You may only read this site if you've purchased Our Kampf from Amazon or Powell's or me
• • •
"Mike and Jon, Jon and Mike—I've known them both for years, and, clearly, one of them is very funny. As for the other: truly one of the great hangers-on of our time."—Steve Bodow, head writer, The Daily Show

"Who can really judge what's funny? If humor is a subjective medium, then can there be something that is really and truly hilarious? Me. This book."—Daniel Handler, author, Adverbs, and personal representative of Lemony Snicket

"The good news: I thought Our Kampf was consistently hilarious. The bad news: I’m the guy who wrote Monkeybone."—Sam Hamm, screenwriter, Batman, Batman Returns, and Homecoming

November 29, 2006

Productivity Up In Death Squad Sector Of Iraqi Economy

Good news!

Every day it seemed more Iraqis woke up to death threats tossed into their carports. At first the death threats were handwritten, but as kidnappings became a daily occurrence, the kidnappers grew more brazen and organized. The terrorists now issue generic, computerized threats with the organization's name as letterhead. Only the name of the victim is written by hand.

I'm pleased to see this leap forward in death squad productivity. But there's still the drag on economic efficiency of writing the victims' names in by hand. The solution is clear: tax cuts for death squads, which will allow them to make the capital investment to fully automate their death squadding.

And if that doesn't do the trick, we should add Iraq to NAFTA, thereby lowering the barriers to trade in death squads, enlarging the death squad market and creating needed death squad economies of scale.

Posted at November 29, 2006 09:11 AM | TrackBack

no, no!

only tax cuts for the wealthy death squads, please.

the blood should trickle (gush, really) down to the more indigent death squads.

Posted by: mathpants at November 29, 2006 10:31 AM

oh, this is sick

Posted by: Susan at November 29, 2006 10:33 AM

Jonathan, I check you out through Tom Tomorrow's site. No need to issue the half-apology: (You may think this is just a grim, tasteless joke, and completely unrepresentative of how many economists think. But it’s not.)

The world is far too offensive being itself. Whatever words can cut through the doubt, the forced politeness, and the misguided optimism, and make people feel how offensive it is are necessary words.

Posted by: Jon at November 29, 2006 11:29 AM

Bad idea. This would put our own mercenary armies at Dyncorp and Blackwell at a competitive disadvantage.

How can they compete with a death squad that is willing to work for pennies on the dollar?

Unemployed factory workers are bad enough - can you imagine what would happen if our mercenaries had to get a job at Wal-Mart?

Posted by: Paul -V- at November 29, 2006 11:39 AM

The gravediggers and morticians are experiencing an economic boom as well. This is where the fallacy that war and natural disasters create prosperity comes from.

Ironically, since the death squads are supposedly controlled/sponsored by Shiite members of the government, whatever taxes are trickling in are actually funding them.

Posted by: Cous Cous at November 29, 2006 02:07 PM