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Chapter 6
Alternate Economics

Progress – It’s in the Air!

by WFB127

With the third disaster at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant, the usual suspects are making the usual complaints about the limitations of science. However, before we do something rash (like pass “environmentally friendly” laws that would strangle corporate innovation like a metaphor about a baby in its crib), I believe we need to step back and remember all of the great things that science has accomplished.

Like Bottled AirTM.

Bottled AirTM contains the optimal mix of oxygen, nitrogen and trace elements for the best possible health outcome, and comes in seven designer odors, including Fresh Pine, Newly Car Smell and Purple! Simply choose the formula of Bottled AirTM that most closely corresponds to your weight and body type, put on the mask and breath six hours of fresh airy goodness!

Of course, before Bottled AirTM, people had to inhale whatever goop was floating around in their environment. The advantages Bottled Air AirTM gives us over traditional Industrial and Early Post-industrial Era air should be obvious. However, even pre-Industrial Era air had its problems, what with the foulness emanating from dead and rotting animal carcasses or rivers polluted with human waste. Surely, even progress’ staunchest critics would not want us to return to those bad old days!

When Bottled AirTM was first introduced, some critics insisted that it wasn’t fair to poor people – as if making people who could afford it breath the same slop as everybody else was somehow fair! However, these people didn’t appreciate the genius of the marketplace. Soon enough, discount bottled air, under the President’s Choice Bottled AirTM and Wal-Mart Bottled AirTM labels soon made the product available to the masses at affordable prices.

To be sure, discount bottled air wasn’t as pure as the premium product, but, really, do you expect a Rolex knock-off to work as well as an original? Do you expect low end Georgio Armani suits to wear as well as top of the line clothing? Why would you expect bottled air to be any different?

I’m not suggesting that the path to our recent level of breathing products excellence has been smooth. There were, for instance, all of the early studies that proved conclusively that the original formula for Bottled AirTM actually damaged the human immune system by eliminating certain airborne bacteria for which we would otherwise have built up a tolerance.

Fortunately, science was there to solve the problem! Microbes beneficial to human physical development and well-being were added to the formula, resulting in Macrobiotic Bottled AirTM. Not only that, but the first iteration was rebranded as Bottled Air Original FormulaTM and marketed to risk-takers and those secure in the masculinity of their immune systems.

We all know what happened next (well, all of us who didn’t get our MBAs out of a CrackerjackTM box): the microbes used to bolster the immune systems that were damaged by the original formula caused night sweats and inflammation of the thumbs in some customers. However, ten years of frantic but thoughtful (not to mention methodologically sound) research resulted in the development of a pill that counteracted these symptoms.

Nor does the triumphant progress of science stop there! The pills that were developed to counteract the negative effects of the microbes introduced into Bottled AirTM to boost immune systems that were damaged by the original formula were found to cause sphincter reticulosis and the screaming heebie jeebies in one in every 300,000 users. Ordinarily, this would not be a cause for concern, but that one in 300,000 users was extremely wealthy. Light therapy was found to minimize most of the side effects of the pills, with fully 98.3 per cent of those affected returning to their normal lives while the rest were promoted to positions of no real authority where they could not hurt themselves or others.

Of course, it was recently revealed that the light therapy that solved the problems with the pills (that were developed to counteract the negative effects of the microbes introduced into Bottled AirTM to boost immune systems that were damaged by the original formula) can cause bleeding from the thumbs or delusions of being David Mamet, but scientists at labs around the world are already hard at work to find a cure.

And, you can be certain that they will succeed, for science, driven by the needs of free markets, can solve any human problem!

WFB127 is the 127th clone of noted conservative pundit William F. Buckley.

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