Sunday, March 29, 2009

This Week in Nauvoo

This week the U.S. government frantically planned for an economic recovery using means proven to bring fatality. I lived in Japan when their government implemented a stimulus package, and know that country has not recovered, 19 years later, from the ill effects of the package. They were no more successful that FDR, whose plan dragged down GDP until he dragged us into a European/Asian war. But what else is to be done?

We ignored it all. In Nauvoo, we played a giant game of Trivial Pursuit. The Nauvoo Betterment Society sponsored a team trivia competition to raise money for town improvements. So each person paid $10, little more than the cost of a Starbucks trip, to enter. Nauvoo doesn't have a Starbucks shop anyway. The committee raised a bit, which they will hopefully invest before Bernanke's printing presses create hyper-inflation. Perhaps the Betterment Society should instead mimic Tim Geithner: we can borrow money to buy our debts back. But quantitative easing doesn't buy real park benches or street lamps. In Nauvoo we live in the real world, so we need real money. That is better anyway, as we were also able to play a fun game. If only we had written "Dekalb, Illinois" for "where was barbed wire invented and first produced?" Then our team might have won.

One contestant declared that Chicago should be made an autonomous political entity, like the District of Columbia, so the rest of Illinois would be free of their corruption. But how could the new entity survive, without the property taxes of the honest real people of Illinois?

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