Scene: Jordan and former colleague, whose views lean far right, are planning to go to dinner.  (More about author and the general content of the Blog, Entry #1.)

Jordan: “Steve, glad you called. What brings you to Washington?”

science_rocksSteve: “Conference plus I need to check some files at the National Archives…old mining stuff.”

Jordan: “Let’s talk more over dinner.”

Steve: “The usual spot?”

Jordan: “Absolutely. I’m sure they’ve missed us.” (Walk to restaurant.)

Waiter: “Gentlemen, good evening. May I get you something to drink?”

Steve: “Yes, please bring a bottle of a Sonoma County cab.”

waiterWaiter: “Silver Palm or the Mondavi Special Reserve.”

Steve: “Mondovi, please. Thanks.”

Jordan: “And we know what we want to eat.”

Waiter: “Yes, sir.”

Jordan: “We will each have a Caesar salad with salmon. And could you…”

Waiter: “…Pardon me, sir. Are you the gentlemen the manager told us about?”

Steve: “All positive, I assume.”

Waiter: “Yes, he said the way you want the salmon prepared is not on the menu but we should accept the order anyway.”

TurtleneckJordan: “Yes, we’re the ones. Didn’t know we were so famous. And thank you for accepting the order. We really appreciate it.”

Steve: “No need to rush the salad. We want to catch up over some wine.”

Waiter: “Yes, sir. I’ll bring the wine right out.”

Jordan: “So, Mr. Mining Expert, what shall we talk about this evening?”

Steve: “You get all the inside dope in Washington. Why do you think there was a revolution in Greece…and did that precipitate the revolution in the US?”

Jordan: “Good questions. My take on the revolutions — the underlying cause is the same for Greece, the US…in fact most any revolution.”

Steve: “Which is?”

Jordan: “Inequality. Really economic inequality.”

Steve: “The opposite of economic inequality is economic equality, which sounds very socialist to me…and I don’t like socialism and neither should you. It’s un-American.”

UnfairJordan: “By economic inequality, I really mean unfair economic opportunity, not that everyone makes the same income.”

Steve: “Still sounds like socialism to me.”

Jordan: “You’re a religious guy, right?”

Steve: “You already know the answer to that. Of course I am. That’s why I’m a conservative.”

Jordan: “If you were to state one tenant of your religion that could be a guide for everyone’s behavior, what would that tenant be?”

Bible GenericSteve: “Probably, ‘love thy neighbor as thyself.'”

Jordan: “I’d say that tenant sums up most religions. So let’s take that tenant and apply it to economic policy.”

Steve: “Seriously?”

Jordan: “Seriously. If we have a policy of being fair…treat thy neighbor as thyself…what kind of economic policy would we implement?”

politicsSteve: “I’ve never heard anyone address economic policy quite that way. If they have, there’s so much shouting that basic question gets overlooked.”

Jordan: “Sometime in the next few weeks, you’ll hear POTUS discuss a new way to measure government policy – treat thy neighbor as thyself.”

Steve: “That still sounds like socialism.”

Jordan: “Maybe your religion is socialist.”

Steve: “I’ll ignore that.”

Jordan: “More like you don’t want to think about it.”

Steve: “Put your measurement in practical terms. How would have a ‘treat thy neighbor as thyself’ economic policy prevented say the revolution in Greece?”

Jordan: “This is no profound statement but economic situations in Greece, the US…in fact most any country… are not pure black and white. Most of the time there’s a big gray area. But a gray area does not prevent or preclude a well-thought-out policy.”

Steve: “Tell me more.”

Jordan: “In my view Greece was affected…actually affected negatively…by three major factors.”

Clipart - running from debtSteve: “The biggest one to me was that the country was filled…maybe still filled…with a bunch of slackards. Those people just don’t want to work.  They want to run away from debt.”

Jordan: “You are so Republican. When did they brainwash you? Alright, the country had a less well-honed economic infrastructure than other European countries or the US.”

Steve: “What’s #2?”

Jordan: “The way the EEC (European Economic Community) was configured. Once a country agreed to use the Euro as their currency, they were stuck.”

Steve: “But I thought the Euro was a good thing.”

Jordan: “Definitely helped break down trade barriers between the countries. But if a country gets into economic trouble, like Greece, devaluing the currency to increase competitiveness is no longer an option.”

Steve: “I need to come back to that later. What’s the third issue?”

Jordan: “Germany.”

Steve: “What do you mean, Germany?”

Mickey-Mouse-fingerJordan: “What I mean is Germany gave Greece the royal finger.”

Steve: “How can you criticize Germany? They’re the economic engine of Europe. Other countries should follow the model. What was so bad about insisting Greece become fiscally responsible and pay all its debts? Seems logical to me.”

Jordan: (Pouring another glass of wine) “Oh, how quickly we forget.  Steve. Let me ask you something. First, I admit I am not a geologist, a geophysicist, a petrophysicist or whatever other kind of ‘ist’ plays with rocks. I’m not sure I know enough about rocks to even be dangerous.”

Steve: “You and I definitely agree on something. Now what’s your question?”

Jordan: “How much do you really understand about economics and the impact of economic policies on world events?”

(Conversation to be continued next entry.)

Ebook format of recent series of entries on Federal Budget.  15 05 23 Do They Really Understand Entries #121-#130

 

 

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