Monday, September 22, 2008

. . . wondered what's happening

The lowest grade I ever received in collage was in Economics, the macro kind, except for my freshman year, when my education was being financed by the Bank of Mom and Dad . . .until they refused to conduct business with me any more. That was the kind of economics I could understand. There was no discussion of GNP or GDP or a whole bunch of stuff that seemed a lot like voodoo to me. Nope, if you didn't hold up your end of the bargain, the money flow just stopped and you were on your own.

So don't come to this blog if you want an in-depth analysis of what's going on in the government bail-out of private financial empires. My son attempted to explain it to me last night: privitization of profits and socialization of the risks. Gotcha. . . now run that by me again. Despite what I may have exhibited on this blog, I am not stupid, or dumb, or even ignorant. I usually get it. But this whole situation is beyond my ability to comprehend. First of all, the number of dollars is incomprehensible. I have no concept of a trillion dollars, just that it sounds like a lot of cash. It's a number we used when we were kids. . . "I bet you a trillion dollars that I can throw the ball farther than you can." It's not even Monopoly money, although the people running the government act like that is all it is. The government is already in debt, but it continues to spend on a stupid war; now it's going to spend dollars it doesn't have to save companies that reaped megabucks before they imploded; on top of all that, they want to cut taxes and give everyone stimulus rebate. Doesn't make sense to me no matter how you try to spin it. Apparently this will cost every one of us about $2,000. Here's a suggestion: just take my family's share from the bonuses of the CEOs of these failed companies, okay? I'm out.

Does this all have anything to do with art? Only peripherally. Or not. Maybe directly. This past weekend Kansas City put on the annual Plaza Art Fair. We went yesterday morning, early. We have learned that if you want to look at art and get a decent parking spot, the best time to go is just when the booths are just opening and normal people who did fun stuff on Saturday night are still in bed. I wasn't extremely impressed with anything I saw. . . I think I have looked at the kind of art I like on the internet so much that what I saw yesterday wasn't new or intriguing or something I just needed to have to enhance my life. My husband liked the big sculptures and anything made of steel, iron or wood, as well as some of the 3-D assemblages made from old tools and parts of machinery.

This morning's newspaper reported that sales were down and that the art fair couldn't have come at a worse time, at the end of one of the most tumultuous financial weeks since the Depression. People were buying small relatively inexpensive works of art or none at all, preferring to actually spend their money on food and shelter and gas to get to the art fair. What effect is this going to have on my stock of paintings in the basement studio, my NDP (not-too-gross domestic product)? I suppose the only bail-out I can expect is if the basement springs another leak, and I will be doing the bailing.


Martha Marshall said...

Our only hope as artists selling a product is that the super rich -- who are downgraded to rich -- will still come out and buy our stuff because they can't afford the blue chip stuff right now. Ya think?


Mary Buek said...

Martha: Glad to hear from you again. I suspect, just like with everything else, there are some real art bargains to be had out there. If you have some extra cash laying around, I think you could get a real deal on a car, a house, one of my 40 x 40 paintings, perhaps some stock while it's low, etc. Or you could buy a pickled shark as a conversation piece for your library for $18 million.