Monday, October 10, 2011



In a groundbreaking report issued yesterday, the Federal Trade Commission conclusively revealed the reasons behind America's persistent economic woes.

"Basically, sellers are not hawking, peddling, pushing, scalping and mongering enough," explained Commissioner Jon Leibowitz.

"But sellers aren't the only ones to blame," he continued. "Buyers, too, have critically failed to haggle, bargain, dicker and lay out cash. Combined, these selling and buying behaviors led to today's catastrophic economic climate."

Economic experts expressed shock over the report. "For several years now, we thought that the Great Recession resulted from risky loans, rising debt levels and an imploding housing market. Now, however, we see the real reasons for our hard times: A colossal failure to hawk, hock and dicker," wrote eminent economist Paul Krugman. "This is really mind-blowing news."

Commissioner Leibowitz pointed out that economic recovery will not happen until people understand why the economy failed in the first place.

"People need to see that we face a multifaceted problem. We are not just talking about mongering and haggling. True, we need car salesmen to monger more and first-time homebuyers to dicker more. But just a little mongering won't cut it. We need full-scale mongering and hawking, as well as nonstop dickering to get moving in the right direction. Americans need to start driving bargains again; and that means that sellers need to start stepping up their hawking game, too."

President Obama praised the Commissioner's report. "I'm glad we have a sense about where we need to go with our economy," he said. "For all this time, we've been quarreling about stimulus, job creation and spending limits. But now we see that what we really need to do is get people dickering again. I'm confident that Americans will be able to put country before party and really start mongering, pushing, scalping and laying out cash. This is America. We have a long history of haggling, bargaining, hawking and peddling. We have been doing these things since our earliest colonial history. We know how to hawk and haggle. We even know how to hock and pawn. This is the greatest country in the world because we have the greatest peddlers and dickerers. It's time to find our stride again."

According to the Commissioner's report, economic progress depends on more than increased mongering, haggling, bargaining and hawking. Instead, other factors will play a role, namely, behaviors within the financial services industry.

In analyzing the Recession's causes, the report also noted that reduced mongering, haggling, bargaining, hawking, pushing and scalping were matched by rampantly negative bank practices, including chicanery, hoodwinking, bamboozling, hornswoggling, rooking and wheedling. The report also observed that banks repeatedly pulled contractual wool over customers' eyes between 2004 and the market collapse in 2008.

"Put simply, our financial crisis involved unprecedented hornswoggling," Mr. Leibowitz explained. "While our free market economy has always provided ample room for hoodwinking and bamboozling, banking practices between 2004 and 2008 saw a meteoric increase in hornswoggling and wheedling. Combined with lower levels of consumer dickering, haggling and mongering, this created a perfect economic storm. We just couldn't handle it."

Despite the gloomy analysis, Mr. Leibowitz expressed hope for the future. "Understanding a crisis is necessary to solving it. Since 2009, the Federal Government has taken steps to eradicate rooking in the financial industry, and data show that wheedling has fallen dramatically. The Commission has also set up a special department to decisively root out hornswoggling. Once we eliminate that, we are confident that consumers will return to robust dickering and mongering levels."

Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner concurred with the Commission's findings on the financial industry. "As a former Wall Street banker, I know that hornswoggling was the straw the broke the camel's back in 2008. When we eliminate it, I am certain that the banking industry will return to customary--and acceptable--hoodwinking and bamboozling practices."

Republicans disagreed with the Commission's analysis, claiming that hornswoggling is absolutely vital to job creation.

"I come from a background in business, and I can tell you that uninhibited hornswoggling is what made us strong," said Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney. "You can't run a business or make money if you tie a manager's hands behind his back. In business, you need the freedom to hoodwink, rook, bamboozle, and most of all hornswoggle in order to deliver the highest quality goods and services. And if a business doesn’t make money, it can't create jobs."

Congresswoman Michelle Bachmann objected to the report on liberty grounds. "We're a nation of liberty and laws, and you can't take away liberty from people," she explained. "People in business need more liberty than most, because they're job creators. And to be a job creator, you need all the liberty you can get. That includes the liberty to hornswoggle, hoodwink, rook and bamboozle. When government starts taking away those liberties, it's trampling our free enterprise spirit. The bottom line is that hornswoggling creates jobs and pays a lot of salaries. And it's flat-out tyranny when the Federal government says it's going to take it away."

Texas Governor Rick Perry disagreed with the Commission's findings in less abstract terms. "Look, I don't believe a word that comes from any Federal agency, least of all a Federal agency controlled by President Obama. It was President Obama who made the economy bad, and it's President Obama who has to pay for it. Simple as that."

Overall, markets responded well to the Commission's report. The DOW rose 1.9% on data indicating a modest rise in dickering, a strong rise in haggling, an encouraging rise in hawking and a remarkable rise in bamboozling.

For their part, consumers expressed hope for the future. "If all it takes for me to me to help the economy is to haggle and dicker a little more, I'm willing to do my part," said freelance handyman Willie Williams of Ozone Park, New York.

1 comment:

SteveW said...

Very nice work, Ben. Glad to see you back at it.