Man of the year nominations are flying fast and furious. Like a bunch of giddy high school girls thinking about their spring prom dates the names of candidates worthy of the distinction are being bantered back and forth by all. The President always comes to mind first, as do a lot of others who have done everything from bringing us closer to world peace to creating a vaccine with the ability to cure millions. But may I suggest we put them aside, for the way I look at it, this year’s nomination should be for the man who has made this country what it is today: broke, indifferent to the economies of the world and in a state of denial none so greater than the days when we thought everyone loved the Shah! He, of course being the fellow I call “The Flim Flam Man!”
For those of you not familiar with the term, define him as the guy who does three cards Monty with everything that might be of value to you. Right before your eyes he will entice you with a world that is better than you have ever dreamed of and just as quickly as you put your money down, he is gone along with your cash, dreams and naivety.
Traditionally Flim Flam men have sold home improvements. They told you that the air was dirty only to sell you an ozone creating machine that made you cough your lungs out long after your check had cleared and assured you the car you bought only needed three wheels and you believed him every time. The same guys that sold you that first PC, that did everything but what you wanted it to do! Of course this year, our Flim Flam Men have caste aside little games of chance and slight of hand tricks for the really big money. A set of Dirty Rotten Scoundrels the likes of we have never seen before.
You would think after what went on with Enron and the likes of a Kenneth Lay that we would all be looking especially hard at people who promise high yields on our money when everyone else can barely make any interest payments at all. But you would be wrong. We fell for the new guys hook line and sinker. Men like Bernie Madoff became nightly news icons this year. AIG’s and mortgage officers alike reeled us in and when they had our funds enticed us to call our friends and have them come put their money in as well. Fifty seven percent of us now don’t believe in global warming anymore! Sarah Palins book is the number one seller on amazon.com! We were convinced to give up not only our credit but any hope of future credit to bail out bankers who are now cashing million dollar bonus checks for doing such a good job! How could we have been so dumb to be taken in by them? How could they have gotten so rich?
Accordingly it seems just about every bank and investment firm on Wall Street was in on the deal. And you and I just kept sending off the checks only to one day find ourselves, blind sided, broke and dumfounded. Is your money here or is it there? Aha, the sweet smells of derivatives, who can ever forget that, hocus pocus. New bill board on Wall Street; “Got Cayman Islands!”
It might be nice if we could say we have learned our lesson. But it appears that for us to get out of our economic doldrums a whole new set of flim flam men have arrived to help us. Have you got you stimulus money help yet? You can do that!
Tonight on the evening news when they announce the millions of dollars that all of these crude financiers are going to get for Christmas and the company officials tell you they have to pay this money to keep such good talent, do me a favor. E-mail Time magazine for your choice for man of the year, “The Flim Flam Man,” for from where I see all other nominations pale in comparison. And if they send word back to send in someone’s else’s name and be bit more serious, assure them, you are serious; dead broke serious that is!