With the House of Representatives slipping into the clammy, tanner-stained hands of John Boehner, and with "Fuck!" becoming the default emotional disposition of America at large, I think it's time for ambitious solutions to chronic socioeconomic, political, domestic, and foreign policy issues that plague The Land of the Free(ish), Home of the (Occasionally) Brave. I have assembled a set of sometimes-painful solutions to stop the bleeding of America by cauterizing Uncle Sam's wounds. These solutions will hopefully be lasting and concluding. This is the first part in a series of essays called "The Final Solutions."
Enter drug lord. Exit economic policy. (Someone leaning over my shoulder just gasped in horror and informed me that another man has already coined the term Final Solution. They described the gentleman to me but I am unfamiliar with his work and from what I am hearing, he sounds like an asshole anyway. So I shall usurp the term Final Solution for my purposes.)
(I just got smacked on the back of the head.)
The Final Solutions, Part I: Stabilize Financial Markets with Gang Bangers
PROBLEM: The greatest obstacle in this financial crisis is the information barrier. Derivative trading, dual syndicate equity offerings, dynamic asset allocations, and these are just the D's. Well the economy can suck D's nuts because I'm an American and I'm not taking my precious time to learn about anything involving numbers.
America's next breeding ground for financial genius.If you want me to follow the Bernie Madoff thing, that's not a problem. There is a narrative there I can easily digest and get pissed off about. Americans love swelling with self-righteous anger at things that come out of LCD screens. You want me to condescend to the people on Jersey Shore as I sit on my couch, bloated and lethargic, mouth shimmering with potato chip grease, as I continue watching Jersey Shore, I can do that—intellectual and emotional consistency isn't even on my top ten priorities as a citizen. But I reject the suggestion that I must learn about something that doesn't entertain me. I'm not going to take six months of my valuable time and miss Dancing with the Stars to audit a macroeconomics class so I can have only a vague understanding of the situation. Oh The Situation, he's such a retard… what were we talking about?
SOLUTION: The United States has the highest incarceration rate of any industrialized nation. There are over 2 million men and women of all ages and backgrounds—and when I say all age and backgrounds, I mean black men—serving time in correctional facilities across the country, most of them for drug-related charges. I say it's good time we put these guys to work.
Let's create an example. Say our prisoner—we'll call him Denzel Washington—is serving 15 years for possession and distribution of a controlled substance (i.e. he was selling weed out of his grandmother's basement and ended up with a shitty district attorney). Now Denzel is sitting in a cement room all day, every day for the next decade with nothing to do.
I say let's make a deal with Denzel: give him a laptop with no internet connection, only a 200 GB hard drive filled with economic policies, Wall Street jargon, and a database with general information pertaining to finance, and then tell him, "Hey, if you figure out a way to unfuck us, or even just come up with a few good ideas, we'll consider it time served and you can get back to grandma's." If we did that with 10,000 incarcerated drug dealers, we could restructure our economy in six weeks.
Moreover, Denzel goes home with an education in economics. At least then he would go home with something besides a felony charge on his record, and lucky for him, felonies are hardly dealbreakers at JP Morgan. But that doesn't matter because as a result of my federally funded Mother Boards for Drug Lords Program, this little Denzel will go on to win two Academy Awards. True story.
First off, drug dealers are essentially commodities traders in their own right; I think that's self-explanatory. Second, they are small business owners who need to be conscious of percentages and have a good understanding of competition in the marketplace. So the basic understanding is already there. They just need to take that attitude of arrogance, violence, power hunger, greed, and general sense of disdain for their consumer, and extrapolate it on a macroscopic scale. Then presto!—you have a picture of our economy. But most importantly, there is no motivation for getting something done like avoiding ass rape. If that's the case, maybe we should move congress to Rikers Island.
Next week, Part II: A New and Sexier Bible for the Masses