Crisis, what crisis?

Rodolfo de Angelis’ great 1930s hit explains how to get ourselves out of the mess we’ve got ourselves into.

Gideon Rachman’s No alternative to austerity (see also the sequel) maps out what European governments need to do, and which in terms of structural reforms unfortunately seems to be taking the Spanish government bloody ages.

However, governments are only part of the picture, and I rather like the comprehensive moral reveille suggested by the Neapolitan Rodolfo de Angelis in his 1933 hit, “Ma cos’è questa crisi?“, here paraphrased:

  • You’re an impresario whose shows aren’t selling? Stop moaning and invest in authors and actors!
  • You’re a rich old miser and you see economic doom? Open your wallet and start spending!
  • Your baccarat results in San Remo aren’t what you hoped for? Forget your pleasures and do a bit of work! [Check also George MacDonald Fraser’s The Subtleties of Baccarat.]
  • You can’t understand why all these international conferences aren’t delivering results? Forget those opinions and ambitions!
  • You’re a poor trader and don’t know which way to turn? Be content with what you’ve got and stop scratching [your bollocks]!
  • You’re a beauty slimming to get your figure back? Eat a sack of potatoes, go to bed early, and your curves will return!

De Angelis unfortunately became a fascist (which doesn’t necessarily make him evil or intellectually irrelevant, any more than being a (national) socialist implies automatic approval of Hitler, Mao and Stalin’s crimes). However, apart from memories of the potential disadvantages of excessive state paternalism, politicians like the new and the outgoing French presidents may have other perfectly good reasons for avoiding suggesting to us that the solution to our problems lies to a considerable extent in more rational management of our personal finances, working harder, and being more creative. Many Chinese believe we are hopelessly mired in spendthrift, tit-and-bum-obsessed decadence. Perhaps our rulers are also coming round to that view.

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  1. China: you earn money and use it to buy new tits.
    UK: you buy new tits and try to use them to earn money.

  2. To save a world in need of a new direction, obviously. I know, he never turned stone into bread. He gave a great reason for it.

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