Staker’s Guide to Recession-Proof Living

Yesterday morning, the Associated Press reported that economic growth in this country slowed to a rate of 1.6%. But hey, it’s still growing, right?

Actually, reports that Ben Bernanke is now weeping softly in a broom closet over at the Fed while Larry Summers and Tim Geithner play Russian roulette in the Capitol rotunda may contradict that positive outlook. On the bright side, America has rediscovered its love for Ramen noodles and self-loathing.

I took this picture yesterday at Downtown Crossing.

It’s true that we haven’t been in this tough a situation since disco came on the scene, but don’t let that get you down! Doesn’t mean we can’t make the best of a bad situation. Come on, America! Hardship is what we do! So what if we have to drink Keystone Light and eat cereal out of a bag for a little while? So what if we’re forced to heat our apartments by burning piles of stolen newspapers? Who cares if we have to devote the lives of a few of our children to wage slavery? Luxury is for Europeans. I mean, fuck, we already all stopped buying Red Sox tickets, right?

Over the past several months, I’ve tirelessly compiled all the relevant economic statistics into a massive database, which has allowed me to make the following assertions. Without further ado, I now present…

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How to Weather the Economic Storm in 5 Easy Steps

by Staker, Unlicensed Freelance Economist

  • Step 1: Relax

Like a large prison inmate asserting his dominance in the shower, the economic downturn has screwed us all. So if we’re all going down together, why worry? Use this opportunity to check a few things off that bucket list. Go swimming in Truro. Try base-jumping. See how long you can hold your breath for.

191... 192... 193... Hey are you guys alright?

Or, start marketing that self-help book you wrote, “Turning Ass Into Cash: the Joys of Prostitution.” The possibilities are literally endless.

  • Step 2: Self-Medication

If you’re unemployed – and you probably are – then you might have noticed that it’s easier to stare at a wall for sixteen hours if you’re pumped full of downers. Lack of activity means you burn less calories, which means you don’t have to spend as much money on food. I recommend you take whatever disposable income you have and spend it on as much generic-brand Tussin as possible. Not only will you never get a cold again ever, but it’ll make you see shit that until now you’ve only seen in M.C. Escher paintings.

  • Step 3: Theft FTW

If the aforementioned disposable income simply is not available, the circumstances may demand a little more creativity. Specifically, you’re going to have to start stealing shit. Now, I’m not talking about grand theft auto here.  I am talking about stealing an infinitesimal amount of property from everyone you know. Take, for instance, this kid, who financed his college education by asking everyone he came across for a penny. Do that, except ask for a dollar. If they refuse, hit them in the face and take their credit cards. It’s a win-win situation: you gain income, and they gain perspective.

  • Step 4: Jail

We no longer have debtor’s prison in this country, but going to jail is still a good way to get free stuff.

They feed you at least twice a day, you get to play basketball, there’s a gym that you don’t have to pay for, and there’s plenty of reading material. You even get a free jumpsuit to wear, and in your free time they give you things to do, like stamping license plates and doing the laundry. What’s not to like?

  • Step 5: Get a Job

Now that you’ve exhausted all your other options, it may be time to get a job. Conveniently, the presence of hundreds of angry anti-immigration vigilantes along the border with Mexico (an organization that goes by the sinister moniker “the Arizona Legislature”), as well as ongoing conflicts between drug cartels there, has opened up a slew of low-paying yet dignified jobs in the fruit-picking, drug-dealing, and windshield-squeegeeing industries. Hey, any job is better than no job, right?