Saturday, April 9, 2011

Rep. Ryan's Magic Beanstalk

Posted by Mark A. Sadowski, economist & fable narrator, as a comment to the Econobrowser blog's analysis of the Heritage Foundation's model for Rep. Ryan's plan ("Implied Supply Side Elasticities from the Heritage CDA Simulations"):

Once upon a time a national government who had an only congressman named Rep. Ryan and a source of tax revenue named the US economy. And all they had to live on was the tax revenue the economy gave every year. But one year the US economy gave very little tax revenue and they didn’t know what to do.
"What shall we do, what shall we do?" said the government, wringing her hands.
"Cheer up, US government, I’ll go and get work somewhere," said Rep. Ryan.
"We’ve tried that before, and nobody would take you," said his government; "we must sell the US economy and with the money, start a international lobbying group, or something."
"All right, US government," says Rep. Ryan; "it’s market-day today, and I’ll soon sell the US economy, and then we’ll see what we can do."
So he took the US economy's halter in his hand, and off he started.
He hadn’t gone far when he met a funny-looking old right wing think tank, who said to him: "Good morning, Rep. Ryan."
"Good morning to you," said Rep. Ryan, and wondered how he knew his name.
"Well, Rep. Ryan, and where are you off to?" said the right wing think tank.
"I’m going to market to sell our economy here."
"Oh, you look the proper sort of chap to sell national economies," said the right wing think tank; "I wonder if you know how many supply elasticities make five."
[I have to insert a dramatic pause here in Sadowski's narrative, as what follows is the funniest thing I've read in years. Get ready...]
"Two in each hand and one in your mouth," says Rep. Ryan, as sharp as a needle.
[Think about it. Think congressman-as-cheapo-hooker offering a group rate for services. LOL & ROTFL]
"Right you are," said the right wing think tank, "and here they are, the very supply elasticities themselves," he went on, pulling out of his pocket a number of strange-looking supply elasticities. "As you are so sharp," says he, "I don’t mind doing a swap with you — your US economy for these supply elasticities."
"Jeepers!" says Rep. Ryan; "wouldn’t you like it?"
"Ah! you don’t know what these supply elasticities are," said the right wing think tank; "if you plant them overnight, by morning they grow right up to the sky."
"Really?" says Rep. Ryan; "you don’t say so."
"Yes, that is so, and if it doesn’t turn out to be true you can have your economy back."
"Right," says Rep. Ryan, and hands him over the US economy's halter and pockets the supply elasticities.
Back goes Rep. Ryan to congress, and as he hadn’t gone very far it wasn’t dusk by the time he got to his congressional desk.
"Back already, Paul?" said his government; "I see you haven’t got the US economy, so you’ve sold her. How much did you get for her?"
"You’ll never guess, US government," says Rep. Ryan.
"No, you don’t say so. Good boy! Five trillion dollars, ten, fifteen, no, it can’t be twenty."
"I told you you couldn’t guess. What do you say to these supply elasticities; they’re magical, plant them overnight and —"

Well to make a long story short the moral of the story is... What moral?
After all, how can a story about a congressman who is fooled into taking magic supply elasticities, trespasses on someone else's property, commits burglary, and then kills him, offer a "moral lesson"?
Posted by: Mark A. Sadowski at April 8, 2011 02:56 PM

Almost made me snort my morning coffee out my nose!

I stopped short at the mental image of Rep. Ryan strapping on an oversized dildo-belt that he intends to thrust into the gaping orifices of the American public.

1 comment:

  1. 'Courageous' and 'serious' are not the words that come to mind as I consider Rep. Ryan's long term budget plan. 'Ridiculous' and 'unfair' seem better adjectives.

    If anything, his plan is rather cowardly - in not standing up to the already out-sized, avaricious interests of his patrons on Wall Street, the boardrooms of GE, ExxonMobil, Chevron, Aetna {and the rest of the health insurance industry} & Koch Industries. A quick look at his Top 10 campaign contributors explains much, if not all, of the reason that tax cuts for business & the wealthy are on his priority list, while the bottom 60% gets to pay for them AND take a haircut on NEEDED social insurance benefits.

    'Serious' Rep. Ryan may be, like a brain-washed cult member reciting the deranged Illuminati chantings of his psychotic leader. But his plan is anything BUT serious about actually cutting the deficit and national debt. If he were 'serious', in the way that I understand the term, he wouldn't be transferring the targeted savings from cutting needed social programs to give millionaires and billionaires and too-big-to-fail Wall Street fat cats yet another tax cut.

    Income and wealth inequality is at all-time high levels, and Rep. Ryan wants to tilt the playing field even further?

    Cutting four trillion dollars of spending that benefits largely the lower-middle class and the poor in order to give three trillion of it to the wealthiest is NOT courageous, it is outrageous. Rep. Ryan's Dickensian scrooging of the bottom 60% ~ that's most of us, folks ~ in order to benefit the tiny sliver at the very top of the income and wealth pyramid represents a massive transfer upwards.

    It is pouring gasoline on the fire.

    The Revolution is coming, my friends.
    And it won't be brain-dead, Know Nothing Tea Partiers that bring it.

    Paul Ryan: the Reverse Robin Hood.

    Inspired by extremist Austrian school libertarians whose intellectual model rejects scientific method, thirty years of supply-side tax-cutting, deregulation, and laissez-faire free market fundamentalist policies brought us a lost decade of near zero real wage gains for virtually all except the already rich.

    Net job creation resulting from the Bush Tax Cuts has, so far (10 years now since Bush I @ 2001, and counting), amounted to negative -1.7 million. That's right: 1.7 million jobs lost during the term to date of the Bush Era Tax Cuts... compared to the 1.6 million net projected new jobs created per the Heritage Foundation's then-offered economic analysis. [Rep. Ryan ought to re-think where he directs the curious to for support; the Heritage Foundation's track record as prognosticator leaves much to be desired, unless you're already an ideological zealot.]

    These ideological pure, but empirically & demonstrably incorrect policies exacerbated the already fragile nature of modern financial capitalism, which in turn accelerated asset bubble formation cycles that risked a near 2nd Great Depression.