The pretend economy

Isn’t it sweet to be surrounded by so much make-believe? So much pretending.

In the Big Apple the Fire Department graduated a new class of firefighters. All of them endured the training. All of them passed various written exams. All of them passed the rigorous physical test. Except one.

The department allowed one person who failed the physical test to become a firefighter. Why? Because she is a woman. And the department wants to avoid looking like it is anti-women. The woman failed the test six times. Well…let’s pretend she is strong enough.

Other city fire departments spin similar fairy tales. They pretend. Pretend that weak women can lug bodies down and hoses up ladders. Bodies and hoses as heavy as the weights they could not handle in the tests. Right.

You should hope we won’t see the same pretending when it comes to training for brain surgery. It won’t happen there, Tom. Because patients’ lives are in the balance. Well, don’t firefighters have lives in their hands?



Meanwhile various characters pretend our economy is just peachy. Pretend that any day now it will kick into even higher gear.

I hate to be the guy who tugs back the curtain to reveal the Wizard of Oz. But things ain’t peachy. It is time to stop pretending.

This has been a dismal recovery. Fueled by the easiest money in history, the economy has gone pfffft. It is anything but robust. Let us stop pretending, please, Washington. The Obama economic policies have worked poorly. We may be headed toward another recession.

Your doc checks your vitals. Economists do the same with the economy. Lately the economy’s vitals have missed expectations the most in six years. New jobs are weak. So is investment. So are exports. So are new business numbers.

Suppose your doc said your blood pressure stinks. And your ticker flutters. And your blood analysis is lousy. What would you think? Well, that’s what you should think about your economy. Let us stop pretending.

On the political front we are asked to pretend a bunch of stuff about the Clintons. In the wake of the accusations in the new book “Clinton Cash”.

Enough already with the pretending. When you tug the curtain back you see Influence Peddling. And Influence Buying. As big as elefunks.

The only reason people cough up millions to a politician is to get something in return. Period. End of fairy tale. People lay out the big bucks to buy influence. Politicians take the money by promising favors. Or hinting it, nudge, nudge, wink, wink. Or by having a proxy do so.

Let’s get real here. It doesn’t matter what the front is. Yeah the bucks are going to charity. It doesn’t matter what the defense is. “There is no evidence, you know. No evidence.”

C’mon, c’mon. Everybody knows there’s a whole lotta influence peddling goin’ on. And the Clintons are wizards at it.

If you want to pretend this doesn’t go on in Washington (or Albany) I will pin this year’s Casablanca award on your chest. (“I’m shocked, shocked to find that gambling is going in here!”)

If you want to pretend the Clintons are not running the biggest and best-oiled influence machine in town, I’ll pin two of them on you.

A genuinely honest defense of the Clintons should begin thus: Hey, influence-peddling is the lifeblood of this town. And the Clintons run the best game in town. So what’s your problem?

Now that would be an honest defense. No pretending.

From Tom...as in Morgan.

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