Is Anyone Doing The Math?

Apr 14, 2021

Originally published by drfaustroll under Invective, Literary Terrorism, Pataphysics, Phlakes, Phynances, Poopadoodle, Sedition February 5, 2009

I can’t remember exactly when I noticed that math wasn’t important, but I think it was during the Reagan administration when Paul Fericano and I collaborated to produce The One Minute President. In that book, we took on the One Minute management franchise, applying its fundamental arguments to the adventures of an inquisitive young man on his journey to discover the secret to becoming an effective president by emulating the forgetful behavior of the nicest guy you’d ever want to meet.

The One Minute President became the favorite book of a wastrel named George W. Bush. He apparently didn’t understand it was a satire. This means, of course, that I am partially responsible for the previous eight years of slapstick foreign and domestic policy. Mea culpa. Is my face red!

But not all the terrible things that have happened in the economy and the national intelligence are strictly my fault. The entire premise of the books by Ken Blanchard and Spencer Johnson was that management required little effort and no attention to detail beyond wishing, bribing, and retaliating. You can see where that got us. It will only get worse, and when it inevitably does, don’t expect me not to rub your fucking noses in it. I told you so, assholes!

To get back on topic as our binary culture demands, I have no idea how many people are unemployed as a result of the slow-moving train wreck currently called market-driven imperialism, and I’m pretty sure you don’t either, even if you are among them feckless imperialists. Six hundred thousand? Ten million? Fifty million? I don’t think anyone knows enough to settle on any figure, plus or minus several million.

This suspicion does not engender in me a sense of confidence in public or private leadership, and while I have always viewed the rule of law and the domain of journalists as somewhere beneath my contempt, the current inability of anyone with legitimate press credentials to determine how many unemployed people are required to set a new record for a really Great Depression just makes me want to urinate on anyone named Pulitzer, Liebling, Gannet, Hearst, or Murdoch.

Last week, more than 625,000 Americans lost their jobs. The same stories that reported this figure said total unemployment was anywhere from 4.8 and 6.9 million, not counting those on extended benefits or those who are no longer considered unemployed because they are so discouraged by their future prospects that they are no longer looking for work or have already hanged themselves. Apparently, these people simply cease to exist when their benefits run out, because I can find no corresponding increase in the number of homeless and displaced Americans during the same period, which has been stable for much of the Bush administration at somewhere between 750,000 and one million, mostly families with children. Thank God those kids weren’t left behind when their parents got evicted.

And then today I’m listening to an NPR story about migrant job losses in China that now exceed 20 million workers or, as the news reader put, “slightly less than double the number of jobless in the United States.”

Now I don’t want to be picky, but slightly less than double 20 million works out to more than 10 million which is slightly more than double the official 4.8 million that the liberal media keeps putting out week after week after week, as if to hold the line against some imaginary rugby team hellbent on taking the rest of our jobs. Has the entire nation lost its ability to add and subtract?

No wonder people throw shoes at the idiots who talk to us. Even first graders have a better grasp of reality than the professionally incompetent boobs who run for office. Couldn’t somebody maybe put up a scorecard behind these talking heads instead of their PowerPoint platitudes?

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