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Four Horsemen of Apocalypse, by Viktor Vasnetsov. (1887)

Yes, there are still a couple of days in which Congress can act like adults and produce a simple, clean bill that keeps the nation solvent and ensures the dollar retains some fragment of its traditional value, but really what are the odds? From now on it's zombie hordes all the way down.

I know some people are busy converting money into gold with the idea that this will still be worth something. I'm taking a more practical approach: SPAM and shotgun shells. By next week, I figure you'll be bringing me buckets of that useless, soft, yellow metal just for the chance to sniff the juice from a can of hickory smoke flavor.

Republicans, of course, will not be interested in my salty meat by-product. They'll get by just on the pleasure derived from finally seeing the nation brought to true freedom; true looting, screaming, Ayn Rand-loving freedom. As it turns out, not one of these super genius ultra patriots had to go Galt to bring on the blood-dimmed tide. They just had to unleash their superpower of unbending narcissism. They successfully saw that oil companies still eat for free and protected the sovereign right of billionaires to pay less taxes in a year than the average mom shells out at a back-to-school sale. Congrats to them. The satisfaction from this achievement will sustain them right up until the zombies eat their brains.

It doesn't make a lot of sense to put this on the Internet, not when it'll soon run you two cans of Roasted Turkey SPAM just to flip on the lights. So if you're reassembling this message by reading it from the worthless thousand dollar bills I'm using as both writing stock and Charmin alternative, put this thought on top of the roll: we did it backward.

Government and markets aren't designed to be enemies. Honest. Governments are created to provide mutual benefit for citizens (again, honest), and one of those benefits is seeing that the exchange of goods and services happens as smoothly as possible. Sure, you can substitute gold bars and spiked clubs for currency and regulation, but the result is a lot less neat. Most people would rather not turn buying a Big Mac into a test of their ability to storm the McCastle.

Good economies aren't a measure of the lack of regulation; they are regulation. In plumbing terms, if money is water, regulations are the pipes. You sort of need those if you expect the water to go anywhere, and you don't move more water by weakening the pipes. Without government, you just get mud.

But somehow, a good fragment of people got into a position where their operating rules were: big business & billionaires=good, government & ordinary people=bad. How this happened isn't completely clear, though it's just possible the TV and radio channels that big business & billionaires set up expressly to flog this message 24/7/365.25 had something to do with it. In any case, it's an admirably simple bit of code. A brain running this program requires less power than a cell phone and still has room for the deluxe edition of Angry Birds.

Thing is, a nation running on this idea? It doesn't. Run.

When things are working as designed, government is there to pick up the slack when business gets in trouble. That's not shocking; that's the design. Then when government gets in trouble, business—you know, the business that's utterly dependent on the stability provided by government to make sure that its products have value—is supposed to step in to ensure that government can recover.

Regulation and legislation are what ensures that trade is possible, contracts mean something, and every deal isn't done at knifepoint. You think namby-pamby la la la freedom-gulch fountain-shrug makes billionaires? Government makes billionaires. Government makes business possible. It does that every day, and all it asks in return is that big businesses & billionaires contribute something more than nothing toward the expenses involved. Apparently, that was too much to ask.

Now that we're well and truly screwed, let me just leave you with one last piece of advice. Well, two pieces. First, when planning for the apocalypse, fat calories are important. Nobody wants SPAM lite. Second, when running from the horde, don't hide behind conservatives. Because, really, how long do you think it takes a zombie to finish with Louie Gohmert?

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