I'm James Maxey, the author of numerous novels of fantasy and science fiction. I use this site to discuss a wide range of topics, with a heavy emphasis on cranky, uninformed rants about politics and religion and other topics that polite people attempt to avoid. For anyone just wanting to read about my books, I maintain a second blog, The Prophet and the Dragon, where I keep the focus solely on my fiction. I also have a webpage where both blogs stream, with more information about all my books, at jamesmaxey.net.


Sunday, October 12, 2008

Bad analogies

I read this in an editorial this morning:

"Perhaps passage of the rescue bill can best be compared to emergency action to save a heart attack victim. Suffer a heart attack, and you can be treated roughly in the emergency room.
Doctors can subject your body to a variety of abuses. They can shoot it full of drugs, apply electrical shock — even cut open your chest to manually massage the heart. That's all abusive to the body, and you wouldn't do if the heart was healthy — but the first goal is to get the heart beating again. The analogy fits the credit market freeze."

This wasn't the first time I've heard the analogy: variations of it have been used by the presidential candidates and I heard it yesterday on NPR from no less a luminary than Warren Buffet. All the varients boil down to this: The credit markets had a heart attack. When someone has a heart attack, you must take swift and decisive action to save the patient.

Now, I'm no economist, but as a writer, I am rather fluent with crafting analogies, and I also have a nose for analogies that stink. In this case, a far more accurate analogy would be this: The credit market is a fat man who collapses with a heart attack. The congress and the adminstration are the paramedics who rush to the scene. A large crowd has gathered to watch the dramatic rescue attempt. The paramedics stare at they dying body and shout, "This is going to be a very expensive medical bill!" They the pull out guns and demand the wallets of everyone in the crowd.

We know we are in for at least four more years of more of the same shakedowns. What may well be the biggest political crisis that the next president will have to deal with has already arisen. In response, Obama and McCain have both locked arms with George Bush and all three men endorse the same general solutions. Yeah, they all disagree on who's to blame, they squabble about what's past, but, looking forward, they all have committed to walking the same path. Voting for either man is a vote for more of the same.

Despite my personal antipathy for the man, this crisis has pushed me toward voting for Bob Barr. If I were liberal, I would vote for Ralph Nadar. Both men opposed the bailout for very different ideological reasons. People tell me I'm throwing away my vote when I support third party candidates. I say that voting for men who've mugged you and your children so openly is twisted. Voters sticking with Republicans and Democrats is (if I may form an analogy) like an abused woman standing by her man. Yeah, he beats me up now, before we're married, but I know that's just the stress he's going through. My bruises prove how much he cares! And I know, just know in my heart, that after the wedding, he'll change and be good to me.

1 comment:

Suanne said...

Love the analogy--didn't think I could get a laugh out of this particular circus, but so I did.