My friend Sasha is interested in the history of capitalism in America.
I got your history right here, Sasha: give me your freakin' money. Then go find more money and give that to me.
Wait, maybe that's the history of something else. Never mind.
One problem with capitalism--materialism, really, I guess--is that when it works, it's darned attractive, and when it doesn't, it leaves painful infected teeth marks in your pretty ass. At the moment, I am an ointment junkie.
You may know that I am essentially (and legally) self-employed. After having every reason to believe that I had gotten my business house in order, I came to find yesterday that, after mid-December, I will have very, very little business unless I go find more, on a pretty immediate basis. This is an uncomfortable prospect--for three years now, I've had a plentiful supply, and until yesterday, I had every reason to believe that that supply would continue for at least two more years. At the moment, it appears that as of December 14, I will be markedly underemployed.
Like any good capitalist, I carefully planned this year's annual assault on the piggybank, taking into account high-and-mighty economic principles like supply and demand. I forgot one key thing--my key customer is the government, which is dedicated to levelling off the effects of that key driver of all things.
It should have been simple: I am the supply, and my customer demands me. It has good reasons for doing so; I clean up well, I'm smarter than I look (even after I clean up), and--I think this bit will surprise you--I have something of a knack for getting people to do things I want them to do. I set a market-based rate (and really, it wasn't an extravagant rate) for the supply of me.
Sadly, an entrenchified government person did not like that market-based rate, and preferred to compare my value to that of, say, sand or zucchini or those guys from the jail who pick up litter on your local highways. Said person dug in, and as the sound of progressively larger dicks being slapped on tables grew really quite deafening, I remained confident that the biggest dick slapped down on the table would be slapping in my favor.
As I write this, the biggest johnson on my side is over at the headquarters building I like to call The Big House, playing a little game of Dueling Johnsons with The Big Cheese (who, it must be admitted, is actually playing Dueling Johnsons using her vagina). It'll be the final game of Dueling Johnsons in this little saga. The meal ticket of poor Ilse and her poor urchins, DataBoy and Bam-Bam, rides in the balance. Such is the tragedy of capitalism. On the other hand, capitalism been berry, berry good to me. More later.