Friday, January 09, 2009

My Bailout, Please: Magic Monday

The latest word on bailouts is that the porn industry is asking for one, too, to the tune of several billion. This is perfect. This is the reducto ad absurdum we've been waiting for. The oldest profession has something to teach us about business.

I must qualify here: I'm no fan of pornography, but I have to step back and admit a bit of appreciation for the positive aspects of the industry's knack for changing the world it inhabits, starting at the fringes. Take the Polaroid camera, for instance. Photos with no negatives meant all those guys who wanted to take naughty pictures on the sly - could! So the invention, being a hit with them, made it into the mainstream. And of course there is the groundswell of curiosity the industry evoked with regard to this lovely internet we have now.

But porno is without substance; it's all thrill with no sense of responsibility - compare it to economics and it is the heart of spending with no real money to back up the purchases.

Without a bailout, I don't believe the industry will go under, though doubtless it will go down. As with any industry, pornography has tangentials. While no one will truly suffer for the lack of titillating images, people do suffer when they lose their jobs - writers, graphic designers, photographers, models, prostitutes, printers, publishers, clerks, accountants, restaurants, grocery and drug stores in the area of the business offices and studios, FedEx, Ross Dress for Less - as the industry falters, everyone is touched. Every type of employee who would be effected by the dissolution of the big three US automakers would be equally disturbed by the dissemination of the porn industry.

But that's the thing: nobody can afford the economy falling apart. You can't. I can't. Everybody needs a bailout, but it seems only big industries are being considered. If Wall Street and US automakers are off the hook for their debts, then why do I still have to pay off my credit cards?

I say we rescue everybody! Let's just go all the way! Here's my plan:

Say, this coming Monday, within the space of an hour, all bets are off. Each individual citizen of the US who earns under $250,000 a year - poof! - credit card and student loan debts are gone. This magical event would come unannounced and would last just enough time to zero out all the accounts. Don't imagine it would take that long - it wouldn't. And don't buy it when the creditors say they'll need weeks to carry out the mission, that's just a trick to cahoot with the lawyers for workarounds. One hour: balances zero. One button. All debts go to zero.

Then, say, Tuesday, everyone who had credit zeroed out gets a free credit card with a 20% APR right there in the mail. No application, no fee, innocuous and plastic. This leads us into Fresh New Wednesday. After recovering from this stunning good fortune, most people will follow this train of thought: "I pay $300 a month on my card. I have a zero balance credit card. I can go buy a six hundred dollar thing!" They'll head out shopping and run those cards right back up. Goods and services will spike, the economy will boom, commerce will sing, interest money will flood the banks, everyone will get to play the money game again.

Within a few months, most people will be where they were the Sunday before Magic Monday, (reference the result of the business of the oldest profession) but the true lesson underscored by the proffers of the oldest profession is that unless you're smart enough to quit while you're ahead, cheap and easy can cost you.


Miss Elizabeth said...

Oh how I would love those student loans and credit card debt to be wiped free. I think I might literally be the happiest person alive. As for the porn bailout, I laughed when I first heard about it. I'm all for bailing out the "average joe" of the porn industry. However, it kills me that Joe Francis, king of the Girls Gone Wild empire, is asking for a bailout when he has multiple homes throughout the world and is a millionaire 100 times over. Once he gives up all of his luxury items and lives in a townhouse in Chatsworth or Van Nuys just like the rest of the struggling porno people, then I'll get behind the porn bailout. Then again, since porn is a huge industry in the SFV, maybe I should be rooting for it. I don't want to see my local economy go down the tubes like Detroit.

Hey, can I propose a California State Employee bailout?

Miss Elizabeth said...

Oh, and "magic Monday" sounds a lot better than "manic Monday." I'll take "magic Monday" any day!

David said...

You should be the Secretary of Treasury. I heard the position's open again...