The Way We Live Now: writing so many checks we get carpal tunnel syndrome! Counting so much money our finger nerves are permanently damaged! And also working two jobs, one of which is "janitor." The other is also "janitor."

About four out of ten economists are not so optimistic about the government's current plans to help us all have more money, so we want to give an extra special shout out to those six in ten patriots who are optimistic, evidence be damned. Shout out to you, Economist Joel Naroff! We see you, and we feel you, here in America!

We need optimistic economists, because the grim tableau (French word for fucked up) of America is enough to make economists made of less stern stuff weep into their "World's Greatest Economist Grandpa" coffee mug tableau. We exist in a state in which the nation's preeminent newspaper can write a story about how debt collectors were signing so many god damn forms they got writer's cramp, and we're just like, yea, that's the sort of tableau we live in, these days. We live in a world where we can't raise the minimum wage up to a living wage, despite evidence that raising the wage doesn't punish low-wage workers with higher unemployment.

Stocks are in shock, a bunch of scared kittens made of stock certificates rather than kitten blood. It's hard to "move the needle" when times are so hard that poor food vendors are sleeping in their carts overnight, and getting shit for it from the local tabloids. In Texas, 20,000 state workers have been ordered to empty their own trash cans, in order to save money on janitorial labor. Now, in addition to being a clerk, or a customer service rep, or a political staffer, everyone is also a janitor. But they don't get paid for it.

This way, the full time janitors can be laid off. They'll still be asked to empty their own trash, for free.

[Pic: piscesblue81]