By the Comics Curmudgeon
Once every a generation or so, it's important that our comfortable lives are shaken up, so that we can take stock and figure out what's really important. Sure, economic disruptions are painful, but they can also herald a return to self-reliance and old-fashioned, time-tested values. Unfortunately, our current economic crisis passed that point weeks ago, so now you're sort of just rubbing it in, Cold Dead Hand of Adam Smith. We promise to stop with the credit cards and the adjustable rate mortgages, OK? Just give us our fucking 401Ks back. Sadly, it appears that our political leaders will be forced to take truly drastic steps to stop our planet from being transformed into a vast hobo jungle.

Click the comics to make them bigger if you want to stare the TERRIBLE TRUTH IN THE FACE.

Have you heard that the children are our future? When you heard that, you just nodded and smiled politely. But when the much smarter-than-you President Obama heard that, he thought, "Hmm, if they're our future, then couldn't they also be ... our present?" At that moment, the Making America's Babies Pay initiative was born. The nation's infants, previously inefficiently deployed in various cribs, day cares, and ball pits, were put to work! Some were used as beasts of burden, while other, weaker specimens were simply ground into a protein-rich slurry that provided more energy to the beast-of-burden babies.

But as any economist will tell you, tweak one aspect of the complex web of exchanges that underpin our society and you can create certain so-called "perverse incentives." For instance, when the government offered a bounty on the feeble yet delicious slurry babies, there was a rash of infants raised in tiny pens and fed sour cream out of their bottles, resulting in more ludicrously obese tots than the nation's slurry-producing infrastructure could process in a timely manner. A program that had begun with such great hope became mired in piles of obese babies, as government initiatives so often do.

But Obama had another trick up his sleeve! If babies couldn't save America, what about old people? Sure, they weren't really useful for any kind of economically productive activities, but many of them had lived long, full, rich lives and were probably getting on their children's last nerve right about now, so they wouldn't really be missed if they were used as human sacrifices, right? Barry personally took the old coots to his native Kenya Hawaii, where they were hurled into the caldera of an active volcano as an offering to Pele, the goddess of fire, lightning, dance, volcanoes, violence, and structured investment vehicles.

But you know what the problem with human sacrifice is? Much as is true for eating delicious potato chips, you can't just sacrifice one of your citizens to an ancient pagan deity! It's so enjoyable that you just kind of go nuts with it. Here we see Barry looking awfully pleased with the results of his latest mass offering of dozens of hapless mortals to Poseidon, the ancient Greek god of the oceans, of earthquakes, and of credit default swaps. Look how happy he is! There's nothing more satisfying than pleasing your fickle divine master!

But don't worry! Our president's not out of ideas! Even now, he's plotting a way to defeat the recession by piecing together bits and pieces of corpses and assembling them into an enormous, monstrous parody of humanity, then reanimating that dead mass by infusing it with the devilish new invention, Electricity. Will obstructionist Republicans block this bold move by proclaiming it "an affront the laws of nature" and "an attempt to arrogate to man those powers that rightfully belong only to the Creator"? Stay tuned!

Meanwhile, somewhere overseas, that enormous pile of cocaine Secretary of State Hillary Clinton ordered has finally arrived.

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Image: Marriott Hotels

Great GOP wordsmith Frank Luntz, the guy who gave us the "death tax" and who urged the George W. Bush administration to talk about "climate change" since it was less politically motivating than "global warming," did some more of his characteristic word magic today! While staying at the Hotel Imperial in Vienna, Austria, Luntz offered this cautionary tale about the evils of socialism, as illustrated by the shoddy conditions in a 5-star luxury hotel owned by Dubai's "Al Habtoor" conglomerate and operated by Marriott:

Talk about your grim hellholes! Apparently, there's only one elevator in the entire building, and it's been broken for three days, proving that European-style socialism is a failure that should never be imported to the USA, where -- damn it! -- all buildings work!

As some smartass pointed out, now Luntz may have to take the STAIRS, like a common Bolshevik!

We're still trying to get our heads around how a delay in getting an elevator fixed in a luxury hotel owned by the United Arab Emirati proprietors of Dubai's

  • Habtoor Grand Resort
  • Waldorf Astoria Dubai Palm Jumeirah
  • Habtoor Palace, LXR Hotels & Resorts
  • V Hotel, Curio Collection by Hilton
  • Hilton Dubai Al Habtoor City
  • Metropolitan Hotel Dubai
  • Al Habtoor Polo Resort

as well as

  • Imperial Hotel, a Luxury Collection Hotel, Vienna (Austria)
  • Hilton London Wembley (United Kingdom)
  • Hilton Beirut Habtoor Grand (Lebanon)
  • Hilton Beirut Metropolitan Palace (Lebanon)
  • President Abraham Lincoln Springfield – a DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel (United States)
  • InterContinental Budapest (Hungary)
  • The Ritz-Carlton, Budapest (Hungary)

is an example of the horrors of socialism, but then, we don't earn the big bucks like Luntz does. Austria is among the 14 richest countries in the world, so we're fairly certain it's not a commie hellhole. Then again, there is a very strong social safety net, so maybe people in subsidized housing stole all the elevator parts. Or perhaps the elevator would have been fixed sooner if only Austria didn't have such strong unions. It's a mystery.

Or maybe it's that NATIONAL socialism that's the problem, seeing as it has socialism RIGHT IN THE NAME!

Adolf Hitler, once a day labourer outside the Hotel Imperial Vienna, returned as the Führer and "delivered a speech to a rapturous crowd from [the hotel] suite's balcony, on 14 March 1938", according to

We suppose it's worth noting that the Imperial is decidedly not owned or operated by the Austrian government, where a far-Right coalition has recently imploded -- although maybe Luntz is confused about that, since official state guests are traditionally housed there. In any case, the elevator's busted, it's in Europe, Europe is socialist, and Frank Luntz is homesick for America, where no elevator ever goes unrepaired for an entire weekend. It simply has never happened because of our efficient free market!

Still, Luntz's tweet inspired some valuable reflections on how economic theory shapes the reality of everyday life. This is the kind of Austrian economics we can support.

In conclusion, capitalism always allocates resources efficiently and fairly, although that still doesn't explain why Frank Luntz has a job. And now it would be your DOKTOR ZOOM'S BIRTHDAY PARTY OPEN THREAD, if only the socialists would fix the elevator, the end.

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