Billy’s bleepity-bleep lecture

by Michael Tilley ([email protected]) 60 views 

Billy, the college friend from thousands of years ago, called this week. A report on The City Wire about the recession being over put him in a foul mood. In an expletive-riddled lecture, Billy pointedly explained how I and The City Wire are “lackey tools of pointy-headed (bleepity-bleep) eggheads who sit in university offices and think big (bleepity-bleep) thoughts without the (f-word bleep) burden of what’s really going on out here in the real (bleepity-bleep) world.”

By way of reminder, Billy continues to believe The City Wire will never be a long-term success unless it includes stories about hunting seasons, high school football and presents a weekly photo feature of a local Hooters girl.

Billy: How is that you ain’t ashamed to show your face in public after posting them stories about the recession being over?

MT: Well, for starters, it’s not The City Wire saying the recession is over. A national group that looks at a wide set of economic variables is responsible to make that call. All we did is report their announcement. But we did point out that some economists say it’s proving to be a jobless recovery.

Billy: It’s not a jobless recovery, you bonehead, it’s a recovery-less recovery. Them academic types who think the recession is over based on a bunch of variables might want to haul their pocket-protectors off campus to a local breakfast joint where us middle class folks talk about how we ain’t going to NASCAR races anymore or how we’re down to drinking Keystone Light. Hell, three of my friends haven’t been to Hooters in over three weeks. I’m telling you, it’s bad out there.

MT: I hear what you’re saying, but the …

Billy: See, that’s your problem, you always have a “but” that gets in the way of common sense. Here’s how stupid you look: The day after them folks said the recession is over, the unemployment rate in Arkansas went up to 7.5%. And in your story you noted how it was the 18th straight month the state’s unemployment rate was higher than 7%. If that’s the sign of a recession being over, then we are screwed if we go into one of them double doses.

MT: You mean, double dips?

Billy: No, I mean a double dose, Mr. Smarty Pants.

MT: But a …

Billy: There you go again with your “but.”

MT: And there you go again with your “I’m all countrified and street smart in the ways of the world.”

Billy: Damn right I’m countrified. This country boy knows that a dose of something is what you get when you’re sick, and this country’s economy is sick with a bunch of folks who think the government is the answer to making their life easier. We’re about to get a second dose of hard medicine.

MT: What evidence do you have causing you to think we’re going to have a double-dip recession?

Billy: Tilley, I sometimes wonder how we remain friends. Firstly, it’s a dose and not a dip. A dip is something you do with a pretty lady on the dance floor in the hopes it loosens her britches. Here’s what you got for a second dose. You got more folks out of work, our home values are still falling and you done reported that the number of homes being sold in Arkansas is falling. I say, three strikes and you’re out. You can try to cover for your favorite President, Mr. Obama, if you want, but he and his Democrat pals are fools if they think we’re gonna vote in November as if the economy is all fresh and snappy.

MT: I’m an Obama fan because we posted a story about a group of economists saying the recession is over based on the metrics they follow? Really?

Billy: OK, I admit you’re about the only reporter person I know who says the only difference between Democrats and Republicans is that Democrats raise taxes and spend wildly and Republicans cut taxes and spend wildly.

MT: Then what’s your point?

Billy: It’s that the problem with them economists and their little fancy report is we’ve never had people out here in the business world afraid to hire folks or expand their business or do any growing. People out here, even if they don’t own a business, are pretty damn uncertain of what’s next. They know that if Congress can push that health care mess down our throats, they can do just about anything to us.

MT: You’re saying the economists aren’t factoring in the unknown private-sector fear of unchecked government growth?

Billy: That’s not what I’m saying, Mr. Tilley, that’s what I’m seeing. And that’s the problem with you academics and you media-types. You’re not out here. Folks are scared out here. About the only reason they say they are going to vote for Republicans is that they mistrust them just a little less than Democrats.

MT: So what happens if Republicans win big in November?

Billy: I don’t think it will help us immediately. We’re about to have some big problems with banks holding foreclosed homes and commercial property. They can’t hold all that too much longer, and pushing it out into the marketplace could depress home values and commercial property values even more. Many states are going to make even bigger budget cuts in 2011. Just last Friday your city folks there in Fort Smith reported that July sales tax collections fell off again after being up three straight months. If next year is better than 2010, it’ll be a damn miracle.

MT: Billy, I’m somewhat impressed. You’ve really been thinking about this and keeping tabs on economic reports.

Billy: Well, I have the media to thank.

MT: How’s that?

Billy: As long as you guys, especially them national media groups, continue to report on knuckleheads who say the recession is over based on four sets of numbers nobody has ever heard of, then folks like me are forced to do our own research and thinking. And as long as you media types refer to big federal spending bills as “stimulus” money, then folks like me are forced to look elsewhere for good information.

MT: Once again Billy, you make a great point. I could probably argue with the details, but your big picture view may be spot on.

Billy: Of course I make a great point. Speaking of great points, you need to write a story about the “stimulus” them Hooters girls bring to the area economy. It could be a bust-induced stimulus story as opposed to our national economy that is really a stimulus-induced bust.

MT: Goodbye, Billy. I’ve gotta go stock up on pinto beans and ramen noodles for the great double-dip recession.