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Clark: America’s Got Questions for poor performer Jones

Sun., Aug. 7, 2011

The Dow Jones industrial average dropped lower than Amy Winehouse bookings the other day, sparking a near panic among the nation’s economic witch doctors.

To quote Friday’s front page story:

“By day’s end, the Dow had suffered its biggest loss … since the mortgage meltdown in 2008 triggered a worldwide financial crisis.”

Reading this awful news left me with a plethora of questions.

Like, who the heck is this Dow Jones cat, anyway?

And why does he keep messing with our money?

Like most complacent citizens, I unfortunately know far more about what’s happening on “America’s Got Talent” than I do about America’s economy.

However, as one of our Insolvent Empire’s leading burned-out and nearly retired journalists, I am still adept at getting answers.

So I pulled a few strings and managed to snag an exclusive interview with Dow Jones himself, which I’m eager to share with you today.

Q. Wow, Dow. The stock market fell 512.76 points in one day. What the heck?

A. We Wall Street professionals refer to what happened as a correction.

Q. A correction? What does that even mean?

A. Well, to put it in lay terms, you’re screwed.

Q. You mean we’re all going to get wiped out?

A. Of course not. Many Americans will come through this just fine.

Q. What a relief.

A. Bill Gates, Warren Buffett, A-Rod …

Q. OK. I get it.

A. Oprah, the Bush family, Nancy Pelosi …

Q. Knock it off! I said I get it.

A. Sadly, there’s not a lot of good news for you members of the PDWC.

Q. PDWC?

A. Poor Dumb Working Class.

Q. I figured that. But isn’t there anything we can do?

A. Well, it always pays to diversify.

Q. I’ve heard that term before. What diversified investments would you recommend?

A. Old magazines and books are a good idea. You can get them cheap at almost any garage sale.

Q. Old magazines and books? Are you telling me old magazines and books will appreciate over time into a retirement nest egg?

A. Aw, hell no. They’re not worth squat. But it’ll be nice to have something to read after you lose your home and have to start living in a tent.

Q. I’m too old to live in a tent.

A. Well, I wouldn’t go the cardboard refrigerator box route. Don’t let the comfy size fool you. Those things tend to leak.

Q. Look, I hear a lot about Roth IRAs and 401(k)s. Do you have a preference on where I should put what’s left of my money?

A. I always get a kick out of that “Catch a Wave” machine at the Northern Quest casino.

Q. A slot machine?

A. Stock market. Slot machines. It’s all pretty much a bad gamble.

Q. How did this country get in such a royal mess?

A. As always, we have the government to thank. In the past, America excelled at being the industrial leader of the free world.

Q. And now?

A. The government excels at spending more than it has to make life more comfortable for the 50 percent who don’t pay taxes.

Q. We’re sinking in debt. The world has lost confidence in us. The unemployment rate is still over 9 percent. And the market’s not the only thing that has hit bottom.

A. Huh?

Q. Yeah, we’ve got this nut job who’s been grabbing women’s behinds while he’s out riding his bike on our most beloved and scenic bike path.

A. Heavens. Do you mean?

Q. Yes. The Centennial Tail Toucher.

A. Gads. You went a long way to get that joke into the paper.

Q. Thank you. It’s humor diversification.

Doug Clark is a columnist for The Spokesman-Review. He can be reached at (509) 459-5432 or by e-mail at dougc@spokesman.com.


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