Film Fund-amentals: Greenback Junkies

The recession is over. All the wise guys who didn’t see it coming in the first place are now insisting that the economy is in the clear. Gee, I bet we all feel relieved. At least those of us who still have jobs, savings accounts, viable pension plans, and/or a generous trust fund. Since that whittles the population down just a bit, I can only assume that there are a few guys in Westchester County who are now breathing a little easier with the news.

The rest of us are still stuck being greenback junkies. If lucky, we get to live from fix to fix, waiting for that magic moment when the latest check has cleared the bank. Then we go on a mad bill-paying binge as we find various ways to stretch $10 dollars beyond the $100 mark. It’s wild and crazy and displays all the crude qualities of an addiction. Then, after the necessary splurge, we sink back into a zombie-like stupor while quietly waiting out the time before the next check.

Of course, the same experts who said the recession was over also noted that the recovery will be hampered by consumers who have lost their jobs, had lower pay, and otherwise were not spending money fast enough. Damn those selfish bastards! We got a nation full of people hoarding no money and they won’t spend it. Like what are they going to do with the lousy $1.50 they have to their name? Waste it on food and shelter?

So what the experts are telling us is that we need to carry on even more like junkies. Really crazed junkie monkeys. The kinds who sell the baby in order to buy a gun so they can stick up the convenience store in order to buy more drugs.

Well, that is the best guess I can give to this announcement. Technically, they’re basing their claim on the recent increase in manufacturing orders. In principle, any increase in customer orders means an increase in employment, which then translates into more spending.

The only problem is that there’s also supposed to be an increase in employment. That isn’t exactly happening. Sure, there’s finally been a slight drop in the unemployment count. However, the first wave of people who were laid off about a year ago are just now dropping off the record. Go figure. Meanwhile, at least some of the increased manufacturing orders are going to be handled by new plants in Mexico and assorted other countries.

Dare it be suggested that the manufacturing sector report may not be the guide it once was (like before the development of the modern global economy and the virtual gutting of American manufacturing)? Because if this indicator doesn’t mean anything, we might just be back to the greenback junkie issue.

Which might spark the notion that the government will have to directly step in and supply the junkie with the necessary fix. Skip the fancy checks. Just park the car at selected street corners and hand it out to anybody with the shakes.

Trust me. The money will get spread back into the economy, fast.