16 July 2002

New York Times Quote of the Day Today:

"America must get rid of the hangover that we now have as a result of the binge, the economic binge we just went through. We were in a land of endless profit. There was no tomorrow when it came to the stock markets and corporate profits. And now we're suffering a hangover for that binge."--PRESIDENT BUSH

This metaphor uses a source domain the president is intimately familiar with: he might even have helped write this one himself.

What this metaphor reveals:

Things have gotten worse. The problem can be treated, though probably not solely through will power.

What this metaphor conceals:

In this metaphor, those who are jobless or unable to pay rent or feed their children or whose retirement funding was tied into the collapsing stock market and who now have to return to work in their 60s or 70s, are made responsible for their own condition.

What would be more accurate is to say that the ordinary working American is suffering a hangover for the excesses of millionaires like Bush, who experience no pain for their indulgences. But this is no isolated "binge." It's not like the late 1990s were a great one-time wedding reception.

People like Bush and his peers at Enron, Harken, WorldCom, Halliburton, etcetera, are chronic. They will drink the rest of us to death.

Newspoetry at Spineless Books