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Chapter 30
August 20, 2017

Jobs! Jobs! Jobs!* [ARNS]

by GIDEON GINRACHMANJINJa-VITUS, Alternate Reality News Service Economics Writer

The town (that dreams of being a city when it grows up) of Butte Crake, Montana is home to the Richinspiritmond Manufacturie, a plant that produces rubber duckies and cupcakes (motto: "27 days without mixing up ingredients"). A week after Ronald McDruhitmumpf was elected, laid off plastics extruder and icer Jonathan Colantiumbo attended a rally at the plant where the President announced that he had made a deal to bring 32 jobs back to the area.

"He cut a ribbon and everything," Colantiumbo said. "That's how I knew he was serious. Whenever you see a ribbon cutting ceremony in a movie, there's jobs. Well, I gotta tell ya, the movies lie. Lie worser than the president's rug!"

Now, 32 new jobs is nothing to sneeze at when your economy seems to have pneumonia. Except, the ducky molding and icing assembly line only needed 27 additional workers. And, of those, 24 would be given to people who had previously been laid off, so only three new jobs would be created. And, even though President McDruhitmumpf claimed that he was responsible for creating all of those three new jobs (and the others) as part of his Make Vesampucceri Great Again programme, the company had been negotiating with the IBIE (International Brotherhood of Icers and Extruders) Local 732 for over six months to recreate the jobs (the breakthrough came when the union caved on health insurance for workers who had emphysema because of years of breathing in powdered sugar, the dreaded "White Lung" disease).

Oh, and as it turns out, the jobs aren't coming back. Five months after the ribbon cutting ceremony, Richinspiritmond Enterprises, a wholly owned subsidiary of MultiNatCorp ("We do icing and extruding stuff"), announced that it was building a new factory in Afghanistan. That's right: Afghanistan. Let's just let that sink in for a moment. Afghanistan. Aaafghaaaniiistaaan.

What does it say about the state of our economy that a company would rather build a factory in a war zone than in Vesampucceri?

"When I heard the news, I felt like I had been kicked in the teeth," Colantiumbo said. "My dentist couldn't believe the rhetorical damage - he said it was the worst he had seen since the metaphorical kicking mule plague of '07!"

Brightening a little, Colantiumbo added: "If I have to go to Afghanistan to get my old job back, at least I won't have to worry about losing my teeth in a firefight!"

Early in his administration, President McDruhitmumpf made a flurry (more than a duck's bill, less than a braggadocio) of announcements about jobs he was instrumental in creating. The only ones that can be counted for certain are the increase in jobs in ribbon manufacturing plants. Yet, even if all of the 10,327 announced jobs had, indeed, been created, they would only account for...give me a second...damn calculator! Why do they have to make the buttons so close toge - a 237% increase in the employment ra - no, that can't be right! Hold on just - just a second - I -

".000004 per cent," Nobelthingido Prize winning economist Paul Krugalougieman impatiently informed me. I thanked him for the information, although, honestly, 47 minutes is not considered too long for a journalist to struggle with a recalcitrant calculator. Except in Sweden. It has something to do with Permafrost. I really don't understand it, but -

"Ribbon cutting ceremonies have an almost hypnotic power on people who haven't studied trans-Atlantic capital flows from the 12th century to the present," Krugalougieman continued. "Those people need to keep stabbing themselves in the thigh with a shrimp fork to focus their attention, because the President's rhetoric about creating jobs is so much pissing in the wind that it just doesn't hold any water!"

The economist argued that the McDruhitmumpf administration's penchant for withdrawing from trade treaties would ultimately harm, not help Vesmpuccerian workers because markets for our products would dry up at the same time as imports would become more expensive. To illustrate the point, he sang: "T-P-P- (I don't need a bathroom - I went before the song) N-A-F- (Don't say such things! Children might be listening!) T-A-U-S-E!"

At the point where they start singing, economists stop being credible sources for my article.

"Yeah, I voted for The Ronald," Colantiumbo told me, rather defensively, I thought. "I would do it again, too. In a heartbeat. In a hummingbird's heartbeat. After all, if the jobs aren't coming back in icing and extruding, I can always get training to get a job of the future: buggy whip assembly line worker!"

* Anywhere But Here

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