Friday, March 27, 2009

Solving the economist problem

All right, so I have an idea. The idea came to me after I read my 500th story this month from an economist completely contradicting whatever another economist had said five minutes earlier. It's not a major epiphany or anything. Hell, I suspect most of us have had this idea at one point or another because it's the only sane reaction to have when economists begin speaking.

And that's that they should all die. Or at least shut up. Or even not completely contradict each other, in public, all the fucking time. Don't you think the world would be a better place without economists?

So I have had An Idea.

The idea is this, we build ourselves a big-ass air tight dome. Consider it an economic stimulas package that may or may not be a good thing depending on which economist is on the TV at that moment. And there is only one door. Once we have it built, we round up every economist in the world and put them inside the dome, but with only enough oxygen to survive for about four days.

I think by the time the dome is finished we could put cameras in there and sell the event to pay-for-view (more stimulus!), because the general public are going to start getting pretty blood thirsty about economists. When they're not scaring the shit out of you with their predictions, they're arguing and disagreeing with each other, so you never know if you should be feeling a touch optimistic or looking for a gun to put in your mouth.

Since economists tend to be wrong more often than they're right, you never know which side to believe. They talk out of their ass, using numbers and predictions that 99% of the general public doesn't understand anyway. Besides, you get the feeling it was some annoying economist who got us into this mess in the first place.

Anyway, sorry, off track there for a moment. Economists in an air-tight dome with four days of oxygen. Which should be enough assuming they don't argue with each other. They can't argue about which course is right. Nothing. The more they argue, the more excited they get, the less oxygen they have left to survive.

Now, assuming they haven't killed each other within the first 12 hours, you start letting them letting them out into a two-part private holding area around day two. In the first area, you're one on one with the economist and ask this simple question: "When will the economy recover?" You listen to the answer and then put them in a holding area to wait.

To wait for what? For every other economist in the dome to try and answer the same question. The first one who disagrees with what the other economists have said, the whole lot of them go back into the dome. Just to be fair, you can try again on day 3, but I imagine the result will be the same.

So they're pretty much doomed. Because even with their lives at stake, there's no way that many economists could agree on the colour of the sky, let alone on when the economy is going to recover and what's the right course of action to take.

I'm not saying this a nice thing to do, but wouldn't your world be a happier and less stressful place if there were no economists in it?

Last Five
1. I won't back down - Tom Petty
2. Little know it all - John Rouse
3. Highway girl - The Tragically Hip
4. Waiting on the world to change - John Mayer
5. Call me (live) - Franz Ferdinand*


SRD said...

gee...i'm glad you don't blame political scientists when the politicians mess up....but anyway, wouldn't it make more sense to punish the bankers and so-called regulators?

Mireille Sampson said...

At least we can be glad that Harvard isn't hiring them anymore. Some of these chumps used to get paid more than the uni presidents

Ron said...

How come so many of your solutions to "problems" involve killing people?

towniebastard said...

Oh, I want bankers and regulators to be punished, but I think they are in the middle of that happening. Not enough, but it's a good start.

But economists are just annoying me. Too many of them on TV, scaring people because I genuinely don't think they know what they're talking about half the time. I actually wondering how much some of them are making going on TV and talking out of their ass.

And Ron, I am obviously not seriously suggesting murder. It just feels good to vent about these things sometimes.

Amy said...

I think a large part of this recession is mental. Here in Yellowknife, that has not been hit as hard as the rest of Canada or the world, people are just not spending money. They have it, they are just hanging on to it. Which aggravates the situation. And all because of the economists predicting this and predicting that.

20 years from now, it will be interesting to study the cause and effect relationship between the internet, "new media", instant communication and this recession.

towniebastard said...

This is the first real internet recession. Yes, there was the tech bubble collapse in 2000 and other countries have gone through downturns since the internet gained popularity.

But this is the first one where there is such a flood of information, so much of it contradictory and so much of scary to the point where it's hard to know if it's making sense.

It is one of these times when you need a solid, reliable media to help, but between gouging cuts and a rush to sensationalism, it's hard to make head or tails out of some things.

It will be interesting to look back on all of this with a bit of perspective. I keep saying this is one of these "big historical moments", where things are going to look a lot different on the other side. But for the better or not all depends.