Bob Franken

Bubbles the Goose

Remember the oldie-but-goodie “Kill the Golden Goose”? It’s an Aesop fable, actually, but who cares?

Aesop’s point was you don’t want to do that… you shouldn’t kill the goose that’s laying golden eggs.

But what if there are glimmers of toxic poisons inside those glittery shells that will nearly destroy everyone and everything when they inevitably escape? Do you kill the goose or hope you’re wrong about the danger?

Right now you’re probably asking yourself “What in the HELL is Franken talking about?!” A good question.

I’m referring to Alan Greenspan and the rest of his ilk, who could have easily figured out that this goose, let’s call her “Bubbles”, was laying eggs all right.

Only now is he forced to admit he made a “mistake” in refusing to consider the possibility they were covered in fool’s gold.

Greenspan and the others in his merry band decided they should ignore the warnings. After all, too many reverse Robin Hoods were getting scads of money not only by hustling these eggs, but making sure they did so in an unregistered “free” market.

Meanwhile, Alan and his bird were always welcome at the White House and all over Washington. Their efforts to, uh, goose the economy always gave everyone here in DC Fantasyland a prosperity to brag about.

Never mind that it was a bogus prosperity. Wasn’t that someone else’s problem, sometime in the future?

To quote football coach George Allen, “The future is now”. The Bubbles have burst and it’s our problem. The geese have come home to roost. We have to put the broken eggs back together again.

Once all these false profiteers have deservedly eaten crow, we need to make sure we never again allow ourselves to goose step to their siren songs filled with false promises of fabled wealth.

To begin with, it’s imperative the actions we take to undo the damage are very very careful, so they gradually restore faith in a collapsed economy. At the moment, one can’t help but think those in charge are simply spinning their wheels, desperately hoping one of their massively expensive ideas gains traction.

It’ll take more than that. It will take someone, and something who can restore confidence that we’re headed in the right direction, or that there even is a right direction.

It’ll take more than cliches (or stupid goose metaphors). It will require meaningful regulation and transparency, and efficiency and honesty and political leadership and most of all, skepticism from all of us.

We really need to embrace the maxim that “If it seems too good to be true it really is”.

Back to the fable: We can’t kill this goose, but we should definitely remember there’s no such thing as a golden one or golden eggs.

And we should never forget Aesop’s last line: “Greed oft o’er reaches itself.”

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