Wednesday, August 29, 2012

American Exceptionalism - What Price?

Shining City Gazette is receiving reports from its foreign desks that a growing number of enterprising, some would say desperate, former members of the American middle to upper-middle class have taken the first steps toward selling off their shares of American Exceptionalism to governments and business concerns abroad.

Reportedly holding up the progress of this sell-off is the complicated process of establishing a fair market price for this rare commodity. As one veteran day trader at the Shanghai Stock Exchange put it, “What price tag do you put on a blank check?”

Said one head of a third world state, “I just hope the price settles on a figure that doesn’t break the national bank again. What good is American Exceptionalism if you don’t have the money left over to buy all the Diebold vote counting machines you need to defy the will of your people without causing a riot? It’s all well and good to get the perpetual green light to start endless preemptive wars and otherwise meddle in the affairs of sovereign states, but if you can’t even pay for all the spooks and boots and doodads it takes to impose your will on the international community what good does impunity do you?”

Noticeably more buoyant despite the likely high price of this newest American export was Khalid Mansour, spokesperson for the consortium of countries formerly known as the Axis of Evil. Said Mr. Mansour, “I can’t tell you how good it feels to be on the brink of finally realizing our nuclear aspirations without the downside of deadly sanctions and/or missile attacks.”

Added Mr. Mansour, “Our engineers are already drawing up blueprints for the sprawling military bases we’re planning to build just outside Quebec, Ciudad Juarez, and perhaps Bethesda. We’re also hoping to establish a Green Zone near Georgetown as a base of operations in our efforts to support the growing theocratic forces taking over America.

“Of course all this costs money,” admitted Mr. Mansour. “So we may have to hold off on plans to build a due process-free zone on an island. For the time being we’ll probably just rent cages at Guantanamo for our dissidents and whistleblowers. On a more positive note, it won’t cost a dime for our industrialists to thumb their noses in the general direction of Kyoto.”

Many conservative economists are hailing this coming boon to the US economy as proof positive that the magic hand of the unfettered free market is at it again. “Hear that?” one Republican member of the House rhetorically asked this Shining City Gazette reporter. “That’s the sound of the magic hand bitch slapping the socialists.”

Not everyone in the neoliberal camp, however, is applauding this newest unleashing of the exceptional American spirit of entrepeneurship. In some quarters it’s even being characterized as unbelievably short-sighted.

Explained University of Chicago adjunct professor of Economics Dr. Frank Hadley, “So you get back on your feet by selling your shares of American Exceptionalism. You reach your American Dream of making a killing, perhaps in derivatives or credit default swaps, or maybe arms sales, but most likely in resource exploitation. One day you get caught crossing a line that used to be exclusively reserved for the non-American suckers of the world.

“You start madly patting your pockets. But guess what? You’re not going to find that American get out of jail free card you’re looking for. You sold it to the competition, and I don’t think he’s interested in selling it back.”

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