LEE: How America's critics really sound

If they're going to kvetch about America, let's show them how to do it. Photo: AP photo/Reinhold Matay

WASHINGTON, October 15, 2013 – The nearest I can figure is that there must be a contest going on to see who can most blandly state the patently obvious about our economy. I’m up for a contest as much as the next person. So without further ado, herewith this entry:



Rodney Dangerfield (Dec.)
Phone: 001-555-321-4321


The United States absolutely must do something or all hell will break loose 

SEE RELATED: LEE: The U.S. doesn’t need ‘advice’ from economic grandees

WASHINGTON, October 14, 2013 – The self-appointed guardians of the world economy convened Monday at the Foggy Bottom Chicken ‘n Waffles to offer their unsolicited advice to President Obama, Federal Reserve Chairman Bernanke, House Speaker Boehner and all Americans. 

Having arrogated to themselves the responsibility of protecting the world from bumbling capitalist American citizens, unanimous in their belief that they know our systems better than we do and complaining loudly that they get no respect, the delegates have spent two days criticizing our businesses and plan to spend the remainder of the week in Orlando alternately discussing America’s shortcomings and riding Space Mountain at Disney World. 

The delegates concluded that they absolutely must unburden themselves to the fullest concerning the deficiencies of American economy, even though they kvetch endlessly when anyone in the United States utters one word about their domestic affairs, or else it would imperil their ability to write this meeting off as a business deduction. And God knows the younger kids along for the Florida leg of the junket fact finding mission will act up if they don’t finally get to see the Magic Kingdom. 

Every delegate was given time to harangue the multitudes using whatever language they felt appropriate, hectoring Americans to keep spending on their exports or else. The precise meaning of “else,” however, was never resolved. 

SEE RELATED: LEE: Divine intervention needed at the Fed

Nevertheless, the conferees were clear that every last Clampett in the United States was personally responsible for sustaining the nascent recovery purportedly occurring throughout the world. A discussion about America’s inept handling of its own money supply was on the formal agenda. But the  delegates found it impossible to take this matter under consideration without cracking up about their own embattled currencies and monetary policies. 

As the confab nears its conclusion, side trips are being arranged to all major American universities permitting the delegates and their older offspring to visit their top college choices before the Early Decision application deadline. Separate trips to New York and Boston are also on tap for delegates and spouses to visit the managers of their extensive investment portfolios. Immigration lawyers are on call for the duration of the get-together to counsel delegates on the process for sponsoring relatives for immigration to the United States. 

# # # 

If you would like more information about this statement (communiqué), please contact Mr. Dangerfield. Good luck getting him on the phone.

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Michael Justin Lee

Michael Justin Lee from the faculty of finance and the Center for East Asian Studies at the University of Maryland, teaches, speaks and writes at the intersection of global finance and politics (with occasional tangents off on one or the other).

He is the author of “The Chinese Way to Wealth and Prosperity” (McGraw-Hill, 2012). A veteran Chartered Financial Analyst, he served as Financial Markets Expert-in-Residence in the U.S. Department of Labor. He can be followed at www.michaeljustinlee.com


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