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I have received a number of emails pointing out that I have not posted in a while. Reading between the lines, the message seemed to be, “Daisy, these are uncertain economic times; we need your macroeconomic input!”

OK, I did not really think you would buy that, but it was worth a try. The emails mostly just wondered if all was OK. And the answer is yes all is fine, and I truly appreciate the kind thoughts. With my son having departed for college, I have focused mostly on physical labor, partly out of necessity (he tended to carry his share of the burden) and partly as a way of adjusting to his absence.

But now, as economic inequalities grow, and the economy flounders, I sense that I am needed here:

when in this world the headlines read
of those whose hearts are filled with greed
who rob and steal from those who need
to right this wrong with blinding speed
goes Daisy-san! Daisy-san! Daisy-san! Daisy-san!
speed of lightning, roar of thunder
fighting all who rob or plunder
Daisy-san! Daisy-san!


(To be sung to the tune of the Underdog theme song:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tEVsRLhet2k )

So how can we tackle this nightmare, this economic miasma, this maelstrom?

Well, guys, I think the answer is clear. We have to roll up our sleeves and talk about American Samoa.

Why, you ask?

Perhaps you did not realize that “American Samoa” is an anagram of “macroeconomics!” We all know the power of anagrams; is it too great a leap to think that we can learn something about macroeconomics by studying the American Samoan economy?

After exhaustive research, I realized that everything we need to know about American Samoa is summed up in the following, taken directly from Wikipedia:

Employment on the island falls into three relatively equal-sized categories . . . : the public sector, the single remaining tuna cannery, and the rest of the private sector.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/American_Samoa

Immediately, we know why American Samoa is such a paradise – a tuna cannery has as much economic clout as the entire government!

There is a disturbing comparison to be made here, because American employment is also divided into three groups of roughly equal economic power: (i) the public sector; (ii) the bloated mass of attorneys, brokers, bankers, and other purveyors of intermediation services, and (iii) the rest of the private sector.

I think you will agree that we need go no further; our in-depth anagrammatic analysis has revealed the reason for the differences between these two economies! Specifically, one economy is saddled with an odiferous, offensive middle sector, while the other has a fully functional tuna cannery.

Interlude.

Vice President Dan Quayle once referred to the capitol of American Samoa as “Pogo Pogo,” which gives us a chance to recall one of the great moments in comic strip history:

http://www.google.com/imgres?imgurl=http://languagelog.ldc.u...

End Interlude.

Now perhaps the life of the typical American Samoan is not quite as idyllic as I originally thought. I had always imagined myself sitting on a small hill, looking out at the sun setting over the ocean, sipping lemonade and eating coconut. Probably the reality is a bit different – for example, given the above information, it seems more likely that I would be sipping lemonade and eating canned tuna, which might get a bit old after a while.

Still, I think we can all agree that we would be better off if we could trade Wall Street, Madison Avenue, and our various Tulkinghorns for truly productive enterprises, things like rending plants, tack factories and my own used ceramics parts supply business.

But that is obvious; the question, how do we achieve this? And I have no idea. In fact, I have kind of written myself into a corner here, since I did not really have anything of substance to say right from the outset; I was mostly just writing in response to the people that emailed me.

So, for now, let us leave things there, on that small hill, watching the sun slip gracefully into the amber sea, the first stars winking into existence in the sky behind us, joining the pink glow of the beautiful "Bell of Venus" -- and then perhaps, just perhaps, as the last sliver of sun slides into the sea, for one magic moment, the fabled green flash soaring into the sky, illuminating sea, sand, and one empty tuna can . . . .

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Earth's_shadow

http://mintaka.sdsu.edu/GF/observing/greenray.html


Once again, I thank my correspondents for their interest and concern. I will post again if and when I actually have something to say, as was evidently not the case here!

Rich

A Drumlin Daisy
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