About a month ago I tried to take the family metaphor for national or government economic management seriously, only because it’s so carelessly and incompetently thrown around. The exercise was necessarily fairly tortured, because a nation isn’t a family even if it has some family-like qualities, and a government is even less so. If you think it’s cute to say the US government has maxed out its credit cards, you have to explain why it’s still being offered loans at historically low interest, with T-bills hovering around 3%.
Let me try again. The country is a family whose kids are sick. The doctor says “here’s a prescription; they’re going to be sniffling and feverish for a while, but they will get better if you treat this. “
Mom brings the prescription home and dad says “We don’t need no stinkin’ medicine! Especially from a pointyhead doctor who thinks he’s smarter than I am! Those kids are lazy and they’ll get better if we cut back on their food until they’re hungry enough to shape up.”
The crazy uncle comes around to pitch a prayer meeting with burning incense and sacrifice of the family cat.
Mom says, “we tried that twice in the 30s and Aunt Bessie got much worse!”
The uncle says “let me explain disease to you: Shut up! Anyway, my brother and I have put an oil-soaked haybale in the basement and we’re going to burn the house if you don’t do this our way.”
“Are you crazy?”
“What does that have to do with anything? I have the