Monday, September 27, 2004
On this day:

Economists Say: Destroy and Plunder

This story in USA Today yesterday says natural disasters like hurricanes are likely to result in an overall benefit to the economy.

"It's a perverse thing ... there's real pain," says Steve Cochrane, director of regional economics at, a consulting firm in West Chester, Pa. "But from an economic point of view, it is a plus."

What an interesting concept: Destruction leads to prosperity. I can't believe the Kerry campaign hasn't picked up on it yet. This has enormous potential to energize the Democratic Party base and turn the tide of the campaign.

I'm certainly not a Kerry fan, but lately he's been skulking around all sullen and long-faced. And frankly, I'm feeling kind of sorry for him. He polls well in Paris, but poorly in Pennsylvania. He is graded high in Greece, but grim on the Great Lakes.

Like a good Republican, I believe in charity for those in need, and I thought I'd put together a 60-second spot that Mr. Kerry might want to consider using:

"I'm John Kerry, and I support this message, just as I supported my country in Vietnam ."

Scene 1: Setting - Dinner table in America.

Announcer: "In the past 4 years, over a million jobs have been lost in this country. And, while President Bush stood idly by, many working Americans have slipped into poverty."

(Child crying.)

Unidentified Child #1: "(slowly and softly) Mommy, Little Timmy is hungry. Why don't we have food to eat?"

Distraught Mother: "Because, Johnny, President Bush and the Republicans in Congress have taken away daddy's job and given all our money to greedy corporations like Halliburton."

(Child cries in background become suddenly louder.)

Johnny: "Mommy, does President Bush hate us?"

Distraught mother: "Yes, Johnny, he does."

Announcer: "(Dark music playing in background.) At thousands of dinner tables across America tonight, parents are having to tearfully explain to their young children why they are having
Spam sandwiches for the fifth night in a row...why they have to use only one slice of bread instead of two...and regrettably, why things won't get better as long as President Bush is in office.

(Start cheery music.) But, John Kerry has a plan to bring jobs back to America. It's called: 'Kerry Your Weight,' because it's time for George Bush and his corporate sponsors to carry their weight in this country.

Scene 2: Setting - Street in Working-Class Neighborhood in Middle America - 2 middle-aged men, dressed in yellow t-shirts, spray-painting graffiti on a bank building. A wheel-barrow full of spray-paint cans sits nearby. (Some cans should be pink in order to subtly appeal to a key demographic.)

Unidentified Male Voice: "(gleefully) Hey Frank...this new 'Kerry Your Weight' program is finally helping us realize the American dream, isn't it?"

Frank: "Why, yes, Jim, it is. Ever since I was a little boy growing up, I've had this uncontrollable urge to break, burn, and tear stuff up. (Note: 'Shit' may be substituted for 'stuff' here if appropriate to the demographic group being targeted.) My 9th grade teacher told me that it was reflective of a normal desire often experienced by adolescent boys to rebel against social norms and establishment values. While I agreed with her at the time, the next day she told me to spit my gum out, so I cut the old bitty (Note: 'Bitch' may be substituted for 'bitty' if appropriate to the demographic group being targeted.) "

Jim: "Wow, Frank. I never knew what psychological trauma you experienced as a young man. It must have been very difficult for you. But, I can empathize with you. I, too, always wanted to act in a socially unacceptable manner when I was young, but I was too much of a conformist to test the boundaries of the bourgeois value system. But now, 'Kerry Your Weight' has encouraged me to take that step and make my dreams become reality."

Scene 3: Setting - Halliburton Headquarters, Houston, Texas

Announcer: "John Kerry believes that to create jobs, we must tear down the extravagance of big corporations, paint over their logos of oppression, and shred the corporatist rules that prevent ordinary citizens from making the most of their lives. (Fade to camera shot of happy 'Kerry Your Weight' workers bulldozing the parking lot of Halliburton corporate headquarters.)

The 'Kerry Your Weight' program has been endorsed by over 100 leading economists (note: current count is at 75...however, at least 50 additional economics profs from 'third-tier' universities have expressed interest), all of whom agree that John Kerry's plan of 'directed destruction' will create millions of new jobs. Indeed, the only people who will be looking for work are George Bush and Dick Cheney."