Ask Dr. Recession!

Dr. Recession has earned Certificates of Completion from America's top financial expos, workshops and webinars. He has a college degree, but is not a licensed economist.

Dear Dr. Recession,

I haven't worked in years, because a) I don't feel like it and b) Spike TV doesn't watch itself. I have no intention of moving out of my parents' basement, but lately I've been passing myself off as a hardworking dude who lost his job because of the recession. It feels wrong, but it gets me girls. What do you think of this?

Jobless in Seattle

Dear Jobless,

Dr. Recession doesn't care what you do, as long as you spend money. Going on dates, even dates obtained under false pretenses, pumps necessary funds into the economy. If more people had your sense of dishonesty, we could be out of this mess by October.

As a non-hardworking person, you are entitled to the same rights and privileges as your hardworking counterparts. People who won't work for a living ("Sloth Americans") usually enjoy one or more income streams - "pin money," "carfare" or "walking around money." All are just as valid as dividends, capital gains or pensions.

Dear Dr. Recession,

I keep hearing pundits and politicians say that we need to get the economy back to "where we were." But if we get back to "where we were," won't that get us right back to "where we are"? Why is there nostalgia for a system that wasn't working?

WTF in Wilmington

Dear WTF,

Why was there nostalgia for a ship that hit an iceberg? Why is there nostalgia for Charlie's Angels lunch boxes, purple-haired trolls and World War Two? Why is the remake our primary art form? Why are we in the fifth decade of a 50's revival?

Because nostalgia is our chief crop, main export and biggest growth industry. The country that was founded on revolution and looking to the future now cannot commit a single act without making a commemorative plate out of it five minutes later.

One day there will even be nostalgia for the disaster we're in right now. Someone will sell credit default swap lunch boxes and make a movie about the fall of AIG starring Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet.

But we will never go back to "where we were." It is not true that "Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it." Nobody can repeat the past, except the people on Lost.

Dear Dr. Recession,

I keep reading in the Harvard Business Review and The Wall Street Journal that the people who are enraged at AIG are missing the point, that we really should be upset at other parts of the financial system. Now I'm worried that I'm squandering valuable anger supplies. How can I ration my outrage?

Mad in Massachusetts

Dear Mad,

There's no need. According to scientists, anger is America's number one renewable resource. Blessed with deep reserves, we enjoy a wide variety of natural rage (including acrimony, fury, umbrage) and have completely ended our dependence on foreign ire.

However, experts predict that in order to get through this crisis, Americans must embrace alternatives to pure anger, including hybrids such as 90% pissed off, 10% not pissed off and 15% inflamed, 60% miffed and 25% beatific.

So don't worry about squandering anger. But I should point out that in the time you took to write your letter, you could have been thinking up a way to put money back into the economy - like asking Jobless in Seattle's mom for some cash to go on a date. Ordinarily I'd get mad at you, but I'm currently running on a mixture of 80% calm, 19% cool and trace amounts of collected.