December 12, 2012
Vol: 19 No: 50

Dr. Wes

Apocalyptic prognostications prevent people from seeing our present-day national disaster: poverty

by: Dr. Wes Browning

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Let’s predict stuff!

This is the sort of pointless exercise I love, knowing that no one cares, not even enough to go back and see how accurate I’ve been in the past. Even I don’t care!

How pointless is it? Well, consider that no one predicted a year ago that a Seattle Police Department spokesperson would be quoted in the Seattle Times this week saying you may be responsibly baked in the privacy of your own home. Responsibly baked, he said.

I would rather wait to predict until we were closer to the end of the year, but we have the end of the world looming before us, so it seems a good idea to get predictions done in time for the end-of-world parties.

Of course, prediction number one is: The world will not end, either on Dec. 21, 2012, or even at any time between now and the end of 2013.

You read it here first, people. I’m really going out on a limb with this one. I hope you all remember I made this prediction when I’m proved right Jan. 1, 2014. Those of you, anyway, who aren’t dead by then. The good news: The world won’t end. The bad news: We’re all going to drop dead, one after another, at random times in the coming decades.

I believe this is the reason so many people are attracted to end-of-the-world predictions. The thought of going out alone, without any company, is hard to bear. Cheer up, end-of-the-worlders: You’ll have company, just not at the exact same instant.

Similarly, my prediction regarding the fiscal cliff is that it will be a fiscal trip over a fiscal railing, followed by a fiscal dangling by our fiscal heels from said railing, followed by the arrival of fiscal squirrels that have come to see if they can steal our fiscal nuts while we are hanging upside down by our heels. But there will be no fall off a fiscal cliff, except for the random intermittent falls by countless individuals, which will alarm the rest of you a lot less than it would if it were collective.

Who really cares if one person goes broke and ends up living out of a cardboard box as long as the country as a whole prospers, right? Now make it two. Who cares if two people go broke, as long as the country prospers? Do I hear three? Someone give me five!

I predict that an extra half million Americans could become homeless all at the same instant, in addition to the number that are already currently homeless. Then the average middle-class American won’t experience all that really painful poverty or see all those new homeless people as a sign that they could be next. The problem of homelessness would just get worse, and most Americans would just wonder why so many people were turning to homelessness. What’s the attraction?

As long as poverty only happens to someone else and isn’t about the whole country going off a cliff simultaneously, it’s not going to be seen as a national disaster.

The truth is we met the fiscal cliff around about 1980. We didn’t fall off it, we were deliberately slammed head first into the cliff wall and have been again and again since then.

But I digress. I don’t want to suggest that a class war has begun and that it’s time for people to unite to finish it. To suggest that would distract me from my predictions.

I predict that in the coming months, analysis of the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy will show that hurricanes are job creators. As a result, Democrats, Republicans and end-of-the-worlders will come together to work out how we can increase the number of devastating hurricanes we can have each year.

Global warming won’t come soon enough to bring about Sandy-sized catastrophes every year, so the National Guard will be asked to trash cities directly, to keep the country building its job force, and the recession will finally end.

Happy 2013!

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