Thursday, October 15, 2015

Macro What?

Not the brightest when it comes to economics, I signed up anyway. A bit of a challenge.

“They can take away funding from us,” the well-established musician in front of me at the café table said about the refugee situation in Europe. “And we’ve already turned in so much.” The budget cuts made a few years ago are finally making the bruises of their heavy fists felt.

My brain ran amok, I was nearing the end of the Macroeconomics online course. A few thousand refugees in the Netherlands was not going to bust the budget, besides GDP depended on people. More could be better, low birth rates etc.  Pulling in the money meant fighting inflation, more government spending was to create employment. But then wait, wasn’t it that there was an automatic adjustment to balance the sides out?  That’s what this course was trying to tell me. People, aka white men, had won Nobel prizes for such statements constructing the surreal. But it turns out that the surrealistic schools of economics are factual matters in everyday life because of government.

“They held a BBQ.” Another friend relayed with irritation.  She was steaming that the media was making big headlines by shrieking that there had been a big to-do because more refugees than expected had shown up in a small place in the Netherlands. Eventually the next day the town had gotten a BBQ organized and handed out enough plates of food. The BBQ was not reported in the news, the meal was featured on FB, but the xenophobia had been spotlighted.  

The musician at the café whispering about the rise of the right wing and the artistic community being pulled in by dark forces as the right wing was now pro-art claiming was not the only one looking sour at me. At a meeting last month I watched a young and talented orchestra member look a bit cowed.  She never looked that way at me before, in the past mostly her glances at me usually made me feel like an utter loser.  Then against a lot of odds I hauled my life over and circumvented a lot of problems. There in her presence I realized the cushion was gone. She was fighting for earnings.

“By looking at FB,” the online Dutch news article said, “People found out about the emergency town meeting concerning the refugees and poured in en masse.” I begin to wonder whether the journalist checked how many people claimed to intend to be at the meeting on the FB event page, and decided that perhaps was the fact main point without exacto checking but then I admit the accompanying photo to the article was a little chaotic.

“Five old ladies,” the vocal coach said of the public she had found at the concert venue, “I hate those old ladies in the choirs.” We all try to disguise these facts on our FB posts, insert photos of half-truths on our page for self-promotion, not much better than the hardened media fighting for those clicks, serving out saucy titles, and waiting for the centavos to hit their bank accounts from the advertisers bit by bit.

I liked the macroeconomic course, I would even recommend it. It didn’t aim too high intellectually, but it thoroughly brought me back to my past and helped me into the present. “A survey of the Syrian refugees,” a poll report said, “Reveals more than 80% would like to return home if possible.” Yeah, those post New Deal Days were exciting and then Reagan hit the White House and we all learned about Trickledown Theory.

 

 

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