Satire: Grand depression sounds like a good time

Ah, the U.S. economy is one to be admired.

The recent economic downward spiral has caused big-time banks to file for bankruptcy and be seized by the government, and smaller banks to collapse into larger ones. Last year, Providian customers were welcomed to Washington Mutual. Last week, customers were invited to an even bigger bank — JP Morgan Chase. Wachovia folks, you answer to Citigroup now.

These banks, however, are getting nothing more than what they deserve. No longer will these companies have a hold on the average American citizen with their influence on the stock market or their ability to congeal into one another and form super mega-banks. Gone are the days when these banks wielded economic control. The power rightfully belongs to the government — after all, it knows best!

For the small price of $700 billion (what’s that compared to a possible debt cap of more than $11 trillion?), the federal government could have bought out bad mortgages and temporarily unburdened those companies so citizens wouldn’t lose their mortgages, according to the bill. And why not? It’s a small price to pay to help out those who made an error in judgment and got into mortgages that were over their heads, which led to the foreclosures that brought us to our current situation. Besides, of course the companies would pay the government back — someday in the distant future. But the House just had to vote against it, didn’t it?

The plan, which would’ve given immeasurable power to the Secretary of the Treasury, was pure genius. But some snitch shook the stock market Monday as his or her words whispered the bill’s supposed failure down Wall Street. The Dow Jones began to drop before the 15-minute voting period was closed and continued to plummet until it landed at 778 points at the end of the day — a 7 percent drop in the market.

Because of some stool pigeon, lawmakers jumped the bridge before even seeing it and began scrambling to avoid “widespread economic calamity,” the bill’s authors told The New York Times.

As the nation heads toward calamity, the brakes don’t seem to be working and the blinders are on, but Americans should just keep on truckin’. If this great country continues at this pace, it will be free of big-corporation control. All shall fail and no longer pull the strings of the government with their cries of bankruptcy, imminent failure and their customers’ endangered financial well-being.

If American taxpayers don’t have to baby-sit banks, they can concentrate on other things. For example, once the new Great Depression kicks into gear, average Americans can spend time gathering things to sell on the street — like apples and such — instead of worrying about their mortgages, since the government will bail them out. In effect, taxpayers will scour the streets for food instead of scouring the Wall Street Journal for answers about their worthless stocks.

Without this heavy burden, the government can also worry about other things, like how to continue the bipartisan relationship that is working so well in Congress and when to start drilling off the coasts of Florida.

Don’t you see? A new depression is a great thing. It will finally release the banks’ hold on the federal government and set it free to pursue the free-market ideals on which it was founded.

Once the country is deep into this new depression — I’ll call it the Grand Depression — it can climb back out the same way it did before, with a war. We already have troops in Afghanistan and Iraq, anyway. World War II gets credit for pulling the United States out of the depression in the ’40s. There should be no reason why the same strategy can’t work 70 years later.

I don’t know about you, but I’m getting ready now. It’s not a grand depression — yet. But I guarantee it will be. I’ve already started picking my apples. Hopefully, with the rate of inflation, they’ll go for more than a nickel each.