Mr. Transcan: Certified Financial Advisor

Sell everything.  Hopefully you already did.   Buy those Canadian Maple Leaf coins; everybody recognizes them and knows that they’re pure gold.  Gold is about the only commodity that has held it’s value over the ages:  a man’s suit of clothes, custom made, costs the same in gold today as it did in 1812, for example.

Why did everything end up “in the trash can?”   Here we get into politics, and Mr. Trashcan doesn’t do politics and doesn’t have any patience with people who do.  Ever notice how, when you are talking to conservatives, you can’t get them to think about an idea unless you can recast it in terms of some conservative principle, like “I’ve got mine, now you go out and get yours.  I’ll fight for you to have this right.  Meanwhile, leave mine alone!”   Same thing is true of liberals; you have to think in terms of “If the world is a hard place, it is because we collectively make it so” or something like that.  Could it not possibly be that each of these tribes is right about some things?  Mr. Trashcan is tired of this tribalism.  These people tend to only associate with their own kind.   Conservatives are mean, greedy bastards without any sense of obligation to the community.  Liberals are mostly insulated white people who went straight from high school to college and then out to a good-paying career, without ever tasting the real world, or else bitter minorities hungry for power and parasitic on liberal guilt.  Mr trashcan knows plenty of people who fit these stereotypes, and he’s tired of them all.  Mr. Trashcan’s just plain tired.   He wants these people to do the following stretching exercise: every morning, examine one idea from the opposite camp.  Try to find some way to believe in this idea.  Think up justifications for it, examples that illustrate it.  Try it on.  Read some of the opposition’s writings and try to go along.   At first you’ll be smirking and laughing as you do this, but over time…who knows.   If you think anything that’s now in your head is somehow “the truth” or carved in stone, you are wrong.  Not even Science is immutable, and this stuff is a long way from science.
After you have done your stretching exercises, you can return here and read Mr. Trashcan without getting upset.
Mr. Trashcan doesn’t want to hear that Government can’t do anything right.    Bad government can’t do anything right, and an awful lot of government seems bad, on this planet.   But you have to hold out hope that you can get good government, in anything resembling a democracy, if people are willing to work at it.  Mr. Trashcan is cynical, tired, maybe even despondent, but he is not without hope!
Mr. Trashcan also doesn’t want to hear that anything you don’t like should be fixed by the government: this is like the idea of God that most Christians clutch to their bosom, against the advice of their pastor.
All of which gets us ready to discuss… THE MELTDOWN.
One of the minimal, chamber-of-commerce type things that you might expect your government to do is to keep an eye on Free Enterprise, which is always trying to find its purest expression as piracy.  We saw what happened in the ’20s when nobody was putting the brakes on.  People who are in business, even if they aren’t simply desperate to prop up their stock prices or pay the rent, are evidently willing to just hit you over the head and take your money, if no one stops them.   Say whatever you want about the government that was in power for most of this decade, but they were asleep at the switch.   It wasn’t just that arrogant, shallow little figure in the white house, but the whole of congress.  Does anyone want to argue that they were even trying to keep business honest and stable?  Now, I’m not going to write a treatise, here; you can figure out what I mean: I don’t mean more regulation or laws, necessarily.  Government can, supposedly, use the Free Market(ta da!) to control business if they just keep it functioning the way it’s supposed to.  I don’t give a shit how they do it.  They just need to fucking pay atttention.
Well, they were guarding us against Al Qaeda.  Never mind that they were jerking off or something while Bin Laden got away.  Never mind that, even if they had set Bin Laden up with a cell phone plan and an apartment in Newark, it is doubtful that he could have done better than bringing down the entire Economic System of the Western World.   And the bastards are completely unrepentant.  At least people like Charles Colson found Jesus and McNamara said he was sorry.
Now, it’s really true that the free market is a more efficient allocator of resources than any collection of human minds.  But nowhere in this rule does it say that the free market will Do It All.   Entities that are set up to ruthlessly pursue their own enrichment can’t be trusted to always give us what we need or want without taking all our money.   Why doesn’t everyone know this by now?  Maybe they do.  Mr Trashcan doesn’t do polls, either.
Business people will act responsibly if you set things up so that’s the easy and accepted way to do it.
The thing that brings Mr. Trashcan down the most is having to face the suggestion, here, that human begins aren’t firmly in control of the region of the universe in which Mr. Trashcan finds himself.  You see, Mr. Trashcan has a view of things that is similar to what the superior beings on the UFOs have.  They’re still cracking up over religion and Art.  Every time anybody stands around with a glass of chardonnay and tries to think serious thoughts about a goat with a tire around it, they laugh until their eyes water.  Imagine the sheer quantity of humor these beings are able to mine from our solemn economic pronouncements.  Remember all those years that Greenspan spent mumbling vague prognostications, with everybody nodding and taking notes?  And then he comes right out and says he is “shocked and surprised” or something like that?  Mr. T supposes these people represent the best we can do, I mean,  like,“who ya gonna call?”  But they should drop this pose of being Scientists.  The requirement for being a science  is that the stuff you come up with can be used to DO something, like refrigeration or atom bombs.  Maybe something like “Certified Financial Advisor” would be more appropriate.
What else might we be on the brink of?   One wonders.