Growing up isn’t easy. Actually, it’s very easy because every day you get a bit older whether you like it or not – it’s just not a lot of fun.
Congress, always the antonym of progress, received yesterday a stern lecture from a representative of Standard & Poors (aka Poor Standards) on just what happens when your credit rating is slashed and how it can be avoided. It appears that they successfully obtained adult supervision before doing something very stupid, which is to say doing nothing against the 2 August default deadline.
On the same day that the Greek debt crisis appears to have been ended this might actually be a cause for celebration. Of course, something like a big party is how everyone got into these messes in the first place, so it’ll be a quiet affair.
Congress has been slow to believe a long line of politicians, writers, economists and other people with two or more working brain cells who see a crash coming. It took action by a bond rating company to deliver a message that appears to have finally been received. Only time will tell what happens now that the the adult supervision has left the building, but there’s a good chance that this time it will take.
If that’s the case, what this nation needs is a lot more from its bond rating agencies. If that sounds ridiculous to you, you’re right. But adult supervision is hard to come by.
As any kid knows, adult supervision isn’t always stern and straight up. To bring the message home the other bond rating firms can deliver the same message in their own way. Moody’s, for example, could live up to its name and just cut our credit rating without any warning while proclaiming, ‘We just got fed up with your crap! We’ve been taking it for years and years and all you congresscirtters ever do is squabble and we can’t take it any more! You need to grow up and …” Ideally, they’d go on like this for about half an hour until everyone in Congress is staring at the floor in shame.
If our bond rating agencies are the only source of adult supervision it goes without saying that we’ve pretty much run dad’s car into a tree and several other “bad teen” metaphors that aren’t usually discussed at length outside of the family. The key to successful adult supervision always includes at least a little bit of shame, but Congress has shown itself to be rather shameless. We may have to make an example of Congress in front of their friends, which includes a lot of bad influences like big oil companies and the like.
This is where the adult supervision model breaks down. There isn’t anyone who can tell them to stop hanging around with the bad kids. They’re going to have to figure that out on their own.
But there have to be other kinds of successful adult supervision that can be brought to bear on Congress while we’re at it. Perhaps they just need someone that they can talk to in something less than an angry shout, like the understanding priest who runs the community center or the former gang member who went straight and tells kids how it really is. The key is to not let them be too idle during the summer when they can get bored and turn to drugs. Can you imagine if our politics starting doing serious drugs?
Wait, I’ve seen Fox “news”. It’s too late for that. We need to intervene more quickly than I thought.
No matter how we do it, adult supervision of some kind is definitely the way to go. It seems to work. We just have to find the responsible adults who can take our trouble Congress and help it turn it around before it’s too late. They’re not bad kids, they just made bad choices, right?
Well, we have until November 2012 to decide if they’re just bad kids. Until then, more adult supervision is always good. Bring on the bond rating agencies!