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Cuckoo was intrigued. After endless hours, days and months of reading and discussion, Eagle seemed to be moving from the purely academic into the practical. As far as he was concerned, Eagleomics had to be about real answers for real people; and his people were Americans. They might be as dumb as owls when in came to understanding their best interests, but they had their redeeming qualities. And they were his responsibility.
Certainly, the American Business Model, as currently practiced, wasn’t delivering. Instead it seemed to have morphed into an ideology of greed and ignorance where everything was permitted – if technically legal – in the interests of optimizing shareholder value. Employees didn’t matter. The community didn’t matter. And the Nation certainly didn’t count. Jobs were being exported by the million. Intellectually property was being given or sold to competitors like China. Still, he wasn’t there to agree with Eagle. He was there to teach him, and that meant challenging him intellectually.
“What do you mean when you say that conventional economics is not working? Give me an example,” said Cuckoo
“The Financial Markets are meant to self regulate,” said Eagle. “Well the country now has the largest financial sector in its history, and all that has happened is that a small group of people have become very rich; and the average American hasn’t had a pay rise, if you factor in inflation, since about 1974. And now household earnings are actually in decline for those fortunate enough to have jobs.
“That would be insane by itself, but these supposedly self-regulating financial markets implode every few years and have to be baled out by the government – which means the taxpayer.
“It gets worse. The New York centered U.S. financial system is supposed to be there to allocate capital in the most efficient manner but it doesn’t even do much of that any more except for large corporations and the bond market. Small Business gets short shrift. Instead it is primarily a giant casino for the rich, subsidized heavily by the less well off. That isn’t even free market capitalism. It is a form of extortion brought on by the fact that the rich are using their wealth to buy both the political and legal systems. The entire financial system is stacked to favor the wealthy. The table, so to speak is rigged. It’s a foul business because the country is going down the tubes at a rapid rate.”
Eagle rose to his full height – which was considerable. “Now give me an argument!”
Cuckoo looked at the waning sun. It seemed to think the time had come to retire in some style behind the mountains. The skyline was as fire, though the orange was fading.
“Let’s open a bottle of wine,” he said. “Of course you’re absolutely right, but what do you do with a president who won’t explain these issues in words of one syllable!”
“That’s at least a two bottle problem,” said Eagle. “But I’d start off by suggesting he look at FDR on YouTube for an hour every night. Now there was a president who knew how to frame an issue; and understood the correct cadence that must be achieved with words. Well paced punch! Punch! Punch! Unexpected lethal stab! And all with a smile. Clear, slow, charming, relentless, articulate death to the opposition.”
Cuckoo filled their glasses. “I’ll drink to that,” he said.