A Riddle For Lawmakers

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I’m the one the Fed wants to fight,
they know not whence my appetite,
I hide in plain sight, 
garnering a lot of spite.

They taunt me in every speech, 
but I’m way out of their reach,
and despite whatever they preach,
don’t they hear the Deficit Owl and its warning screech.

They target me in vain, every six weeks,
They dig in their heels, and never question their techniques.
They call me names; persistent, transitory, stubborn; 
I’m unresponsive to their tweaks. 

They took away my food, my energy, 
so I showed them my core,
If you want to tame me, 
you should invest a whole lot more.
Your productive capacity is 
increasingly offshore. 
Your supply chains and logistics
ought to be, to die for.
Your infrastructure is so poor, 
it’s a sorry eyesore.
Your minimum wage?
multiply it by four.
Your people are hurting, 
while you debate the pay-for.
Give them education and healthcare, 
or face the uproar.
Spend on your children and elders, 
and you won’t see me soar.

* * *

I feed on abusive market power,
and when I go really hyper, 
they measure me by the hour.
Give me neglect, destruction, corruption
and your purchasing power I will devour.
Trafficking and cartels
greatly fuel my horsepower.
I fear democracy, resilience, food sovereignty, 
and every locally produced green kilowatt hour.
Tax and regulate the oligarchs, polluters, speculators; 
listen not to gatekeepers in Ivory towers.
You don’t need their money or their permission, 
it’s both democracy and the planet 
they wish to deflower.
You have the power of the purse
which I fear the most, 
it’s your ultimate firepower.

* * *

I inflict even more pain 
when you invite me in,
especially, when you import 
food, energy, and medicine
Don’t blame me if your value-added
is merely paper thin
and if your trade strategy, 
is to take it on the chin,
trust me, as I rear my ugly head, 
trust me, I will ever win.

* * *

In the 1970s I grew out of OPEC,
but little did they know, 
they thought that Volcker broke my back,
but it was really Jimmy Carter 
who found the easy hack,
he deregulated natural gas, 
which began the frenzy of the frack,
it eased my grip, but a peace accord 
in the Mid-East ultimately set me back. 

* * *

Listen to MMTers, ask questions, 
please don’t be shy,
Stephanie Kelton wrote The Deficit Myth
read it, it will surely demystify. 
Appalachia has a blueprint
let their people testify.
Decarbonize the grid and transportation, 
real fast, before we die,
Rebuild the foundations, 
like it’s a new 4th of July,
with justice for workers
both blue collar, and necktie.
Make it inclusive, no excuses; 
it’s not hard to diversify.
Regenerative agriculture and climate jobs
do I need to amplify?
A dignified reentry for people; 
I can almost hear them cry.
End the opioid crisis, poverty, homelessness; 
don’t turn a blind eye.
Repair the damage, clean the environment;
ask the experts to purify,
You’re already paying for it with blood, tears, and money, 
so don’t tell me cash is hard to come by.
The cost of doing nothing 
is already sky high,
the cost of doing the right thing is so cheap; 
your inaction is really impossible to justify. 

* * *

If you can solve this riddle, 
you know you can’t just stand by.
Much work needs to be done, 
you can grow the size of the pie,
I can still hide around the corner, 
but if you’ve learned your lesson
I will gladly wave goodbye.

Who am I?

4 thoughts on “A Riddle For Lawmakers”

  1. Bravo! Thank you, Dr. Kaboub for producing incredible work towards dispelling the fear of inflation and promoting federal investment in our future! We desperately need to move the Masses. ❤️

    As a patient who suffered harm due to medical negligence, what hit me home: “Don’t blame me if your value-added is merely paper thin.” They are now marketing our rationed patient care as “high value care.” Patients beware.

    To your last verse, I’d like to contribute: we must
    “Tear down the Old Established Ways of our Systems”
    before we “Rebuild the foundations”.

    And “Reconcile the generations of harm through Landback and Reparations” along with “Repair the damage.”
    Let’s be loud and proud -and specific- in this time of urgency. Too many administrations of vague handwaving by the Democrats.
    Thank you again, Fadhel! Peace to you and yours!

  2. Farzad Javidanrad

    Dear Fadhel,
    Bravo, that’s fantastic. I didn’t know you have such a poetic talent. This is a great talent that not many people have, specifically, I am talking about economists.
    Well done. Enjoyed.
    All my best regards,

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