Communicable Disease Center
34 Econo Drive
Washington, D.C. USA
January 16, 2009
Bulletin: ETD Epidemic Alert – Vertigonomics:
It’s spreading — fast.
Lobbies of banks, credit unions, mortgage companies, hedge funds, brokerage firms, law firms, physicians and the emergency rooms of hospitals throughout the U.S. have been inundated over the past week with American consumers afflicted with what is believed to be a highly contagious, life-as-you-knew-it threatening malady. At the time of this writing, public health officials remain somewhat baffled. Although current details are sketchy, the only common characteristic identified among the afflicted is that all claim to be suffering from Economically Transmitted Diseases. Based upon this fact, the following is hereby communicated to the public:
Infectious Disease Alert – CDC #2009-10-4 C:
The CDC confirms that an outbreak of Economically Transmitted Diseases has reached epidemic levels in the United States. According to CDC Director Dr. E. Conomy; “We have confirmed that this uniquely contagious disease has now infected unprecedented numbers of American families, companies and the financial infrastructure of the United States. It is airborne. Presently referred to as Vertigonomics, officials at every level of both the public and private sector are working feverishly to develop a vaccine to stop the spread of this malady. Unfortunately, our collective attempts to halt the ongoing infection rate have not met with the results we had hoped for. However, we remain dedicated to developing and distribute the essential protocols required to address this national public health priority.”
Demographically, there are no identifiable persons, families, companies who have immunity.
Symptoms – Vertigonomics:
· Distinctly elevated levels of anxiety and insecurity.
· Persistent and unrelenting fears and worries about the current state of ones financial situation.
· An overwhelming sense of uncertainty about the future for yourself, your job, family, your employer, community, country, and the world around you.
· A deeply held gut feeling that these are unprecedented times.
· An almost complete loss of confidence that “government actions will get us out of this mess.”
· Rage and a horrifying feeling of exclusion when you hear terms like bailout, rescue plan, TARP, and stimulus.
· You feel that your life has become unbalanced and you suffer from a recurring sense of economic dizziness, unable to regain your previously held financial foothold.
· A cosmic sense that the sky is falling or that life’s rug has been ripped out from beneath you.
· The hopes, dreams and expectations that you held for you and yours have been somehow dismembered by forces outside your control.
· A distinct, paralyzing feeling of helplessness.
· You’ve heard yourself say or think incessantly, “This sucks!”
· You have spoken to a representative of your mortgage holder and have come to the realization that the help they say they are authorized to provide you and yours is woefully inadequate.
· You are seriously considering the cessation of payments to your mortgage holder(s) so you might qualify for federal homeowner foreclosure relief programs that are being debated.
· When you hear the term recession it confirms your own depression.
· When you see the most recent poll on declining consumer confidence in the U.S., you feel good about being included in something.
· Your world today seems upside-down.
Diagnosis – Vertigonomics:
· You do not have enough money to make ends meet.
· Your 401K has lost 30% + of its former value.
· You may have been laid off or legitimately fear the same.
· You have witnessed a distinct increase in the rate of business failures in your community.
· The value of your primary personal residence has declined below what you owe your mortgage holder(s).
· Your company is slashing expenses, has frozen new hires, and reduced employee benefits significantly for 2009.
· When you watch the evening news surf the net or read you daily newspaper, you say “Holy crap!” at least once.
· You read the foreclosure notice section of your newspaper on a daily basis just as you have read the obituary section routinely in the past. You’ve seen the names of people you know in there as well.
· You see ‘For Sale’ signs when you close your eyes in bed at night.
· Foreclosure notices seem to outnumber paid advertising placement in your local newspaper.
· You can’t remember what you spent the last federal stimulus check on that you received in 2008. You certainly didn’t purchase anything that is visible in your current living environment.
Status of Treatment/Immunization/Innoculation/Vaccination
Vertigonomics is a uniquely resistant strain of ETD. As stated by the CDC’s Dr. Fed: “We’ve never seen anything remotely close to this malady before. Our current efforts to contain this contagion have been – well, we’ll see.”
Laboratory trials of the “green jobs” vaccine indicate that this may be an essential and viable part of the treatment protocol. However, the healing realized may take several years. Capital injections into major money-center banks to spur both stabilization and an increase in liquidity in the U.S. financial system have yet to produce the desired results. The merit of continuing these injections is an ongoing debate. A transfusion of funds directed at shovel-ready public works infrastructure improvements is promising; again, as a component of the required formula. The effects of grafting federal funds into the body of the ailing auto industry is considered to be “too soon to tell.” However, common sense suggests that additional taxpayer dollars will be required.
If you feel forgotten as a law abiding, tax-paying citizen of this country, you’re not alone. Millions of Americans are infected with the same malady that you’re currently suffering from. We realize that there is little, tangible solace in the fact that your misery has tons of company.
However, it is our hope that the American consumer, as an individual and familial unit, will receive what you require; the immediate, direct and deliberate injection of a form of relief that may stimulate and restore the balance and confidence that is fundamental to a return to stability, accompanied by a cessation of the staggering sense of dizziness that this affliction continues to perpetrate upon the innocent citizens of this country. The following are pertinent considerations:
- Cessation of Federal payroll taxes for two years. BOTH companies and employees will have additional cash flow.
- Extend unemployment benefits for 12 months beyond their current expiration.
- Fund shovel-ready public works projects designed to address legitimate infrastructure restoration and public education projects in the U.S.
- Provide residential home builders with tax incentives to design and build smaller, high density primary personal residences that are both affordable for the workforce.
- Provide tax incentives toencourage enrollment in higher education.
- Provide federal incentives to spur volunteerism in our society.
- Re-engineer the healthcare component of the conundrum.
- Federal Incentives to companies who create new jobs in the U.S.
- Tangible tax relief for small business and new start-ups.
- Use TARP funds allowing community banks to swap their impaired real-property related assets and boost their liquidity allowing them to return to lending to the citizens and businesses within which they reside.
- Stem the swelling tide of foreclosures and the ongoing spiral of residential real property valuations with tangible, systemic relief. Allow lenders to re-appraise residential properties and adjust mortgages down to current market value. Provide tax credits in an amount commensurate to the mortgage relief they provide, allowing them to shield future profits against this sum, while not requiring the loan loss reserves to further deplete their balance sheets and federally mandated capitalization ratios.
Honestly, what has been missing in all our recent attempts to develop a treatment modality for Vertigonomics is the courage to confront the entire spectrum of this malady with the boldness and courage required. As of the date of this writing, the CDC will boldly advocate for the essential political support to enact the measures described above.
We hope you will join us. Call your elected representatives and bring their attention to this bulletin. Perhaps, they might garner a deeper appreciation for the effects that Vertigonomics is having on Main Street vs. the attention they have been providing to Wall Street.
Yes, In God We Trust — the other part of this equation is that God expects us to do something constructive about the circumstances that confront us — together.