January 6, 2009

"Right now, the most important task for us is to stabilize the patient."

"The economy is badly damaged — it is very sick. So we have to take whatever steps are required to make sure that it is stabilized." So says Obama.

It's an emergency. Get into the emergency frame of mind, which is stand back, don't interfere, accept that they gotta do what they gotta do. Obama is going with the full emergency metaphor: The economy is a patient who is "very sick," he's the doctor who must "stabilize" the patient by taking "whatever steps are required."


HelenParr said...

Do not resuscitate.

Lem said...

We are out of beds mr President ;)

Jason said...

I hate student doctors.

rdkraus said...

Luckily, he's experienced in dealing with this type of thing and knows exactly what to do.

Whew, I feel better already just knowing he's "on the job."

I feel, well, stable.

Michael_H said...

Hey! Doogie Howser! Take those paddles out of my pockets.

Lem said...

Obama is going to play House.

Jason said...

This explains the golfing and trips to Hawii.

I'm sitting in an examining room right now.

Original George said...

Ganderize this monthly DJIA chart from 1920 to 1940.

The '29 Crash took the average from 381 to about 240.

Spring of 1930 saw recovery to 294. People thought the worse was over.

But by mid 1932 it had fallen to 41.

Then recovery! In 1937, the average hit 194.

Oops...another crash, taking the average to 94 in 1938.

Then back up and another crash in 1942 to 92.

The Dow Industrials didn't get to 381 until around 1955.

Have a nice day!

author, etc. said...

The key word here is "stabilized." It sets Obama's short-term economic goal at a point lower than "healthy" and of course much less quantifiable. Thus a year from now he can say, See, we're stable now, no longer sick. Which is a smart move, frankly.

I'm just glad he didn't use "comfortable" instead of "stabilized." Because patients who are doomed and dying are kept comfortable, to the bitter end.

Original Mike said...

I'd feel better if the patient weren't enrolled in rationalized health care.

Outis said...

But Biden says the economy is like a war. Is the economy like a war, or like a medical patient? Or is it like a system in which people exchange goods and services for mutual benefit?

JAL said...

Stop making bad loans. Not to mention stop giving [our] money away. Period.

Stop being the "experts" in something there is no record you (collective) have any success in doing.

Make Franklin Raines, James Johnson, and Jamie Gorelick and the rest of the vultures return their FM "bonuses" (millions of our $$s) they got for their great service and creative accounting. (Not to mention return their golden parachutes.)

Investigate and prosecute any and all involved in lying to the people (and each other) about the financial misdirection and the pressure put on private sector to create this mess.

The greed wasn't just "Wall Street" (where my 401k lives) as much as people in government position soaking us all with no accountability.

When I was working as an RN (ICU) I used to joke I was going to have the names of certain doctors tattoed on my body with a note "DO NOT LET [names] NEAR ME"

Keep these guys away from our money.

Enforce the safe guards we have and prosecute those who ignore(d) them.

JAL said...

About 20 years ago when some of the people in charge these days were just beginning to run for office and get involved at all levels of government and social services, a friend attended a conference in DC.

At the conference she had a chat with another attendee and the message she brought from him was that the MO for takeover was to create the crisis and then move in with the answer. Ta da!

A blend of running the victim down on the side of the road, driving up in the ambulance and having your borther the lawyer chase it to the bedside. An all in one package.

JAL said...


Simon said...

I join Rick Hills' fears on this. This - what Obama's doing now - is called "pretext."

Original George said...

There's no conspiracy. All the adults who were old enough to remember the Depression and its lessons got too old to keep the younger folks from running wild, and now we'll pay.

A new [2002] study of American demographic patterns and the stock market predicts that while the market may rally periodically, its overall direction will be downward until around 2018.

Study by a Yale prof reported in NYT in 2002.


AllenS said...

"The Earth has a fever" -- Al Gore

"The economy is badly damaged — it is very sick." -- Barack Obama

Is there a doctor in the house? No, no there isn't.

Joe said...

To slaughter the metaphor, the problem is that Obama is a student intern studying toe fungus.

Unfortunately, Republicans are being complete idiots. There are plenty of free market type things that could be done right now. (Like removing the income limit and doubling or tripling the contribution limit on Roth IRA contributions.)

Smilin' Jack said...

Get into the emergency frame of mind, which is stand back, don't interfere, accept that they gotta do what they gotta do.

And above all, do not suspect that they are not highly trained and skillful physicians, as you watch them apply leeches and drill holes in the skull to let the evil spirits out.

traditionalguy said...

Since we went global with our capitalist system all hope of a recovery to normal for the USA depends upon the credit the world holders of $$ are willing to give to our Institution of private property protected by a Justice system that treats all owners of property with basic justice. {thank God for honest lawyers and honest Courts} Those systems alone create the value of the paper $$ we are printing up so fast. In other words, all the political shady dealings of the DEMS now being revealed in stark detail in the world wide web news is the absolute worst thing for any hope we have for a recovery to normal. Look at Cuba if you think the hope of Socialism really saves anyone other than the small ruling class of Kleptocrats. Where are the News Media investigators? They are blinded by the sweet speeches and concerned countenance of the Historic new African American President. Our crisis is a crisis caused by our willfully choosing those sweet illusions.

Lem said...

What we have here is an acute case of Munchausen syndrome.

The unique thing about the case is that everybody is in on it.

Zeb Quinn said...

Obama is angling to use the economy as his ticket to reelection. The nature of the cycle is that the economy is going to be in the tank for a year or two. By 2011 and into 2012 the economy will be rip-roaring again, and with comments such as these now Obama will have positioned himself to take full credit for the recovery which will come with or without him.

Hoosier Daddy said...

Seems to me all the patient needs is some Viagra and we'll start to see some growth.

Mark O said...

Obama seems to be as shallow and callow as I feared. Leon Panetta to head the CIA? There’s a real war on, not just a metaphorical economic war. I think Mr. Obama has not had to brush up against the real world much in his life. He just seems so small and so unprepared. His appointments seem so incongruous and nearly inexplicable. He inspires no sense of optimism about the economy or anything else.

David said...

Trust me, I'm a doctor.

TitusDoeADeerAFemaleDeer said...

Take me beautiful black doctor. I am ready for my prostate exam.

Be gentle...or not.

TitusDoeADeerAFemaleDeer said...

My teeth are finally starting to recover and I am beginning to get horny again which is a very good sign.

I like sex.

Richard Dolan said...

Policy-by-metaphor has its limitations. Who knew that our economic woes could be solved just by printing more money and hiring more Gov't workers? What a wonderful world we live in.

We are getting to the point that the only two things that will be made in the USA are greenbacks and regulations. The point of the regulations, of course, will be to make it more difficult to produce anything that might earn a greenback. As Biden let slip, we've got to make sure those stinky coal burning plants stay Over There. But that's OK because we'll just ship off the greenbacks by the boatload to China. For reasons that are hard to fathom, those inscrutable Chinese love to hoard our greenbacks, and happily send us all kinds of useful stuff designed in Japan so that they can get an ever expanding pile of greenbacks.

Until everyone wakes up from the fairy tale, that is. Bailout Everyone sounds like the Free Lunch Policy, version 2009. At least that's one constant in Dem economic policy that will be spared from Change You Can Believe In.

God help us.

Alan said...

There really isn't any economic problems out there. It's all bogus. And anyway, if there actually is a problem, the blame can be laid directly on the Clinton/Gore Administration, the Democratic Party and the drive by media.

Sloanasaurus said...

It's an emergency. Get into the emergency frame of mind, which is stand back, don't interfere, accept that they gotta do what they gotta do. Obama is going with the full emergency metaphor:

Obama used the emergency metaphore throughout his campaign. It's his excuse to be come more "collective" in order to overcome the emergency (like we did in World War II), except Obama's collectivism isn't temperory. He wants collectivism to fight problems like health care and inequality and climate change. These are endless problems.

With Obama we will only get more fascism.

Hoosier Daddy said...

Take me beautiful black doctor. I am ready for my prostate exam.

Be gentle...or not.

Oh Titus, you fibber. You said you were always the giver and never the receiver.

Truth will out!

Alex said...

The way you save capitalism is by killing it!

Larry J said...

Since he's using a medical metaphor, he should understand and live by the dictate: "First do no harm."

Economic history has shown what happens when governments print massive amounts of money to weather a short term problem. All you have to do is look at the Weimar Republic and some modern African nations to see the dangers of hyper-inflation.

MBAs are often ridiculed for their inability to look beyond the next quarterly profit/loss report. Apparently, nothing matters to politicians beyond the next election.

Michael said...

"Obama is going with the full emergency metaphor..."

And you would suggest otherwise?

Throw out some suggestions, I'm sure he and his administration would appreciate the expert advice.

Michael said...

Whiners to the very end.

Obama hasn't even taken office yet and all you hear from the yahoos here is what a poor job he'll do.

Well, it will take some doing on his part to beat out Bush & Co's fantastic work over the past 8 years.

Pogo said...

Hey, it's Michael Threadkill!

Larry J said...

"Obama is going with the full emergency metaphor..."

And you would suggest otherwise?

Throw out some suggestions, I'm sure he and his administration would appreciate the expert advice.

From this link:

"Obama likes to say, “We are being guided by what works, not by ideology.” But if that is true, then he should listen closely to his Council of Economic Advisers chairman Christina Romer, who has published economic studies concluding that: 1) tax increases harm economic growth; 2) permanent tax cuts lead to greater economic activity; and, most importantly, 3) increased government spending has at best a small effect on stimulating economic activity."

Would you consider his own Council of Economic Advisers chairman as being expert enough?

Bart Hall (Kansas, USA) said...

No, Mr Obama, the economy is not "very sick." America's political class is very sick, and its corrupt relationship with powerful but poorly or poorly managed companies is highly destructive.

Our tax moneys intended to thaw a frozen credit regime have been used instead to purchase other companies around the world. For example, Bank of America has just bought 20% of China Construction Bank, the second largest in China.

Our politicians of both parties are falling over each other doling out the money to their friends and attempting to get more for the same purpose.

Small business like ours struggle to avoid the blowback from the self-dealing amongst America's self-appointed elite.

That's what's sick. Apart from the late financial shenanigans in New York, every group in serious economic trouble -- airlines, autos, education, and government -- is heavily unionized.

Beyond those groups and apart from the tofu-only restaurant start-ups or desperately over-indebted businesses of all sorts, things are generally fine in the American economy.

This is not an inventory-adjustment recession; it is a balance sheet adjustment facilitated by the exact sort of political bankruptcy I mentioned above.

Unfortunately, the response of our political class has been a concerted attempt to crush normal prudence -- T-bills at 0% anyone? -- and force people into more risky behavior in hopes of re-flating the now-burst liquidity bubble.

If the bastards would just leave it alone things would clear through much faster and with much less damage than what we're likely to get.

600,000 new federal bureaucrats? Thanks, Mr. O. That's just what we needed ... an even bigger government.

Jennifer said...

I suppose the pre-existing God complex made this progression inevitable.

knox said...

Manufactured Mandate.

Paul Zrimsek said...

First, do no harm.

Michael said...

Pogo: Ever figure out who wrote the opinion you relied on yesterday?

I bet not.

Michael said...

"No, Mr Obama, the economy is not "very sick." America's political class is very sick..."

Read any newspapers, books, periodicals lately?

Good lord...where do you people come up with this inane drivel?

Here's an example of how "healthy" the economy is:

*Alcoa announces 13,500 job cuts - 13% of worldwide workforce. Freezes salaries and cuts capital expenses by 50%.

BetaLiberal said...

michael get back on your ritalin. Dad says that you're so dumb you could be elected governor of minnesota.

Bart Hall (Kansas, USA) said...

Yes, Michael, that's healthy -- the same way that drying out a drunk is healthy. In that respect Obama's right, but that's definitely not the way he meant it.

The world economy, including most especially ours in the US, has been on a liquidity-driven drunken bash of historic proportion since 2003.

It started out as a good party back in '95 and began to get out of hand a few years later. Things settled down when the booze ran low in '00 to '02, but then the ever-solicitous Mr. Greenspan started delivering case after case of cheap vodka.

Sobering up makes for a nasty headache, but the alternative is usually fatal after awhile.