Friday, February 29, 2008

"Dear Economy", or "How to Win with Supply and Demand"

Dear Economy,

I must admit I don't really understand concerns over falling house prices, or why slowth in growth is referred to as "weakness". It's almost as if you are of the persuasion that unaffordability is better for your good self.

If this is, in fact, the case, then I suggest a couple of easy steps that will help buoy your bizarre and rather perverted sense of "success":

  1. Impersonate natural disasters through a variety of man-made means, such as the hiring of schoolchildren to throw endless numbers of large buckets of water through "vulnerable" (or "despised", if you like) towns and fields. The resulting damage will force prices of food and transport up (again better for your Good Self, if attitudes towards house prices are anything to go by), as well as result in increased spending through clear-up services and replacement goods. You may like to replace schoolchildren with qualified destroyers if this means more money is being spent.

  2. Clamp down on this thing called "innovation" (or, alternatively, "progress"). The problem is not that progress exists, but rather that there's just too much of it, and as such everyone is able to afford their own level of personalised futurism. (For example, little Timmy can spend less and have a great time with a Nintendo [tm] DS Lite [tm], while young, "prosperous" Ursula can splash out on a rip-roaring Sony [tm] Playstation [tm] 3 [tm].) Cutting back on innovation means cutting back on choice which, as we all know, leads to greater competition in the short term. As a result of this squabbling, people will generally be prepared to pay more - simple supply and demand.

  3. Gain governmental kudos by installing new on-shore wind farms, and new high-speed rail links between everywhere-that's-not-London. Of course, in order to do this, large numbers of houses will have to be knocked down in semi-urban areas, driving prices up in nearby urban centres. (Increase which will, of course, be reinforced by these locations' proximity to both high speed rail and sweet, green energy.) Environment, transport, and social cohesion, all boosted by one simple act of changing land use! I should be getting paid for this.

In short, Economy, the future is bright for you, no matter how much you screw it up. This is a moment to sit back and be proud of.

Yours sincerely,


P.S. It works for the art world, too. Are you sure your Good Self is actually in some kind of "danger", or is it just that the people at the bottom have run out of cash and stupidity simultaneously?

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