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5/13/09

Tales of the Bizarro World




I’m sure most people my age or older can remember the Superman Comics and the wonderful imagination of the authors who cooked up the idea of a “Bizarro” world, where everything was opposite of the real world. At least what the real world was back then.

No, the world back then wasn’t perfect, far from it, but the fantasy of those authors had to do with the American ideal, not the imperfect world it always has been. I remember the intro to the Adventures of Superman show on TV which referred to “Truth, justice and the American way“. It seems that back then it was still OK to think the American way was the correct way. Now it’s the "Chicago Way". (that's an essay for a different day)

The American way, as I understood it then, was that you had to work to earn your keep, you had to take responsibility for yourself and your family and then were expected to care for your neighbor. You were free to succeed, or fail.
Ideally, the government was a group of people who were pressed into service, rather than sought it out so they could mind everybody else’s business. Their important task was to defend the rights of those who they served, and little else.

Businesses were owned and operated by private people and the government only got involved in that arena when some needed service could not be provided by the people themselves due to a lack of sufficient capital. (Think of the post office or the Erie Canal)
In that world, the government praised successful companies and gave failed ones a decent burial. Things are, well, a little different now.

Government in the Bizarro world rewards failed companies with billions and billions of dollars taken from the successful and threatens with lawsuits and new regulation any companies who dare to actually serve the public by providing goods and services which are actually in demand.
Microsoft, ATT, IBM and others come to mind a few years back and Google, et al, are the targets today. Meanwhile, failed banks, brokerage firms and automobile companies with crummy management and bad business models are “invested in”. The message is fantastical if you think about it.
You are in trouble if you get too big, but by then you are “too big to fail” and they will be delighted to bail you out, if only you will become incompetent.
Of course that’s not weird in the Bizarro world.

Only in the port sided environment where we current live, could a group who runs a mandatory retirement plan which is shortly to be upside down, a medical system that is already in deficit, a regulatory body which can’t catch a Ponzi operator (even after having multiple experts explain to them for years in advance the exact method of the criminality), now propose to an adoring public that they be rewarded for those efforts by being put in charge of an expansion of the regulations and the regulated, a new health care system to be built on the model of the one currently collapsing, and the management of banks, car companies and insurance companies. I don’t think even the creators of the Bizarro Superman could have thought this stuff up.

But in the Bizarro world, Superman would order a double Kryptonite burger at his far off, slow food restaurant and gobble it down as quickly as the citizen lemmings are now swallowing the bizarre menu choices currently before them. With the same results I fear.

3 comments:

Brian said...

66 Million Dunces, what do you get?
Another day older and deeper in debt.
Bush enlarged gov'ment, faster than sin.
O-Chamberlain's worse, we just can't win.

Silverback Trader said...

Such a poet! I neville would have guessed.

Brian Jennings said...

VDH strikes again !!!
http://article.nationalreview.com/?q=MDU4NDI5MjgxZmRjZTY4ZGFlOTA5M2U2MmY2NDA2Y2M=