Friday, December 26, 2008

An Interview with Gadabout Jack

File photo of Gadabout and Kate Winslet

It's Christmas time and Gadabout was hanging out with himself, so they took advantage of the opportunity and staged an impromptu interview. You are treated to this interview.

Gadabout Jack: Gadabout, it’s great that you could spare a few moments of your time for an interview.

Gadabout: My pleasure, Jack. Glad to be here.

Gadabout Jack: Well, it’s been quite a year. What’s your take on the state of the nation post election?

Gadabout: It really boils down to just a few fundamental value plays. The first is greed. Our Wall Street friends played the mega million game for far too long. $500 million compensation packages are unsustainable, promote dishonest business practices and further the divide between the haves and the have-nots. Even the middle class has lost a sense of hope, and when those in the middle deeply distrust corporate America we have some very real problems in this country.

Gadabout Jack: There are those who argue corporate compensation is just, and should be driven by free market economic forces.

Gadabout: Let’s not forget that the only free markets are the black markets. Our markets are not free; they are regulated, taxed, protected and manipulated. The point is that we throw about labels, such as free and open to promote an image of ideals that do not exist.

Gadabout Jack: I take it that you are implying that we are a socialist nation?

Gadabout: Absolutely. Look, we are a society of governmental programs. We tend to look past and ignore this aspect of governance when it affects our own personal lives. We are myopic and self centered. Altruism and philanthropy are dying, and are being replaced with bureaucracies and retirement programs. The billionaires are running abroad with their bounty – that or blowing their brains out from the anxiety of failing. Take Madoff, for instance. He represents the purest form of greed, and also the failure of our so called free market system. Ask yourself how many other Madoff’s, and those like him exist within our borders?

Gadabout Jack: I don’t want to think of it. The thought is chilling.

Gadabout: Well, you really cannot help to think of it because you are me.

Gadabout Jack: Quite true. We covered greed, what else?

Gadabout: Well, the next is power and control. The movie Mr. Smith goes to Washington warned us of the elite few who control our destinies. Blagojevich and the other cronies are only the tip of the iceberg. “Power corrupts absolutely.” You remember that.

Gadabout Jack: Absolutely.

Gadabout: Well, our markets failed, and the population distrusts American banking and business systems. Now that that has occurred, they are looking to Washington to level the playing field, and that promotes a higher degree of socialism in this country. It is a natural and necessary change. We’ve heard the old saying that “if you give a man (or woman) a fish you feed him for a day, but if you give him a fishing pole you feed him for life.” That all sounds good, but in modern societal structures you need a GPS, two way communications, licenses, a sound boat, safety equipment, fuel, matching 401K contributions, and countless other items to comply with regulations and associated costs. A simple fishing pole is no longer sufficient to feed and clothe for life. So the rich and middle class will be forced to share their wealth in order to sustain public safety.

Gadabout Jack: Public safety?

Gadabout: Yes, if the masses are unhappy and hungry, they will take what they want. This is referred to as crime, and the haves detest robbery and threats to their well being. So, the haves will pay, and be happy to do so. The middle class will be annoyed, but they will play along because they too will be feeding from the trough of governmental spending. They will design and build roadways, ugly automobiles, inefficient windmills and fighter planes. And let’s not forget “clean coal.”

Gadabout Jack: God bless clean coal. How about the upper classes?

Gadabout: Well, the super rich don’t really care. They have enough to weather any storm, can control the outcomes of elections, influence policy making, and create barriers to keep themselves isolated from the proletariat. They are happy to keep all of those below them drugged on Prozac, drunk in front of the HDTV watching football, driving a car and stuff fast food into their bellies. Simple, really. We’re talking John Galt stuff here.

Gadabout Jack: Who is John Galt?


Anonymous said...

John Galt is busy giving the pole to the shapely Dagny Taggert, teaching her how to fish, perhaps...

ditch said...

Great column, Gadabout. Gadabout Jack is a hard interview "get," so I am pleased that the two of you crossed paths. Tell me, is this country travelling inexorably toward oligarchy?