Six LDS Writers and A Frog

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

It's Not Just Good--It's Great Depression

by Rob Wells

I don't know if you've seen the paper lately, but there's a recession on. I'm just about to graduate with my MBA, which gives me a little insight into the world of business and the machinations of industry. Were I to appear on CNBC, discussing cap rates and credit default swaps, I would be deemed an expert. (My credentials: I can play Roller Coaster Tycoon on moderate difficulty. The game simulates theme park management.) (Surprised you didn't know that.)

Let me explain a little bit about the current economic crisis in layman's terms. First, there used to be a whole bunch of money. Now, not so much.

Interesting note: Two years ago, I quit my job with Weyerhaeuser, a wood products company, so that I could come back to school. The month before I left the company, their stock price was at an all-time high of $82. Since I've been gone, their stock price has dropped to $21. Coincidence? I think not.

So, anyway, I'm in the job market, which makes me just like everyone else on earth. And, let me tell you, the job offers are rolling in just like something that doesn't roll in. This surprises me because, as you know, I'm kind of awesome. I mean, I'd hire me, and I have very discriminating tastes.

There are many different theories about what caused the financial crisis into which we are comfortably snuggled. Democrats like to blame those dang Republicans, and Republicans like to blame the commies, and the commies blame all of us (I assume), and people on the blogosphere like to blame everyone, everywhere, including, but not limited to: the Hollywood Elite, the Nazis, the Illuminati, the Food Network, the Chippewa, Billy Joel, mom-and-pop bakery owners, and podiatrists.

However, the one group that everyone seems to blame is homeowners. Those greedy homeowners, with their "my house is nice and all, but I'd rather have one with a big enough yard for a horse". Well, let me just state that I have never owned a home, which means that I never bought one with a subprime mortgage and no down payment. Therefore: you dang homeowners all owe me a job, because you screwed everything up. Thanks for nothing. I hope you're enjoying your mud room. (Well, I hope you enjoyed it before you got foreclosed on.)

As a side note, we were all sitting around in the MBA lounge a couple weeks ago, commiserating about how we all stink like smelly socks and we're all going to be working for Arby's, when someone remarked: "Rob, you're in the best situation of all of us. At least you have a fallback."

He was referring to my writing. I had to point out to him that my most recent check from my publisher was for $4.51 (and I'm not making that up). So, yes, when we're all working at Arby's, I'll be able to buy myself one of the cheaper combo meals, all thanks to book writin'!

Anyway, the point of all of this is that I've been eating more Top Ramen lately, and I will continue to do so for the foreseeable future. The other point of this is: may I come live in your basement?


19 Comments:

At 3/10/2009 1:11 PM, Blogger Heather B. Moore said...

The execs at Top Raman are raking it in! My daughter likes to eat hers raw. She breaks it into small pieces, then puts it in a plastic bag and shakes it up with the spices. Yum.

 
At 3/10/2009 2:14 PM, Blogger Janet said...

LOL!!
My husband lost his job in December and still hasn't found a new one (no surprise there), and the other day a friend of mine innocently asked "so are you living off your royalties now that he doesn't have a job?" She looked very perplexed as a I doubled over laughing and couldn't stop for several minutes. (At least you can buy a combo meal with your last check. I didn't even get one because of returns. Thanks for helping me not feel so alone.

 
At 3/10/2009 3:24 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

So Rob:

Did you see the Rick Santelli "Rant of the Year" on CNBC. He's on the floor at the Chicago Board of Trade and he turns around to all the traders and asks them if they want to pay for everyone else's mortgage. Its pretty funny. And sad at the same time. If he organizes a Tea Party on Lake Michigan, you can join me.

Have a look at this video for yourself:

http://video.google.com/videosearch?sourceid=navclient&rlz=1T4GGLJ_en___US302&q=cnbc%20rick%20santelli&um=1&ie=UTF-8&sa=N&hl=en&tab=wv#

posted by: Reader

 
At 3/10/2009 4:30 PM, Blogger Annette Lyon said...

Enjoy that Arby's meal. I'd get the cordon bleu.

 
At 3/10/2009 4:47 PM, Blogger Jon Spell said...

That's too bad about Arby's - we've boycotted them since they stopped serving the Martha's Vineyard salad. =)

On your other point, my wife (also a BYU MBA grad - say, have you considered going into the lucrative field of real estate?) says that it's the media's fault. The media reports that the housing market is about to collapse, people start thinking that it will, stop buying houses, then, whoa! Self-fulfilling prophecy.

On the topic of the bailout, if your child does something stupid, like spends all his money on Archie comic books instead of saving up for that bike, is the solution then to just give him the money for the bike and say "Maybe you'll spend the money more wisely next time" ? Do you have any thoughts on what the government thinks will be the ultimate effect of this stimulus plan?

 
At 3/10/2009 5:10 PM, Blogger RobisonWells said...

Well, as I've said before, I don't have any intention of getting into political debate on the interweb. However, I will say this:

First, while I think the actual implementation of the stimulus package was pretty terrible, I do think that a stimulus package (preferably a better one) is/was necessary.

Second, I just went and watched the Rick Santelli video. While I'm sure that it's a commonly shared sentiment--and maybe even a good one--I found it rather annoying and pointless. You can read my previous thoughts about that kind of simplified-to-uselessness type of political opinion here.

 
At 3/10/2009 6:34 PM, Blogger Paiges' Pages said...

Yup we are eating top ramen by the cases here too! :) Just dont let your kids cook it by them selves... If they forget the water you'll have more problems then you bargained for! :)

 
At 3/10/2009 7:01 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

There is no room for rants from stupid, sensenationalizing misfits like Santelli. They don't understand the market. They think the Smith's fresh produce section sells mark to market accounting practices. They believe p-ratios are grown in Idaho. And they wouldn't know an inflation adjusted annuity or an equity stablizer if it bit them in their mortgaged security. They think they can get all emotional, cling to their religion, sponsor focus groups on freedom in their homes where they slobberingly foam at the mouth over inallienability and do it with impunity. In their own homes! Boy are they dumb. Don't they know where they get their rights? Government. Not God.

People like Santelli need a history lesson. The revolutionary war was waged and won by level-headed, clear-thinking, knowledgeable MBAs. Not the common man.

Reader

 
At 3/10/2009 7:25 PM, Blogger RobisonWells said...

Well, yes. The revolutionary war was fought and won the common man. But the Constitution was written by well-educated men who presented reasoned arguments and were willing to make compromises. There's a reason that the more hot-headed, less-flexible ideologues (like John Adams) weren't asked to be involved in the writing of the Constitution.

 
At 3/10/2009 7:45 PM, Blogger Jeff Savage said...

Wait, is that a slap at hot-head, less flexible, monologugues? I mean catalogues? Redwood logs? Whatever he said? Because if It is, I can feel my head heating up.

 
At 3/10/2009 8:08 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

If they keep spending, borrowing, and taxing, we may need the second coming of the common man. Aren't they the ones who eventually inherit the earth anyway?

This just in: meek, common men rise up, take back country, impose freedom, inherit earth, then turn the easy stuff back over to the MBAs to compromise their way to some sort of constitutional underpinning to ensure their freedoms.

The genius of the founding wasn't the founder’s genius. It was humility--their recognition that God granted the common man their freedom and who were they to deny their them inalienables when God didn't. Once again, the meek inherit the earth, at least until the most recent bail out package.

Reader

 
At 3/10/2009 8:09 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

If the government keeps spending, borrowing, and taxing, we may need the second coming of the common man. Aren't they the ones who eventually inherit the earth anyway?

This just in: meek, common men rise up, take back country, impose freedom, inherit earth, then turn the easy stuff back over to the MBAs to compromise their way to some sort of constitutional underpinning to ensure their freedoms.

The genius of the founding wasn't the founder’s genius. It was humility--the recognition that God granted the common man their freedom and who the MBAs to deny their them inalienables when God wouldn't. Once again, the meek inherit the earth, at least until the most recent bail out package.

Reader

 
At 3/10/2009 9:10 PM, Blogger RobisonWells said...

I need to back up a bit, because I started using a word you were using, but wasn't careful about how I was defining it.

I'm not saying that the common man is dumb, and I'm definitely not trying to rail against the common man.

What I'm complaining about instead (though I may not have been clear) is fanaticism and over-simplification of issues. This has nothing to do with education level. High school drop outs can make perfectly logical, well-reasoned arguments, and PhDs can be stubborn and beligerant. The glory of God is intelligence, so why not use it?

Yes, there is a certain time and place for sticking to your guns in the face of opposition, but I'm having a hard time thinking of a good time and place for fanatical, inflammatory ranting. (Here's one of the few reasons I can think of: trying to enrage and fan the emotional flames so that people will agree with your ideas without thinking about them.)

As for being meek, DW, I challenge you to present a definition of meek that could fit Santelli's rant. He wasn't speaking, if you'll notice, with righteous indignation; he was very much enjoying himself, goading the crowd and allowing them to goad him right back. If that's the type of meek uprising you're looking for, I want none of it.

 
At 3/10/2009 9:12 PM, Blogger RobisonWells said...

Okay, okay... I said that I don't like getting into political debates online, and then here I am doing it. (And this was supposed to be a humor column!)

Feel free to post whatever else you like and continue your thoughts, but I won't reply here anymore. If you (anyone) want to email me privately, I am more than happy to talk about things: robisonwells at msn.com

 
At 3/10/2009 10:08 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Agreed.

 
At 3/10/2009 10:09 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Who is DW?

 
At 3/11/2009 1:17 AM, Blogger pwells said...

Rob, you and your family are always welcome to move into our den. And we are not eating ramen more than once a week here. We still have plenty of chili-mac in the old food storage and that makes a great dinner. Sammy will always be happy as long as we can afford to keep Grandpa's cookie jar stocked.

 
At 3/11/2009 1:48 AM, Blogger Mark N. said...

I remember the days when the spices on the Ramen didn't come in a separate bag, but were somehow already coated on the dry noodles.

Now, that was Ramen.

 
At 3/11/2009 11:50 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I blame Chef Ramsey (Hell's Kitchen - he's hogging all the jobs these days)
I'd share my basement, except the kids have all moved home...

Pat

 

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