Jose’s Letter

Dear Mr.Capitalism,

My name is Jose, and I would like to ask a question about Wal-Mart.

I live in a pretty medium sized town in Illinois called Galesburg, most people haven’t heard of it. It’s a nice place to live. Rumor has it that the Marx brothers got their original names while passing through our theatre back in 1914. We also have a big railroad festival every year and Knox College is right in the town, so we have lots of students around too. All in all, I would have to say its a typical American town in every way. I grew up here and would like to stay, although the changes I’ve seen these recent years might mean I have to move to a bigger city even though I don’t want to.

Also typical of our town is that we have a massive Wal-Mart Supercenter right in the heart of downtown. It’s massive and does pretty much everything a Supercenter does: it’s a tire place and mechanics, a pharmacy, an eye glasses place, a massive junk food grocery store, a plant and garden center, they sell cell phones and other technological doodads, they do passport photos, and they have a full portrait studio. There’s even a gall-darn sandwich restaurant in there just in case you get hungry while you’re shopping in the place for hours and hours trying to find what you need.

Now, my father was a carpenter and so was my grandfather. I apprenticed with them when I was a teenager, but soon realized that there’s no money in that field anymore. Why? Because people ’round here don’t have enough money to work on their homes anymore and if they do, they choose to do it themselves to save some cash. I’m not an economist like you are, but I have the feeling that some of this might be because so many people have become unemployed these last five year since the Wal-Mart moved in and closed down so many of our local businesses. When I was growing up, the people who owned the drugstore or the photo place were pretty well off, but since they don’t have jobs now, they no longer have any money to put into the community. (I would also like to add that our city has a huge percentage of its citizens who have recently gone on welfare to cover the gap in having one or two members of the household unemployed.)

So, my question is this: how is Wal-Mart good for the US economy or for the American people? If they come in, kill all of our businesses, kill all of our jobs and then we have no money to spend on anything, isn’t this bad for capitalism overall? Shouldn’t they be stopped from having this horrible affect on our communities? What can I do to get them out of my town?

Dear Jose,

[editor’s note: Mister Capitalism couldn’t be with us today, so instead we bring you his devoted disciple Tim Worstall of Forbes.com]

I think all of the answers to your questions can be found here: http://www.forbes.com/sites/timworstall/2013/03/31/of-course-walmart-destroys-retail-jobs-thats-the-darn-point-of-it-all/

Please read this in its entirety, and then come back here for a few more comments from yours truly . . .

So, there you have it, Costco and Wal-Mart: good, you, your families and your communities: stupid. It’s just the way capitalism goes, and I say: suck it up. In the article I even give you some suggestions, the most pressing being curing cancer! Now that you have all this free time because you’re out of a job and are not trained in anything that is applicable to the modern world (like carpentry—what’s the point of that, just shop at the Home Depot!), spend your waking hours curing an incurable disease. Problem Solved.

You ask, what can be done to stop Wal-Mart once they are already in your town? Nothing. Mr.Capitalism has done an excellent job of convincing politicians all across America and Britain that having a Supercenter in their town is a good idea . . . and if he has to throw some cash their way every once in a while, well, that’s not corruption, that’s just old-fashioned greasin’ the wheels.

The other option for you is to move: there are plenty of low-wage labor jobs in the third world, and they’re always looking for carpenters to build their huts on the outskirts of major cities—it doesn’t pay much, but at least you’ll have something to do with your idle hands. Now me, I am trained in economics, so I have never built anything in my entire life. If I need some carpentry or some yard work done at one of my mansions, well, that’s why there are people called “Mexicans” and “North Africans” in the world. They love to work for nothing!

Thanks for you letter, and get out there and do something and stop being so lazy!

Tim Worstall, proud owner of Wal-Mart stock.

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Sarah’s Letter

Dear Mister Capitalism,

If you could, I would like you to comment on the recent decision by the US Senate to vote against strengthening hand gun laws. This vote happened despite popular support for the bill, even from some of the more gun-toting States, largely because of the rash of school and workplace shootings in recent years.

I would like to add that I myself live in Pittsburgh, one of the many large cities of the US which have a problem not only with violent outbursts like Columbine or Newtown, but also with the day to day violence of hand guns. I certainly applaud the parents who stood up for this bill because their children were gunned-down by a mentally unstable man who was able to easily procure a hand gun, but isn’t there an even larger issue here? In the United States each year somewhere in the neighborhood of 12,000 people are killed with guns. TWELVE THOUSAND! This is not to mention the literally tens of thousands more who are wounded by gunfire each year. Compare that to the DOZEN or so gun murders in a country like Japan where gun control laws are so strict that even to possess one is a serious offense. TWELVE.

It is a shame that somehow this became a partisan issue in the US where people seem to leave their beliefs and politics at the door to engage in our absurd daily battle: Blue vs. Red. The Blue Team against the Red Team. Issue or context be damned, if one Team wants something, then the other Team has to vote against it no matter what. This kind of narrow-minded behavior is one of the reasons our country has become so hated around the world, and it is high time we went back to our constitution and tried to live by the ideals that were set forth in it all those years ago.

I urge you to be a real patriot and a real American and stand up for what is right, Mr.Capitalism. In this case, the way to do that is to support gun control so we stop all the innocent bloodshed.

Thanks,

Sarah Smith.

Dear Sarah,

How dare you try to throw the constitution in my face or question my patriotism! I support this country more than almost every other citizen. I support our military by making sure they have the best weapons/bombs available to them, and I make certain our police forces have adequate firepower to fight all these thugs, homos and crazies who commit these crimes in the first place. Guns don’t kill people, people kill people. I mean, it’s not like our police and soldiers kill Americans! (except for when we arm our military to shoot protestors, those are shot by well-trained professionals . . . and except for the soldiers who come home from war and shoot their wives and children . . . and except for that nutso cop in California recently who went on that rampage. These people don’t count, they’re just aberrations.)

And what of that constitution? Have you even bothered to read the Second Amendment? (me neither, ha!) However, my monthly package from the NRA has done the interpretation for me, and it has been made clear that the right to bear arms is an intrinsic aspect of the American way. We need to guard against tyranny at every turn! Tyranny at home, tyranny from abroad, and the tyranny of someone trying to steal my flatscreen TV!

Speaking of tyranny, can you believe this Obama guy trying to tell the States what to do? What’s next, is he going to tell everyone they have to accept gays? And what’s after that, animal rights equal with human rights? It’s all a slippery slope to bestiality, anarchy and a central government that controls your mind with microchips. I don’t want to live in that kind of world, do you?

So, in summation Sarah, no I will not support this law even if those kids did get killed. The solution has already been trumpeted left and right across the US if you were just paying attention: arm the teachers! Hell, arm the children too! If every one of those students and faculty had a hand gun, then only one person would have been killed—the crazy guy! I also have an idea of how to achieve this at no additional cost to taxpayers! I know plenty of gun manufacturers who would be glad to provide a free daily class on gun acquisition, maintenance and proper use in the public schools of America! We would simply have to eliminate one of those non-income generating classes like music, or art, or English. (*as for eliminating English: if you can’t speak it, get out of my country!)

Done and done.

MISTER CAPITALISM

Hugo’s Letter

Dear Mister Capitalism,

My name is Hugo and I live in Venezuela. I also have a wordpress blog and somehow found you online. I have enjoyed what you have written so far, although sometimes I think you are too mean to the people who write to you. Maybe some more compassion would help you out, I am not sure.

I was wondering if you could talk some about how you feel about the recent election in my country. With Mr. Chavez passing away recently, there were many opinions for what would happen next with most people thinking that Mr. Maduro [editor’s note: the successor chosen by Hugo Chavez before his death] would easily beat Mr. Capriles [editor’s note: the right-wing, pro-American opposition]. However, in the end the vote was very close [editor’s note: about 500,000 in an election where over 14,000,000 votes were cast] and Mr. Maduro escaped with a narrow victory. Now, all of the sudden my country has been thrown into electoral-chaos because the voting is being challenged by the other party.

I figured you would have a unique position on the election results both because you have such an interest in the future of the Venezuelan economy, and also because your home country has dealt with this electoral chaos in the past. What do you think? Do you have any suggestion for what the people of my country should do in this difficult time?

Dear Hugo,

Your first sentence truly gave me the shivers. It was like the bogeyman had come back from the dead to haunt me! It’s like when I find myself on a business trip down in Southern Brazil, Uruguay or Argentina and everywhere I go I hear people saying “Che,” “Che,” “Che.” Every time I hear it, my heart freezes and I think, where? Where is that bastard? Has he come back again? It’s not possible! I killed him by putting him on t-shirts and mugs and belt buckles. I was relieved to hear that your name just happens to be the same as that devil who ran your country so ruthlessly these past many years. Congratulations on freeing yourself from a dictator worse than Stalin, Hitler or Jimmy Carter. Someone who was so devious that he would seek to steal the hard-earned money from American oil companies and place it into the hands of foolish locals who had no idea of high finance or how the world works. I believe that countries’ developments can be compared to that of the growth of the human being. While Latin Americans are certainly not the drooling infants that we find in Africa, they are certainly petulant teenagers always whining and protesting about every little human right violation. Now that Chavez is gone, the father of the world will hopefully be able to take control of the household once again.

As far as the election results, I am not concerned. I already have many people down there making sure to get things overturned come hell or high water. (probably high water) If not, I already have my associates in the office of Mr. Maduro to ensure that he makes things a whole lot more friendly in that country than they have been the last 14 years. This whole ‘Latin American solidarity’ stuff has to be stopped. Once Castro’s cartel dies off in the next few months, we can also restore that countries proud heritage as the playground for the American rich. Casinos, ritzy hotels, high priced prostitutes. The rich need to blow of steam too, you know, it’s not easy running the world.

But back to your country. Chavistas and their supports worldwide (aka crackpots) have been confused about the nature of that oppressive regime for some time. People have pretended that Chavez cared about the people because he aided in setting up powerful local governments, distributing food and land as never before and raising the so-called “standard of living” etc. But what they didn’t understand is that by opposing free trade, he was undercutting the concept of economic determinism everywhere. If companies are not sure that they will win a given contract by offering the lowest possible total cost, then what is the world coming to? Opening the borders of the third world to foreign companies was the major economic driving force in the late 19th and 20th centuries, and we have all seen how that has worked out: fucking great! There are more billionaires than ever before, more giant corporations merging together and at a faster rate than previously, and governments power has clearly become secondary to the businesses that actually run their respective countries. All you negative-Nancys have probably come up with some reasons why this is bad, but I refuse to listen, my hands are over my ears (LA LA LA LA LA LA!) Forward, ho!

Once we make sure this illegal Chavista government gets thrown out over a technicality of some sort (we’re working on it, I just don’t have the details yet) we can add Venezuela back into the fold. And you, Hugo, and all the other Hugos out there, can bask in the fruits of my labor. Hey, perhaps even one day I’ll see you, hopefully in some beautiful resort alongside your gorgeous beaches—you can serve me a drink in your newly created job! I’ll have a Cuba libre, heavy on the rum.

MISTER CAPITALISM.

P.S. Oh yeah, you mentioned the electoral chaos in my country? I don’t remember that. Do you mean the American Idol scandal?

Wallace’s Letter

Dear Mr.Capitalism,

My name is Wallace Stone and I am a lawyer. A very good lawyer who is not wealthy enough for my liking. Yes, I drive a great car and live in a spacious home near the ocean but I feel I should be worth so much more. After all, how much is enough?

I have just begun to put the pieces together to begin a Sports Representation Agency featuring professional athletes. Most professional athletes make more money than they are worth and I see a niche here for myself. I want to represent a new class of pro athletes – ones who will explode on the front pages of every newspaper, take over every news story on TV, be the first to make millions off who they are, rather than what they do. Who better than me to be at the center of a media storm?

I want to be the sole agent to all the gay athletes who are about to come out. But first, I want to locate the sport where that athlete is likely to come from. The NFL? Maybe. NBA? Not likely. Major League Baseball. I don’t know. The National Hockey League – maybe but I hope not. Not enough money to be made off them.

As you know, no professional player who was still active in sport has yet come out, but it is getting close. Rumors are everywhere about a group of players coming out together so that they would have each other for support. How many gay athletes are there? If we combine the number of players from the 4 major sports at about 4000 that puts the number of gay men (at about 3% of the total) around 120.

Ad agencies will have to sign them because they would be afraid to be seen as homophobic. Think of the lawsuits against other teams for not having a gay athlete or not protecting the ones they have.

My question is what sport do you think would generate the most income for a newly announced gay athlete?

Dear Wallace,

I truly admire you gumption. You have learned the most important lesson in this life here on Earth: never be satisfied with what you have. You can always have more, and that ‘more’ will always make you happier . . . unless it doesn’t, in which case the only solution is ‘even more.’ Good work, young man.

I also must commend you on your idea, which is sound. One thing for which I have always been proud is my ability (along with associates such as yourself) to take any subculture/trend/change and make it into a commodity. Hippies, poor inner city black people, Arab keffiyeh, what ever the case may be: turn something that has meaning to people but no monetary value and market market market!

The gay demographic is sadly under-exploited in our mainstream culture. There are literally hundreds of thousands of gay people out there who are not being marketed to properly. And I don’t only mean the obvious gay-sitcoms and gay-films, but gay-toothbrushes, gay-coffee pots, everything! I mean, I myself am not gay nor do I know anyone who is, but from what I understand of them, they all act and think pretty much the same, so we can treat them as such. It’s the advertising way!

Your idea to start an all-frou frou sports agency is clever. Gay athletes might be a tough sell in certain spaces, but in others (what we like to call the ‘sympathetic, centrist-liberal 18-49 demographic’) it’s going to be a goldmine!

As far as your direct question, I think you know the answer: synergy, cross-pollination, diversify!!! These might sound like buzzwords to the outsiders, but you and I know that consumers fall for it every time. Why restrict yourself to one athlete or even one sport? I think you need to take a page from one of my finest proteges, Jay-Z. Rather than just focus on one sport and gain expertise that way, make a big splash without thinking of the repercussions! Find one homo (that’s what they like to be called, isn’t it?) in each of the major sports (baseball, basketball and football—your inclusion of hockey was cute) and have them “come out” at the same time! Ooh, ooh, ooh, we can even do one of those LeBron James-style “taking my talents to South Beach” 1-hour specials and live announcements! Can you imagine the ratings if we announced that one major sports star in each league was gay and was going to be revealed live on Sunday at 8pm!

I’m hyper-ventilating here, have your people call my people, let’s do lunch . . .

Action figures! We can do action figures! Do you think you could find a transsexual athlete? We could have interchangeable parts! That would sell like hotcakes next Christmas! We could make movies out of it too, whoever these guys are would be like Jackie Robinson multiplied by twitter! (we’re still milking Jackie for all he’s worth with that new movie out this week, but we need some fresh “overcoming bigotry” meat for the grinder)

If I could shake your hand in a letter, I would sir. Good job, Wallace. (Just know: I am a Yankees, Cowboys and Lakers fan, so if you could make sure the guys aren’t on any of those teams, I would appreciate it. If I found out Jeter or Kobe was a faggot, I don’t think I could take it . . . although all their jerseys I have would be worth more on eBay.)

MISTER CAPITALISM

Lia’s Letter

Dear Mr. Capitalism,

My name is Lia and I want to be an Iris Dement tribute artist.

Mr. Capitalism, I just love to sing! Well, I really just love music. There’s nothing I love in this whole wide world as much as I love music. Well, maybe nature. And butter tarts (or any sweet pastry, for that matter). When I was in elementary school, I enjoyed singing in choir a whole heckuva lot. And then during middle school, I started to become more passionate about singing…umm…well…never mind those three years of my life. When I got to high school, I learned how to play some basic guitar and sang and played guitar a whole lot. I loved it.

But growing up, my family didn’t really have much money to buy records or pay for lessons. My folks immigrated to Canada in the late ‘80s and as is true for a lot of immigrants, they brought very little to this country and had to start from scratch building a life for us. It was really hard for them! We never lacked basic necessities, but couldn’t really afford to have as much music as we would have liked to have in our lives. And not just music – my folks couldn’t really afford to put me through ballet or gymnastics lessons either. Things are a bit different now. A lot of music is available on Youtube and Grooveshark, and I steal tons and tons and tons of music from Soulseek! But I still don’t have a ton of money so I still can’t really afford lessons. And even if I had the money, with the amount of time I spend working, volunteering, spending time with friends and family, doing chores, reading and sleeping, I barely have any time left to dedicate to studying music.

I’ve always wondered: if I had had the opportunity to spend my whole life studying music, could I have become a songwriter like Iris Dement? Volunteering with environmental groups, spending time with loved ones, doing chores, reading, sleeping – these are things I wouldn’t be willing to cut out of my life. The only way I could really allot a significant amount of time to studying music is if performing could also be my work. I don’t want to be a big-shot world-touring musician. Just a local musician who plays in front of small crowds of fifty to a hundred people with whom my music truly resonates. I just need to make enough money to get by, help my folks out once they retire, and pay for music or dance or art or sports lessons for my children if I ever have any. My folks always instilled in their children the value of education. As immigrants, they worried a whole heckuvalot about financial security. And that’s why they never really supported the pursuit of music as a serious livelihood. It could only be a hobby. The pursuit of education is more likely to lead to a career and financial security.

Mr. Capitalism, I just don’t see why music has to be a luxury that so many people can’t afford. And why making money playing music is such an unrealistic goal for so many people. Music will always be the one thing that I love more than anything else in the universe. And I will always believe it’s a valuable service to the world. I’ve never been religious or spiritual in the conventional sense. But I have always found music to be spiritually nourishing in some indescribable way. And I couldn’t imagine what my life or what this world would be like without it. What do you think?

Below I’ve added a link to my favourite song by Iris Dement. It’s called “Our Town”. Maybe one day I’ll do an open mic and bashfully send you a recording of myself covering it 🙂

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b9IUj1mDENg

May you always sing and shuffle your shoes,

Lia

P.S. Sorry about the stupid ad in the beginning – Youtube’s gotta stop with these stupid ads.

Dear Lia,

I think your comment about youtube ads is very telling. You want people to be able to earn money making music, but you see a company like Google (who has owned youtube since 2006, hence the ads) working hard to feed their families and yet you complain.

Art does not exist without money. If you write a song, play it, and millions of people listen to it and love it, but you don’t make a dime off of it, then what was the point? Nothing, that’s what. The point of art is commerce, whether it’s purchasing paintings not because you like the work but because it will inevitably appreciate in value, to a record label signing an artist for their physical beauty not their musical abilities. You call music a “valuable service,” and that’s exactly right—the value of pleasure always has a price, that’s why the record industry exists in the first place.

As far as you hero, Iris Dement, I strongly suggest that you get a better role model, the woman has never even sold more than 50,000 copies of her records! That’s pathetic, she is a failure in every sense of the word. Look to someone like Katy Perry or Kelly Clarkson if you need someone to emulate, now THERE are women who are true to not only themselves, but to the record companies that own them!

I must furthermore abhor you admission of using those file-stealing sites to pirate music. As an aspiring artistic-capitalist, you should be against anything that does not make creators cash off of the things they create. I think you, like the vast majority of the younger generations, have forgotten the all-important term “intellectual property rights.” All this file-stealing and sampling makes me sick. Fortunately, respectable members of our society like Google, Sony and Apple are beginning to turn the tables by privatizing every corner of the internet that they can (including through ad placements). And are they doing this for their own sake? Heck no! It’s for the sake of little aspiring artists such as yourself, so you and others can learn that nothing is free and everything has to be owned by someone.

The final sentiment in your letter that I would like to address is your concept of “just living to get by.” You speak of your immigrant-parents. Is this what they wanted from you? Was this what they dreamed of when they moved all the way around the world to find a better life for their children? To have their kids living in garages and making music for a dozen pot-heads at the open mic coffee shop down the street? They were right to steer you towards education and learning, but they must have done something very wrong if this is the daughter that is the product of their teachings. Make them proud, become a druggist not a guitar-strummer. (*according to Glamour magazine, the highest average paying job for American women in 2012 was pharmacist!)

There are really only two options you. First, if you are dead set on this music career thing, then study those who have been most financially successful in the last ten years. (note: if you don’t look like the artists who sell records, just skip right to option #2, because at least half of your marketability is looks, not sound.) Second, get a real job and stop complaining. The last thing on the planet we need is another bleeding-heart, crying in their beer, soft-spoken singer-songwriting woman. You can’t imagine your life without music? Well, imagine your life without food if you want to try to be an artist. I trust you’ll make the right decision and make your parents proud.

MISTER CAPITALISM

Jacob’s Letter

Dear Mister Capitalism,

My name is Jacob and I am 8 and a half years old. My teacher Mr. Oglesby wants everyone in my class to write an essay about our future. I don’t know what my future will be. My mother likes you, so she told me to write you a letter to see what you would say. Kelly, that’s a girl in my class, says that you are no good and that we have to write our essays by ourselves instead of getting help from other people but I think Kelly is stupid so I am writing to you anyway. I don’t know what I want to be when I grow up. Maybe a video game designer, maybe a vet, maybe a teacher. My Uncle Jim says I need to decide now because if I wait too long I might end up being a loser like Uncle Elton who just lies around the house all day and watches TV and thinks everything is President Obama’s fault. I kinda like Uncle Elton, he’s nice to me and talks to me about stuff, and he’s really good at Call of Duty and he tells me I can do anything that I want, like be an astronaut or eat candy until I puke. He’s the best babysitter ever and he even lets me stay up right until my parents are about to get home when we hear their cars doors slam, then I can run downstairs to my room and get in bed and pretend to sleep before they get there and they never even guess! I need to go, my mom is calling because she says I need to do my math homework and that I forgot to do the dishes after supper, but I didn’t forget I just hoped she would forget it was my turn.

Dear Jacob,

Well, one thing I can say is that you Uncle Jim is right: you should stay away from that other uncle of yours no matter what. Even though I have been known to play some Call of Duty in my day, you have to learn early on that you should never fraternize with loafers. Here are some types of people to avoid at all costs:

      1. People who call themselves artists. They’re never going to make any money and they’re all drug addicts anyway.
      2. People who have lots of conspiracy theories about the government. If you ever hear the phrase “inside job,” take my advice and run away as far and as fast as you can.
      3. Liberals.
      4. People who have more than 3 cats. I have no solid data on this phenomena, but anyone with that many felines in their vicinity is going to ask to borrow something from you at some point. There’s just no reason to be around people like that.
      5. People who go to protests or rallies.
      6. People who read too much. If it’s not on FoxNews, it’s not that important. (*note: the Sports section and the comics are fine, but no reading beyond that)
      7. Poor people. It might rub off.

 

To be competitive in today’s world you need to have a good understanding of the job market that you’re going to find for yourself in ten years or so. You must understand that Americans have become lazy and complacent, and when you look around your classroom, know that most of the people in there will be unemployed and on welfare one day. People in the US just aren’t willing to work as hard as people in developing countries–this is why we exported all our jobs to places where people are still open to doing an honest day’s work. I predict that in ten or twenty years this whole theory of “minimum wage” will be abolished and you’ll be fighting not just with the people in your school, but with all the people’s of the world for every job there is. And that’s great! Competition is what made this country and the world great; the sense of entitlement our young people have now is what’s bringing us down.

Jacob, your future lies in one of two places: working in a factory or directing the people who work in a factory. So, get started now! Learn how to influence people you know (even your parents) to do what you want. You have to start thinking today about your future employers and what they’re going to want from you. From now on, wake up each morning, and think to yourself, “how am I going to use today to make myself money when I’m older.” If you start this right now, you’ll be just fine when you grow up, I promise.

Hope that helps with your little essay. And if this Mr. Oglesby doesn’t like what you write, he’s probably a hippie, so appeal the grade he gives you and then, if that doesn’t work, just tell your principal that he touched you in an inappropriate manner. Even hippie principals can’t ignore that one. Remember that, Jacob: everyone is your competitor, even your superiors, so respect them but always make sure you’re trying to move up the chain and take their job.

Grade 4 is tough one, you’ll make it through, though.

MISTER CAPITALISM

Linda’s Letter

Dear Mr.Capitalism,

My name is Linda J. Bilmes and I am a professor at Harvard University. I’m not sure if you are familiar with me or my work, but I recently wrote a paper (to be found here: https://research.hks.harvard.edu/publications/workingpapers/citation.aspx?PubId=8956&type=WPN) which discusses the costs of both the Iraq and Afghanistan wars on the tax payers of the United States. My research indicates that the total expenditures will amount to between 4 and 6 trillion dollars. ($1,000,000,000,000). That’s twelve zeros. In my opinion this number speaks for itself so I shall not delve too much further into the paper unless you wish me to do so.

I was wondering what comments you would have about a war that has been not only so costly in terms of people killed and displaced in both of the countries in question, but also in terms of wasted monies in the US at a time when the country faces such economic hardships.

I look forward to your prompt response.

Professor Linda J. Bilmes,

Daniel Patrick Moynihan Senior Lecturer in Public Policy

Harvard Kennedy School

Former Assistant Secretary and Chief Financial Officer of the US Department of Commerce

Dear Linda,

Thanks for the letter, but know this: your fancy liberal academic titles don’t impress anyone around here. You were in what administration? Clinton’s? Yeah, way to go on that one.

Who has the time to read papers such as yours? You’re lucky if I even have the energy to read the 500 words the Washington Post writes about your little bit of research. Nonetheless, I’m certain that your numbers are off and, more importantly, that you’re missing the point altogether.

I know you and your cronies will try to link the fact that the war has cost 6 trillion and the countries debt is 6 trillion, but that’s nothing more than a coincidence. This is money well spent. America would not be America if we could not defend our freedoms at any cost. You should see the back of my SUV, I have two “Freedom isn’t Free” bumper stickers just to pound the point home to anyone who is unfortunate enough to drive behind me.

On top of this, I think the liberal lobby needs to stop feeling so sorry for all these poor people in the Middle East. It’s not like they worry about you and your troubles. They aren’t producing anything of worth, and we’re clearing them out for further oil and natural gas production. Money well spent, if you ask me which, incidentally, you did. Six trillion seems like a lot of cash, but in the grand scheme of things it’s not nearly as much as you think. The forty richest men in the world combined are worth over a trillion, and that’s not even enough people to fill out the roster of the 2012 Dallas Cowboys!

What we need to do here is an old fashioned cost/benefit analysis. Six trillion spent, but untold trillions coming back to the good ole US of A in the pockets of the oil and reconstruction companies that make me so proud every day. This means more oil jobs for Americans, cheaper gasoline in the future (it’s not depleting folks, that’ll be Miss Bilmes’ next article though, I’m sure) and more American billionaires. What is required now as other only semi-capitalist nations compete with us, is more ultra-wealthy people to lead the way. I can’t do everything myself, you know.

I might add (and I will) that we are also far more safe than we were before we were so deviously drawn into those wars for which you speak. Tell me, how many major terrorist attacks have there been on American soil since September 11th, 2001? Exactly. None.

We as a society need to stop focusing on a trillion here and a trillion there and focus on the real thing that is causing us so much grief this weekend: the recent left wing portrayal of Easter as a pagan holiday. It makes me almost throw up my milk chocolate Cadbury Easter eggs that a cute multi-colored bunny brought to my house this morning. How can you so-called “historians” live with yourselves?

I can’t wait for you belly-aching about the war we’re about to start in North Korea, Linda. Are you really so un-American that you’ll oppose that one too?

MISTER CAPITALISM