barely passed Statistics and he failed, yes, my fellow citizens, Jan failed his Eco 101 course at Cornell.  But two years later he redeemed himself at Columbia where he got an A in Money & Banking.  Jan really turned things around at Temple Grad School where he scored another A in Industrial Management and yet another A in Macroeconomics.

 
Now, I know Paul Krugman, and Jan is no Paul Krugman.  Jan's propensity for economic expertise is marginal at best.  Nevertheless, I have forwarded a copy of Jan's thoughtful essay to the Council of Economic Advisers, The Fed, Rupert Murdock, George Soros, Warren Buffet, and Liz Taylor.

And finally, and most importantly, Michelle and I are thinking about whether we ourselves can follow Jan's creative suggestion.

My Fellow Citizens, I urge you to read Mr. Polatschek's essay and consider how you can make your own personal contribution to the economic health of our Nation.

Together - or not - "Yes We Can!"

G-d Bless America.
 
Sincerely,
Barak H. Obama<--break->

PS.  My Arabic is rusty but I managed to speak at length to several of the ex-pat residents at our retreat at Guantanamo.  I told them that if they promised, I mean if they really, really promised not to blow anything up, I would invite them to live in Detroit or New Orleans or Camden or East St Louis. They demurred, respectfully.  They wanted to live in the South Bronx.  Turns out they're all Yankee fans.

Finally, the bad boys relented when I mentioned that under the new Health Care law, they would be eligible for lifetime medical insurance.  And they could not be refused coverage for any pre-existing condition, including:

 * "sleep apnia, insomnia or snoring owing to the effects of a cold rifle barrel along the rib cage"  
* "homophobia" 
* "addiction to tea" 
* "addiction to the birther conspiracy theory" 
 
All of the above are serious medical conditions newly listed by the APA. 

(Come to think of it, I am certain that not a small number of my GOP friends can now apply for medical insurance coverage as well.)  

Hey! SETTLE DOWN!  Snap on the safety, grab a six-pack out of the cooler, feed the dog, turn off WWE,  and then read Jan's essay:

....................................................................................................................................

Bangkok
Thailand
 
December 1, 2009            
 
I wrote the essay below in response to a broadcast mailing about banning divorce in California. The essay was written tongue-in-cheek by a man named John who was angry about California citizens voting to ban homosexual marriage.  So, he thought, if traditional marriage is so important, why not also ban divorce? 

My response: 

Divorce and the Economic Stimulus Package

 
Badmouth.net
Sacramento, California
 
Dear John,
 
I have read your proposal regarding the banning of divorce in California.  Since I am twice divorced, I must respectfully disagree with you.  Here’s the main reason: “It’s the Economy, Stupid!”
 
Have you any idea how important Divorce is to our Economy?  Divorce is an Industry!  Has anyone thought of calculating the effect of Divorce on our GDP?
 
Let’s say a couple living in a home or condominium decides to divorce.  The mortgage payments are more than either can afford alone so they need to put the property on the market.  Then each one decides to buy something else.  Well, that means that at least three real estate agencies will make a commission.  And maybe as many as six real estate brokers will also participate.  And what about banks and mortgage companies and title companies and lawyers?
 
Speaking of lawyers, two lawyers will make a nice fee for handling the divorce settlement agreement.  And maybe even an arbitrator.  Then there are the judges, and court personnel and records clerks to consider.  They all need to make a living. And what about the Shrinks?
 
Now it’s Moving Day.  Just think, not one, but two moving companies will show up.  That’s a lot of workers.  Maybe even a few of them have proper immigration papers and even pay taxes.
 
Now it’s Shopping Day.  In my own situation, I got the Stereo and my wife got the TV.  I decided to live without a TV.  But when my girlfriend and her young daughter moved in years later, the kid needed a TV.  I wish I had got one sooner.  Circuit City might still be around.  (BTW, the gf and kid moved out, but the TV remained.)
 
Speaking of Circuit City, nowadays, if the couple shared a computer, guess what?  It’s off to Best Buy. (Are they still around?)  I am confident that Michael Dell, Andy Grove and Bill Gates will appreciate the up-tick in business and the resulting up-tick in the equity prices.  Think of all the happy shareholders!
 
I am just getting started.  Or more accurately, the economy is just getting started.
 
Once again, in my own case, I made a beeline for Bloomingdales where I needed to stock up on 100% cotton sheets and pillow cases and towels, a down comforter and matching duvet.  Then it was off to Crate & Barrel for the Italian bistro dishes and glassware and silverware.  All of that stuff needed a “home” so it was off to Allen’s Furniture (now, out of business) for a sofa, love seat!, bed, and dresser.  I went back to Bloomingdales for a dining room table and chairs.
 
What about new curtains?  New rugs?  New pictures?  New chachkas??
 
And then it was off to Star Market (Shaws?) for a complete restocking of my larder: salt, sugar, Grey Poupon Dijon mustard, Spanish olive oil, balsamic vinegar, tapenade, bottles of Spice Island oregano, pepper corns, paprika, garlic powder, sugar-free jams and jellies, free range chicken eggs and lots of fresh vegetables and fruit and pastas at Whole Foods.  Nope. No frozen chicken dinners for me.
 
John, were you thinking of Safeway-Vons when you made your ban divorce proposal?  And their 70,000 long suffering union or are they non-union employees?
 
If there are children involved, the spouse with only the visitation rights needs to stock his or her cupboard with all that fruit loops, peanut butter stuff.  Are you kidding?  New PlayStations, and maybe a couple new iphones to placate the guilt?  This is starting to add up!  Yes?
 
Now, let’s get serious.  Your Governor is faced with term-limits so as he leaves office he could truly give a boost to the terminal Caleeefornia economy.  He could set a great example for all his loyal fans and Divorce Maria.  After all, the Kennedys are on the decline right now and Arnie surely will have a handsome contract with his friends at Fox News as a Talking Head.  With the Stars and Stripes in his lapel, he could use their bully pulpit to convince patriotic Americans to “Support Our Economy!”
 
Let’s give the GOP their due for they have already contributed mightily to our flagging economy. Rudi G, Rush, and Newt have already been down the aisle more than once (twice? thrice?). We should be grateful for their service.  Let’s leave George alone. Laura and the girls would clean him out and he’d be left with a cabin in West Texas, clearing brush for firewood and just a drain on the economy.
 
Also John.  No promising economic trends here either.  He’d just move into one of his (how many were there?) houses, sulk a bit, and watch Arnie, Glenn and Pat on his Aquos LCD TV.
 
Let’s leave Sarah out of this, too.  She needs all the help she can get.  And besides, think of all the taxes she will (may) pay on that, I hesitate to call it, book, and all the sales taxes her few dozen adoring fans will pay when they lug that thing out of the, I hesitate to say it, book shop?
 
“And what about those Dee-mo-crats?” you say?  Good question, John.  Paul Krugman, move on over for Mr. Jan.  Here’s my Economic Stimulus Plan: Michelle and Barack!!  Sorry Michelle, “Back to Work!”  No more free Khans.
 
Then Nancy and then Harry.   No more, “Hi honey.  How come you’re home so late?”  Then maybe all those pols would have time to think more creatively than simply, “Send more troops, cut more programs, sell more guns, cut more taxes, raise more taxes and send more money to Wall Street and, hey, what street do all those drug companies live on?
 
Just think of it…Millions would follow The First Family’s example.  Millions of new sofas and ….you get the picture.  Think of the sales tax revenues.  And speaking of taxes, all those stay-at-home soccer Moms would go back to work, adding even more revenue to the state and the federal coffers.  And what about all the Nannies those Moms would hire.  Just like the moving men, a few of those ladies may even be legal.  Some of the Moms might even withhold income tax and even, it gives me the chills just to think about it, they might even send some money to the Social Security Trust Fund!!!
 
In my travels around the world, I have met many young women in third-world countries with college degrees and post graduate degrees.  Several have asked my advice about using their rigorous university training to seek employment in the USA as an au pair. (Can you imagine?) With my Economic Stimulus Plan in place, demand will outpace supply.  Wages and benefits will grow.  And what about all those remittance payments?  Surely we will be able to cut back or cancel our Foreign Aid programs.
 
Now we live in a country proud of its Judeo-Christian heritage. For centuries, the Jews got it right.  After fifty years of marriage the couple must renew their marriage vows.  Well, how about twenty-five years for all of us?  Maybe ten?  Term Limits for Marriage.  The Dow will hit 20,000 in no time.
 
Now John, I can guess what you are thinking, “The divorce rate in America is already at about fifty percent, even higher for second marriages.”  How much higher can it go?  But wait.  We are behind the curve: Sweden: 54.9 %; Belarus 52.9 %; Finland 51.2 %.  Do we really want to be behind Belarus? Are we any less patriotic than the Finns?  Where’s our good old US of A pride?
 
(No wonder the economies of Turkey and India always seem to be struggling.  Turkey has a horribly low divorce rate of 6% and India, what a tragedy, 1.1%!)
 
Now, John, I am an American, still full of pride for my country.  And as I mentioned before, I have contributed to our economy with two divorces.  I hope I have convinced you to change your mind and that in your eyes, I have already served my country well.
 
I am single now; I don’t even have a steady girlfriend. But I promise, that if I do marry once again, I will surely do my duty as my forefathers taught, and after fifty years, I promise that I will carefully consider the renewal of my marriage vows.

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