Waste Anything but Time

Falling through the universe at the speed of life

By David Glenn Cox

With the Cheeto in charge failure is an absolute. The only issue to be determined is the reason for the failure. Was it corruption, like states bidding against each other for medical supplies running up the purchase price of ventilators? Is it a general incompetence? The loan application the Treasury put out for its small business assistance was two sides of a single sheet of paper. Loan applicants handed their completed form to their local banker and bankers answered, “What kind of shit is this?” We all know the questions they ask and what they want to know on a loan application. Apparently, most of those questions the bankers usually ask were absent from the application. Meaning the program so quickly proposed and put into law has failed to leave the station. My name is Dave, and I need two million dollars to refinance my blog.

Time is of the essence, and Curly is on the floor spinning and shouting Woo, woo, woo, woo! Moe’s got his head caught in a vice and Larry just set the trash can on fire. Steve Mnuchin has been asked a million times by reporters when the stimulus checks are going out to the American public. Mnuchin has given almost as many answers. Some time between next week and a month of Sundays from Sweetest day, maybe. The deflection quickly turns to how committed the Administration is to sustaining the American people in this time of crisis (And the rockets red glare the bombs bursting in air) But hey, wait, stop! Dude, when are the checks going out?

This isn’t a game we’re playing here. It’s important to get money to the people, but it’s more important you get it to them now! In three months, they will have been evicted from the address you wrote on the check. Okay Mrs. Johnson let’s see if I’ve got this, you have a house fire and you want the fire department to come around and put it out. How does next Tuesday sound around three?

I heard the President of the San Francisco Federal Reserve express her opinion about the recovery. She was Margaret Thatcher confident that with all these programs in place the recovery would come swiftly. The skies will turn azure blue, the birds will sing, and the sun will shine in our backdoor.  A chicken in every pot and a new car in every garage. The virtuosity of tone deafness more befitting a used car salesman. That’s right, radio, heater and whitewalls and listen to that baby hum! Millions of people can’t make their mortgage payment or pay their rent. In sixty more days were going to have a mess like a national overflowing toilet, at a hundred and twenty days the foreclosures begin.

Home prices begin to slide as the market dries up and defaults rise. Banks lose liquidity covering the rising tide of bad formerly good loans on their books. Businesses like Lowe’s and Home Depot evaporate as home improvement and construction stop. That twenty-thousand-dollar speedboat your wife told you not to buy is now worth ten and you’ll be lucky to get that. It’s so much better to save the patient than to try and piece them back together like Frankenstein’s. A dollar of stimulus today is better than three dollars in food stamps tomorrow. Once the death spiral begins, it’s difficult to stop as my poverty impacts your poverty.

It is pointless to give the airlines sixty billion dollars or the hospitality industry, if its customers have no money. It’s Herbert Hooverism all over again pouring money in at the top trying to solve an over supply and under demand problem with more supply. The dominos fall metered in thirty-day increments as a $1,200 check grows smaller by the hour. Promising to throw pieces of a life preserver to the drowning… real soon. Can the administration really be that stupid? Do they really think city streets swarming with the homeless jockeying for Interstate exits is a tolerable situation? Can they not imagine a populace quarantined, unemployed, plundered, evicted and foreclosed on is going to behave nicely? What happens when the homeless out number the motorists at the intersection?

I was on a Greyhound bus going cross country when we rolled into Denver. It was 2009 and the bus station was about a block from the rescue mission. In front of the building a hundred and fifty maybe two hundred people waiting for the doors to open a six o’clock. This was a mob of desperate people waiting for food and if they didn’t get it there would be trouble. In the middle of the crowd was a teenage boy. He didn’t belong there; his hair was cut neat and his clothes were still new. He stuck out and looked unfamiliar with his surroundings like finding Waldo someplace he didn’t belong.

History is resplendent with regimes which have ignored the well being of the populace. Let them eat cake! The old adage says that every nation is three days from revolution is case in point. Once the populace has been made homeless, unemployed, their families lost to them. Plundered of their possessions and their futures by the millions they will behave badly, and they won’t say please.

But this is where we come around again to where we began. Are they too stupid or are they too corrupt? The wrongheadedness of trying to feed a horse by shoving hay up it’s ass while ignoring the other end.  The stupidity of trying to build the roof of the house first then propping it up until you build the house underneath. Corruption at this point would be Cortez and his men fleeing Mexico City their pockets laden with gold and slaughtered for their greed.

Without saving the people there won’t be an airline or a cruise ship worth saving. There won’t be much of anything worth saving. Time is money, but right here and right now! Time is more valuable than money, waste anything but time.

“To reach a port we must set sail –
Sail, not tie at anchor
Sail, not drift.”
― Franklin D. Roosevelt

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