Friday, December 12, 2008
Supreme Court Repeals Law of Supply and DemandWashington D.C. -- In a landmark decision made earlier this week, the Supreme Court ruled that prices can no longer be set according to the supply of goods or the demand for them.
"Too long has this fundamental point of basic economics been a thorn in the side of progress," said Chief Justice John Roberts in his majority opinion. "Too long have the American people been crushed under the heels of logic, empirics, and reason. Too long have we been slaves to incentives. No more!"
Originally the Court ran into trouble upon discovering that no such official law actually existed.
"When John asked us for the case name, we all just blanked. Stevens mumbled something about seeing it somewhere in the Constitution, but...fuck, he's old," recalled Associate Justice Anthony Kennedy. "Finally, after, like, a totally long time, Ginsburg said, 'I don't think there is one.'"
But Roberts regarded the setback as, "trivial and unpatriotic," while Anthony Scalia, long known for his strong advocacy of federal government power, said, "Anyone who doesn't believe that the precepts of this Court can overrule the natural phenomena of the market economy...ain't nothin' but a stinkin', red, Commie rat." When asked to clarify his statement, Scalia emitted a string of cowboy hoots and yodels before wildly firing into the air two vintage six-shooters the associate justice had concealed beneath his robes.
The decision was likewise greeted with an outpouring of enthusiasm from Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke and Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson.
"This marks a historic moment in history," Paulson said during a brief pause between shotgunning beers at a recent White House press conference and chug-off jamboree celebrating the end of the current financial crisis. "No more worrying about mortgage payments, no more graphs and statistics, no more of that deficit shit -- Wooooooo!" The former chairman and CEO of Goldman Sachs investment firm then proceeded to pound a bottle of Wild Turkey before vomiting on Press Secretary Dana Perino and passing out somewhere near the Jefferson Memorial.
The American public have expressed similar elation at the ruling. Iowa farmer Merle "Spooky" Stephenson's first act upon hearing the decision was to pay off his own mortgage with three handfuls of dirt, a paperclip encrusted with an unidentifiable brown liquid, and a small squirrel Stephenson affectionately named "Sir Nuts-a-Lot."
"If we coulda done this before, then why the hell did'n we? What a load that is off'n me; you can't put a price on that--it's the law!"
But while banks like Stephenson's have set up pricing schemes bordering on the surreal, others, such as FistNorth simply opt for the absurd.
"Squirrel trading can be dangerous; a few bankers have already been picked up for hording. But they prefer to be high-risk," said Wachovia spokeman Al Karpis. "At Wachovia we let our staff choose the pricing schemes for the day. Mel the CSR Rep bases it on the number of windows in the client's house while Dave, the alcoholic in accounts payable sets rates by the number of dogs he hits on the way to work."
So far Wahovia's plan has been a success.
"Hopefully, by the end of the month, we can just get rid of numbers altogether and go alphabetical. Hopefully the FTC will find that adequately insane."
Other countries have considered impementing similar policies, while some are already enjoying the benefits.
"It's been a godsend," reported Samuel Mumbengegwi, Zimbabwean Finance Minister, under the assurance that this interview would not be broadcast in his home country. "With our escalating hyperinflantion, we used to set prices based on what things cost in the U.S. Now that the U.S. has suspended any semblance of a rational pricing structure, we have no idea how bad things are!"
However, some have criticized the ruling.
"For the past 300 years, economists have tried driving the principles of supply and demand into the public mind," says American Economic Association spokesman D. Ray Morton. "When we said repealing the Corn Laws would greatly reduce starvation throughout 19-Century Great Britain, you didn't listen, and many perished, and it was only after decades of agitation that you conceded; when over 1,000 of us said the 1929 Smoot-Hawley tariff would lead to a crippling reduction in U.S.-European trade, you shrugged and passed it anyway, to the world's great detriment; when hundreds of us, including three Nobel-prize laureates, argued to end the drug war and save, among countless lives, over $7 billion per year in state and federal expenditures, your reply was merely, 'My balls are state and federal expenditures.' In light of this latest Supreme Court decision, our response is, 'Go expletive deleted yourselves.'"
But the Supreme Court proudly stands by its ruling.
"The most devastating blow man can strike against the natural order of things is denial," John Roberts said in response to Morton's statement. "Ha, ha: 'Balls' -- I gotta write that one down."