jimmy george w. obama

War, debt, and unemployment.  Which is worse?

Democrats, fearing the loss of the White House, are focused on jobs.  A president can weather war and debt, but job-loss is going to lose votes.

The creation of jobs is as mysterious as creating poems, except we know the selling of shirts depends on two things: manufacturing shirts and bare backs.

Why can’t the United States manufacture shirts, even if there are none to sell, simply stocking them up for later use?

But the makers of shirts demand payment for their labor.  Who shall pay them?

The government shall pay the shirt manufacturers, for the last I saw, government employees, who work in the post office or the military, wear shirts.

This will create jobs.  It seems such an easy solution, that one wonders why unemployment is ever a problem.  There’s always something that can be made, whether it sells or not.  And we don’t speak of poems, but what is real: shirts.

Anyway, and surely a poet will understand this, if there are ‘no jobs,’ isn’t this a good thing?  Isn’t this proof that, for many, there’s no further work to do?  And what could be better than that?

But what of those who have no work, and thus no paycheck?

Let them make shirts!

The needy unemployed only need to let the government know who they are, and the government will get them a job making shirts: building a shirt factory, working at home from a computer, or sewing in the factory, whatever fits.  Federal spending will increase the supply of shirts—which the nation can always use, eventually.  Job-creation always creates more job-creation: guards, for instance, will be hired, to guard the swelling shirt-inventory.

All benefit: the new shirt-makers pay taxes, increase state revenue, thus paying down the national debt, and making the country stronger.

One could point out that this plan boils down to the government printing money to artificially spur the economy, with a risk of inflation.  But don’t shirts (unlike poems) have tangible worth?  What is wrong with borrowing money to produce something of value—actually, two things of value: employment and shirts?

The worst case scenario: inflation, falling shirt prices, less poetry, but this can only translate into more bare backs, and thus more need for shirts, more motive for work, and a greater desire for poetry—an automatic correction.

Worried that if every unemployed person is guaranteed a job making shirts, there will be less incentive for persons to find real jobs?  But more shirt-makers couldn’t slow the eternal desire for more interesting and more profitable pursuits.  This objection is groundless, as well.

There, I’ve saved the economy.

Now excuse me, while I go write a poem.



  1. bug said,

    August 19, 2011 at 6:31 pm

    why am i here?

    this post is unconscionably stupid.

    anyways, fuck shirts, let’s kill the wars.

    how many wars can one nation, under the wise sedition of one nobel laureate, wage at one time?

    fuck you all, i’ve had it with you.

    • thomasbrady said,

      August 20, 2011 at 4:16 pm

      “the best lack all conviction, while the worst are full of passionate intensity”

      The best, the good, the sensible, want peace; but the alternative, war and its energy, mothers that tireless invention and scheming which at last overthrows and outwits the gentle who would enjoy the quiet grass and the clear stream.

      The world (nature) has fixed it so the dreams of bug will always be dashed.

  2. noochinator said,

    August 20, 2011 at 10:32 am

    Methinks this tries to make a point
    ‘Bout public sec stupidity—
    When trying to manipulate
    The private sec’s cupidity—
    Methinks it’s just humidity.

    As Brady said a year ago:

    “Yea, it’s been a long, hot summer. Not all of us are thinking clearly. Still, we need to nip this madness in the bud… I know the humidity, combined with too much coffee, can make us a little crazy, but that’s no excuse for slipshod criticism.”

    The post in toto:

  3. Nooch said,

    August 20, 2011 at 10:42 pm

    The half that support the president
    Will think to themselves: “Brady, get bent”—
    The half that don’t will want to hit ya
    For making them look at the president’s picture.

    • thomasbrady said,

      August 21, 2011 at 2:22 am

      Yet the piece isn’t really about Obama at all,
      But how shirts will make our country stand tall.

  4. October 12, 2013 at 12:24 pm

    The People of the Pit

    Confident again, again the man of power,
    And certain of success,
    Certain you will not fail,
    Certain that for you this is an auspicious political hour,
    You return from exile to yes the old king
    Who takes pleasure now only in his electric trains.
    Observing the court again after your long absence
    You note nothing has changed
    Except the tempo of flattery is fiercer,
    The violence of self-advancement has increased.

    The king enters his second childhood
    Advised by his tyrannical mother.
    At council meetings has his hand held while signing the decree
    That levels the suburban schoolhouse
    Or empties the mackerel in the northern sea.
    Conditions worsen at home and abroad.
    The thief caught in the apple orchard is punished
    By mutilation of the right hand,
    Visas are required by the police for ordinary visits to the tailor,
    The farmers forbidden to leave their parish or their land.
    How nothing in the country is built on straight lines anymore,
    But in mazes, spirals, the triumph of the curve.

    Here when they smile
    It is for promotion or furs.
    The daughter is sold to the leprous duke to advance the father,
    Pensions hire murderers.
    For nothing is so much feared here as failure,
    Nothing avoided at such costs.
    The size of their jewels is important, the length of their cars.
    Failing, they go into the pit:
    Suffer the jealous wounds and hear the gates closed,
    Twisting in the darkness,
    The victims of the imagined insult, or the laughter, real or supposed.

    The strategy here
    Is to treat all with the caution of enemies,
    To take the bribe but not openly, and to destroy all records.
    The women who have access to power, please;
    Those who have nothing to recommend them but their charm, avoid,
    For there is no profit in love
    And every advantage must be seized to be taken advantage of.
    Praising their dubious honesty and their extravagant lives,
    Do business with the husbands, sleep with the wives.

    For exile was bitter. Can you return
    To the bad food, the loneliness? The ugly,
    Hired companions? Return
    To the waste of talent and the nocturnal despair?
    The king cannot live forever.
    Even now conspirators prepare the kingdom’s fall,
    Clever ambitious powerful men,
    Men who would not for power’s sake split murder’s hair.
    You are home again among the familiar cannibals.
    Put on the terrible mask, and dress.

    Alfred Hayes

  5. noochinator said,

    October 20, 2013 at 12:47 pm

    And the award for “Best Profligacy” goes to the United States for its performance in Roger Poorman’s The Masque of the Red Ink.

  6. noochinator said,

    September 25, 2015 at 10:43 pm

    Boehner announced he’s quitting! Let’s hope the next Speaker, unlike Boehner, doesn’t weep oft’ly and carry a big swizzle stick….

  7. noochinator said,

    March 27, 2016 at 12:26 am

    A commenter at the NY Times website said she’d move to Canada if Trump won, and someone made a memorable (to me) reply:

    “What makes you think that Canada wants you? I’m serious, I don’t mean this in a snarky way. I’m sort of fascinated by this response. The logic seems to be: Of course, America cannot come first. But of course, as an American, I get to decide to live wherever I want, unlike every single other person on the globe. All I need to do is figure out where. Naturally they’ll want me. And naturally I have the money & wherewithal to just quit my job and move anywhere in the world that suits me.

    “It is so American-privilege-centric, and I find this fascinating as it comes from people who attack people like Trump for being American-privilege-centric.”

    • thomasbrady said,

      March 27, 2016 at 2:56 am

      Agree. That is a brilliant response.

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