The Only Thing We Have to Fear Is Embarrassment (and Poverty)

A new poll of terrified and economically illiterate Americans ("the public") finds that more Americans are worried about our growing national debt than are worried about the prospect of defaulting on that debt, by failing to raise the nation's debt ceiling. Americans! Always saying nonsensical things

In fact, fearing debt and fearing default are essentially the same fear: a fear of debt is simply a fear that we'll be forced to default some time in the future. We can all only relate to such institutional problems on a personal level. For example, a fear of widespread and lasting unemployment caused by the financial crisis is really a fear that we'll be unable to earn money and be forced into debt and be forced to default on that debt. Fear of poverty is actually a fear of embarrassment! Let's try to take some comfort in that, somehow.

So don't get so upset about the fact that the "income curve" here in the USA actually looks like an extremely gentle hill that leaps suddenly into a sheer cliff, on top of which live the rich. You're only upset because your income is not in the "high" part of the curve, and that's really just a fear of not being able to "Keep up with the Joneses," which you can overcome with therapy and self-confidence, rather than politics.

Cheer up, impoverished unemployed debt-laden masses of America: your Memorial Day cookout will cost you almost 30% more than it did last year. That means you can't afford it. That means no Memorial Day cookout. Which is good, because that would have been embarrassing. Cookouts are for poor people.

[Photo: Daniel Orth/ Flickr]