Do you understand how the economy works? Ha ha, of course you don't. Nobody does! Our "robust economic system" is a dense network of horrifying gambles, pyramid schemes, and pure scams that were mostly made up on the fly for short-term gain so that somebody could cash out and move to some island safe from the eventual looting. Nevertheless, our noble political cartoonists have done their best to help you understand the anarchy that is destroying your retirement fund (such as it was): by portraying it as a series of adorable animals! See the poverty zoo, after the jump.

080411-1.jpgWhimsical beast: The mighty and noble gorilla.

And that represents: The economy, as a whole, as clearly denoted on its shoulder.

Wait, how does that work? Just as a gorilla is smart enough to learn basic human sign language, but not smart enough to avoid being captured, sent to a zoo, and forced to learn basic human sign language, our economy has been designed cleverly enough to contain any number of instruments, investments, and other thingamobobs for making money, but not cleverly enough to actually stave off total collapse and anarchy. And in that anarchy, a premium will be put on savage, brute strength. Which bodes well for the gorillas.

080411-2.jpgWhimsical beast: A charmingly heavy-lidded bright red forty-foot boa constrictor.

And that represents: "Recession," without an article, as an abstract concept.

Wait, how does that work? Like the mighty boa, the coming recession will slowly metaphorically squeeze us until our metaphorical internal organs are reduced to metaphorical pulp, and then will metaphorically eat us after we actually die.

080411-3.jpgWhimsical beast: The proud and fierce bear. Or at least the possibly gutted corpse of a previously proud and fierce bear, draped awkwardly over the Fed's shoulder.

And that represents: Bear Stearns. Because, you see it has "bear" in the name! Get it? Get it?

Wait, how does that work? Well, it's pretty obvious, isn't it? Ben Bernanke and the Fed are "propping up" the "corpse" of Bear Stearns, which would have died a natural death if the government hadn't intervened. And then there's the witch doctor in the three-piece suit asking about bailouts. I mean, of course. I don't even have to insult your intelligence by explaining that one.

080411-4.jpgWhimsical beast: A defiant bull, transformed, through the magic of animal-mechanical hybrid technology, into a jet bull!

And that represents: Wall Street, transformed, through the magic of banking industry-mechanical hybrid technology, into jet Wall Street!

Wait, how does that work? Well, the cascading decline in value of various investments, each dependent on some other investment instrument that turns out to have been overvalued, can almost certainly be best compared to an enormous, sleepy bovine. And as is true for that bull, the best solution is to strap enormous jet engines onto everyone concerned and fire them into the stratosphere.

080411-5.jpgWhimsical beast: Some kind of ravenous fish ... tadpole ... with fists ... thing?

And that represents: Ah, look at the bottle. It's the "genie of deregulation".

Wait, how does that work? It doesn't. Damn you, genies are supposed to be sinister Levantines in vests and goatees, not ravenous fish tadpoles with fists! This is the liberal media trying hard to distract us with their so-called "economic woes" from the real enemy: Islamo-Fascist genies. We've got a genie gap, people!

Each week, the Comics Curmudgeon helps explain Today's Cartoons.


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