Wednesday, October 10, 2012
Solving the Economic Crisis by Going on the Poop Standard
As we stumble weakly toward the presidential election next month, reeling from the constant barrages of dueling statistics, half-truths, and twisted claims of the competing parties, all that many of us want is a straight answer to a simple question: what are you - Mr Obama and Mr Romney - going to do to fix the economy? We can't get a straight answer to this simple question for three reasons:
1 - There is no simple, straight answer;
2 - The candidates don't want to give the real answer because it involves pain that politicians don't want to admit and the electorate doesn't want to hear; and,
3 - Neither candidate really has a clue what to do in any case.
Nevertheless, a marvelous deus ex machina solution is - quite literally - glittering on the horizon!
I call your attention to this article from the October 4th issue of the Washington Post: "Bacteria That Poop Gold? Yep, That Exists, and It’s in an Art Exhibit."
Yes, Dear Readers, you heard it here first: the cupriavidus metallidurans bacterium eats gold chloride, a toxic substance, and poops out pure 24-karat gold about a week later. You can read a more scientific discussion of the topic in this 2009 article from Science Daily, along with an illustration of the mighty-but-not-overly-photogenic microbe ...
For the GOP, this is marvelous news. Not only does it provide a potential revenue stream that doesn't rely on taxes (the mere mention of which makes hard-core Republicans' heads explode), but it breaks down a deadly toxin into gold ... obviating the need for any job-killingTM regulations on industries that produce gold chloride from the much-despised Environmental Protection Agency (both regulation and the EPA being anathema to hard-core conservatives). If only there were a similar microbe that would turn campaign BS into gold, Mr Romney could be the very Rumplestiltskin of the economic recovery.
Of course, because the demonstration of the cupriavidus metallidurans bacterium documented in the Washington Post article is presented as a display of art, it is likely to cause serious cognitive dissonance for conservatives who object to any sort of government support of art. Not to worry, though ... the GOP has proven itself to be sufficiently flexible in its beliefs to accommodate a minor problem such as this.
Turning to the Democrats, discovery of the gold-pooping bacterium is also good news because it provides a politically safe source of revenue enhancement*, its exploitation will not alienate any minority voting blocs, and the failure to discover it's potential earlier can be blamed on the anti-science policies of the Bush administration in particular and ultraconservative Congressional Republicans in general.
The goose that laid the golden egg may be a fairy tale, but gold-pooping bacteria are real. Harnessing their potential economic power is the most promising idea for saving the economy that I've heard so far this year. But don't worry ... Congress will find some way to ensure that cupriavidus metallidurans will be pooping tin rather than gold by the time they get done writing the appropriate laws**.
Have a good day. More thoughts tomorrow.
* A convenient buzzword which translates to the common English term, "taxes."
** There will, however, surely be some sort of tax breaks for businesses and high-income individuals who invest in gold-pooping bacteria technology.