ANNOUNCER: And now it's time to Speak German With Noin and Otto!
OTTO: Hallo, wie geht es Ihnen? That's German for "Hi, how are you?"
OTTO: And welcome to Speak German with Noin and Otto. Say, Noin, did you know that your last name means "nine" in German?
NOIN: That is so close to being fascinating.
OTTO: Anyway, today I'll give you a few things that may come in handy while visiting Germany. Noin will translate to English for me. Ready?
NOIN: Aye yi yi, the things I do for a few extra bucks.
OTTO: Blick heraus! Etwas im See biß behinds!
NOIN: Look out! Something in the lake is biting behinds!
OTTO: Wer ist das kluge Halteseil, das Zwiebeln in mein chowder einsetzen?
NOIN: Who is the wise guy who put onions in my chowder?
OTTO: Mein Stupidity überwältigt.
NOIN: My stupiditiy is overwhelming.
OTTO: Ihr Atem riecht wie meine Toilette, bevor er gesäubert erhält.
NOIN: Your breath smells like my toilet before it gets cleaned.
OTTO: Ich sind Slim Shady, ja das reale Slim Shady, alle Sie, die anderes Slim Shadys nachahmen, so würden das reale Slim Shady stehen bitte oben?
NOIN: I am Slim Shady, yes the real Slim Shady, all you other Slim Shadys are imitating, so would the real Slim Shady please stand up?
OTTO: Herren, was wir hier... haben, ist der Feind.
NOIN: Gentlemen, what we have here... is the enemy.
OTTO: And one more. Relena, warum sind nicht sagen mein Name auf der Lohn- und Gehaltsliste mehr?
NOIN: Say Relena, why isn't my name on the payroll anymore?
OTTO: And yes, that was real German. And now on with the show!
ANNOUNCER: Welcome to Politically Incorrect, Gundam Wing style! Starring Heero Yuy as Captain Sleeze (we see Heero refereeing a match between two mobile suits, turns to the camera, and waves), Duo Maxwell as Doomsday Democrat (we see Duo in Congress when he stands up angrily and throws a lawbook at the Speaker of the House, then turns to give the home viewers a 'thumbs up'), Wufei Chang as Reckless Republican (Wufei is walking around the Senate floor knocking out everyone who voted against his bill), Trowa Barton as Rabid Reformant (we see Trowa wave to the home audience, then puts on Spock ears and does a Ross Perot impression), Quatre Raberba Winner as Mr. Conservative (Quatre is trying to interview people but is trampled underfoot as the New York City Marathon gets underway), Lucreizia Noin as Lady Litigation (we see Noin pounding her gavel in a courtroom until, exasperated, she whips it at somebody and smiles for the camera), and the host of our show, Relena Peacecraft!
(Relena walks onstage as the audiance cheers and applauds. She sits down, acknowledges the applause, then it ceases as she begins to speak.)
RELENA: Hello, and welcome to another episode of Politically Incorrect starring myself, Relena Peacecraft. Tonight on our show, the nation's economy and the modern business era -- just what the heck is going on? Doomsday and Reckless are going debate over whether day trading is the best way to utilize the stock market or if investors should stay in for the long haul; Rabid is going to take an inside look at today's companies by visiting the cast of Dilbert; and Lady Litigation will decide whether Bill Gates is monopolizing the computer industry or not. Also on the show we'll hear from Mr. Conservative as he interviews brokers on the stock market floor; I will conduct an interview with Lawrence H. Summers and Alan Greenspan; and Mr. Sleeze will ref tonight's Political Deathmatch with live play-by-play by Hilde and Howard! (Cheering) So let's kick off the show with Doomsday Democrat and Reckless Republican attempting to make a few bucks on the market, take it away guys.
ANNOUNCER: Coming to you live from the bowels of Daytona Beach, Florida, we bring you Gun-Debate! Tonight, Doomsday Democrat and Reckless Republican shall decide the best way to play the market. Should investors trade by day and react to quick movements on the market, or should they play the market over a period of months and years instead of hours and days? Here they are, Duo and Wufei!
DUO: In today's economy, the stock market is one of the best ways to make a quick buck. It carries the highest risk, but has the best return. By day trading, investors can minimize losses by selling as soon as prices go up or down instead of waiting it out.
WUFEI: Yes, but by waiting it out, the price may rise again and by being patient and waiting, you may make more money than a day trader who sells as soon as it goes up a sixteenth.
DUO: But there's always a chance that the stock will never recover. If it doesn't, losses can run high if you wait and it goes down, say, four points. A day trader could sell as soon as a downward trend begins, and may end up selling when it's down only an eighth.
WUFEI: Day trading can be dangerous because you don't really know what company you may be investing in. You may see a stock that has been going up and looks good and as soon as you buy, BAM!, it goes down. You may buy stock in a company you've never heard of and find yourself in trouble.
DUO: Yeah, but if you invest in a larger company, it's announcements will have a greater effect. That could lead to a bigger downward spiral and, perhaps, affect the entire industry. Say, if you invest in IBM and they go down, they could drag all the other tech stocks with it. Acting on quick fluctuations in the market could save you lots in the long run.
WUFEI: To settle this, we're both going to try something out. Whereas I have a portfolio of well-diversived stock, my friend here has no previous market experiance. While I watch the market as I normally do, he'll day trade and we'll see who makes more by the end of the segment.
DUO: First of all, Reckless, what companies have you invested in?
WUFEI: Let me check... here we go. Disney, Wal Mart, and some company that manufactures missile components for the military, I forget what it's called...
DUO: I see. Well, while you were droning I just bought 250 shares of eBay, it went down an eighth, split, and went up a quarter point! I think I just made a hundred bucks. Click... and sold.
WUFEI: Well, my stocks aren't doing badly either. Disney is... eh... down a eighth, Wal Mart is down a half, and the missle company is down three points?! What's going on here?
DUO: Bad time to invest in that missile company. The missile defense system they helped engineer failed again. Some stupid mistake, I think the booster didn't separate from the missile. Tough break, that test cost (pinky to mouth) one hundred million dollars.
WUFEI: Wal Mart should rebound, though, they've always come through when I needed them to.
DUO: Isn't that the company that wanted to bulldoze Mount Vernon to build a store? I mean, come on, wrecking historical monuments to build a store? Somewhere George Washington is cringing.
WUFEI: That was months ago.
DUO: But it seems that investors haven't forgotten... down a point and a half. Ouch.
WUFEI: How are YOU doing with your day trading?
DUO: I bought Burger King, then it announced a new Pokemon promotion this summer for the new movie. Their stock went up three points on the announcement. And climbing steadily...
WUFEI: My Disney will more than make up for my losses today, I'm sure.
DUO: I dunno, there was the whole hostage thing.
WUFEI: Hostage thing? I didn't hear about that!
DUO: You didn't? A few people were held hostage at some resort at... um, I think it was Lake Buena Vista... yeah, that's it. Anyway, security's probably a big issue now. Investors may be a little shaky.
WUFEI: Down three and a half. I just can't believe this.
DUO: By the way, I put a thousand dollars into some company called Petroleum Development, and when OPEC announced they were upping oil production by half a billion barrels a day, just about every oil and gas company went up. PetD cost be less than five bucks, they're up to eleven now.
WUFEI: You're kidding me!
DUO: Nope. And as the segment draws to a close, I see that I made a few thousand dollars today. Not too shabby for my first day.
WUFEI: I LOST a few thousand.
DUO: It's like I said, being able to sell and buy quickly via day trading can minimize losses but can really pay off just as if you were in it all the way.
WUFEI: I guess so, Doomsday, but when my stocks rebound, I'll be the one laughing at the bank. (sighs) I have no right to invest with...
DUO: Hey, didn't we use that joke already?
WUFEI: What joke?
DUO: That "I have no right to fight with Nataku" spoof. We already used that.
WUFEI: I did? Oh, that's right, I did...
DUO: While you think of something else, I'm gonna go buy something.
ANNOUNCER: And there you have it folks, the stirring debate over the best way to invest on the market. This has been another edition of Gun-Debate!
RELENA: And now that you've seen that, we want to hear what you have to say. Is the booming economy a good thing, and are you glad it's finally slowing down? Vote online in our interactive poll at gundampolitics.com and we'll have results later on in the show. Right now, however, we're going to New York with our very own Mr. Conservative.
QUATRE: Thank you, Miss Relena. Well, I'm on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange and as you can see behind me, it is a very hectic job. Papers are flying everywhere and there is a constant stream of shouting between brokers. We have with us right now Dirk Johanson, who has been a broker for almost fifteen years. Mr. Johanson, do you have a general idea of what direction the market is heading right now?
DIRK JOHANSON: Well, Mr. Conservative, recent reports that the economy is slowing down has really eased fears of inflation, and that's making investors less cautious. And although we've had some down days recently, the market'll probably bounce back.
QUATRE: How has the market changed these past fifteen years you've been a broker?
DIRK JOHANSON: It's absolutely been a bull market. I mean, the market crashed in '89 and ten years later it was over 11,000. That's astonishing, seeing as that up until twenty or thirty years ago the Dow was only around a thousand.
QUATRE: Thank you for your time, Mr. Johanson. I'm standing here right now with market analyst Anne Smith. Miss Smith, what is your view of today's market?
ANNE SMITH: Nasdaq and the Dow had high closes at the beginning of the year, as you know, with the Dow over 11,000 and Nasdaq over 4,000. But stocks have fallen for several reasons. Usually after a bull market like this, we'll see stock prices rise and then fall over period of time. These "corrections" may frighten investors into thinking the market is collapsing, but any loss is not very large and is soon made up. Secondly there are the overseas markets. One sector may drive the entire world into recession. For example, if Japan's economy were to collapse tomorrow, there would be a major shortage of electronic goods since major electronics companies like Sony have many plants in Japan. Finally there is inflation, a period of increasing prices. As more and more jobs are created, more money is circulated to pay salaries and so on. If too much money is printed, it will become of less value and prices will skyrocket just like we saw in Russia. So interest rates are hiked to try and curb inflation, and that makes loans more expensive. That helps slow things down to normal.
QUATRE: (snaps to attention) Oh, sorry, I missed most of that. Could you repeat that?
ANNE SMITH: No.
QUATRE: Um... okay... one last question. Tech stocks have really been taking a beating lately, especially Internet companies, and that has driven the market downward. Is there a reason?
ANNE SMITH: Mainly profits. Internet companies aren't generating enough revenue and are basically collapsing. Even Amazon.com has managed to stay in business despite never managing to turn a profit. Since Internet companies aren't making money, investors are less likely to invest in them.
QUATRE: Well, some very deep stuff from two experianced players on the market. (Brokers start to bump into him and brush past) Hey, watch it! Uh, I'll have more later from New York (now there is a stampede of stock brokers) so stay tuned... waaaaaaah! (Quatre gets run over)
RELENA: We seem to have lost Mr. Conservative, but the show must go on. A major player in the economy and business world is Microsoft, founded by the richest man in the world... Bill Gates. But courts have found him guilty of being a monopoly and have ordered Microsoft to split into two different companies. Let's see what Noin has to say on the matter.
ANNOUNCER: The biggest name in computers today is Microsoft, but after recent antitrust trials it may become two companies, one based in Internet Explorer; the other on software, mainly dealing with the Windows operating system. Should such untimely fate befall Microsoft, or should they be able to carry on as usual? Lucreizia Noin is Lady Litigation, and this is Gundam Court!
SALLY: All rise for the honorable Judge Noin. (Everyone stands up)
NOIN: Put you left hand in. (Everyone does) Now put your left hand out. (Everyone does) Put your left hand in. (Everyone does) Now you shake it all about. (Everyone does) You do the hokey pokey and you turn yourself around. (Everyone does) You may be seated. (Everyone sits down, dizzy)
SALLY: Case number two, your honor, the United States of America versus Microsoft.
NOIN: Who will be represent the U.S. as the prosecution?
WILLIAM RENQUIST: I will, your honor.
NOIN: (face lights up) Oh, wow! The Chief Justice of the Supreme Court! (runs up to him) Can I have your autograph?
WILLIAM RENQUIST: Uh, I guess. (signs Noin's gavel)
NOIN: And who will represent Microsoft?
JOHNNY COCHRAN: I will, your honor.
NOIN: You're the guy from the O.J. trial, right?
JOHNNY COCHRAN: Yes, yes I am.
NOIN: Good for you... okay, let's get started. Prosecution, present your case.
WILLIAM RENQUIST: It is very simple, your honor. By bundling the browser Internet Explorer with its Windows operating system, Microsoft is forcing consumers to use its own browser instead of a competitor's, such as the Netscape Navigator. Since it is included with the software for Windows, most people figure getting a competing browser is a waste of both time and money since Internet Explorer is already loaded on the system.
JOHNNY COCHRAN: Your honor, I am here today to prove without a shadow of a doubt that Microsoft does not need to be split up. Simply including Internet Explorer with the Windows operating system doesn't force a consumer to use it. They can just as easily use Netscape or some other browser. This company does not need to be split.
NOIN: And how do you plead?
BILL GATES: Absolutely one hundred percent not guilty.
NOIN: Prosecution, your witness.
WILLIAM RENQUIST: I call to the stand Jimbo Thompson.
(Jimbo stumbles forward to the stand. He has casts on both legs, a sling on one arm, and bandages everywhere.)
SALLY: (holds up a Bible) Do you swear to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, so help you God?
JIMBO THOMPSON: I do.
WILLIAM RENQUIST: So tell me, Jimbo, when you bought your computer, what operating system was included?
JIMBO THOMPSON: Windows 98.
WILLIAM RENQUIST: And was Internet Explorer included with the computer?
JIMBO THOMPSON: Yes.
WILLIAM RENQUIST: Now you decided against it and opted for Netscape as your browser, correct?
JIMBO THOMPSON: Correct.
WILLIAM RENQUIST: And what happened?
JIMBO THOMPSON: Bill's hired goons stalked me and bullied me into using Internet Explorer. Then they beat me up and took my lunch money.
WILLIAM RENQUIST: So Microsoft is forcing consumers to use Internet Explorer. No further questions.
NOIN: Defense, you may cross-examine.
JOHNNY COCHRAN: Mr. Thompson, when you were allegedly attacked by the goons, did you get a good look at them?
JIMBO THOMPSON: I'll never forget it, sir. They were wearing white uniforms with "Microsoft" emblazoned on the front.
BILL GATES: It couldn't have been my goons! My goons wear blue uniforms! (Everyone looks at him) Did I say goons? I meant, um, (elbows Johnny and mumbles) help me out here...
JOHNNY COCHRAN: So someone is out to make it look like Bill's goons went after this poor man, but it looks like somebody's out to make Microsoft look bad. No further questions.
NOIN: Mr. Thompson, you may step down. (Jimbo gets up but is caught off-balance by the two leg casts and falls) Or fall down, whichever you prefer. Defense, your witness.
JOHNNY COCHRAN: The defense calls Kato Kalin to the stand.
(Kato walks to the stand.)
SALLY: (holds up a Bible) Do you swear to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth so help you God?
KATO KALIN: Sure do.
JOHNNY COCHRAN: So Kato, have you ever been threatened by goons who are allegedly employed by Bill Gates?
KATO KALIN: No.
JOHNNY COCHRAN: And, to your knowledge, has Microsoft ever forced consumers to do anything?
KATO KALIN: Well, there was the whole plot to conquer Wyoming back in '88 but other than that, no.
WILLIAN RENQUIST: Your honor, Kato doesn't have a clue what is going on.
JOHNNY COCHRAN: But he is answering truthfully.
NOIN: He's got a point. Overruled.
JOHNNY COCHRAN: No further questions.
NOIN: Prosecution, you may cross-examine.
WILLIAM RENQUIST: So Kato, do you really know what this whole case is about?
KATO KALIN: Not really. The author is just trying to jazz this trial up a bit.
WILLIAM RENQUIST: Are you supposed to be some kind of comic relief?
KATO KALIN: I think this has been a kind of O.J. spoof or something. I don't think I'm doing a very good job of being funny, though.
WILLIAM RENQUIST: Then get off the stand, you idiot. The prosecution sleeps, your honor.
NOIN: You mean "rests."
WILLIAM RENQUIST: Dang it, it's been so long since I did this...
NOIN: Based on the testimony, my final judgment is to keep Microsoft as one company. (Bill Gates mouths "thank you" several times) Case dismissed.
ANNOUNCER: And so, Lady Litigation decides that Bill Gates' computer empire shall remain as one, and I'm sure the two muscle-bound thugs standing nearby had nothing to do with the final verdict... Anyhow, still to come on Politically Incorrect with Relena Peacecraft -- an look inside America's engineering industry with the cast of Dilbert, more from New York and Mr. Conservative, and Relena interviews Lawrence H. Summers and Alan Greenspan! Hey you two, get away from me... stop that, hey... ow!
HEERO: Why do I have AFLAC supplemental insurance on top of my regular health insurance? Because I have people to kill. (Scene from "The Shooting Star She Saw") I'll kill you. Because I'm always getting hurt on the job. (Scene from "The Gundam Deathscythe" where Heero is shot in the arm by Duo) Because destiny doesn't wait for my HMO to pick up the slack. (Scene from "A New Leader") So, Zeches, you've chosen one of the futures Epyon showed you. Then of all the futures Zero showed me, I choose this one. (makes gun with fingers) Because sometimes I'm suicidal. (Scene from "Heero, Distracted by Defeat" where he self-detonates) So why do I have AFLAC supplemental insurance on top of my regular health insurance? Did I say I have people to kill?
ANNOUNCER: When you want movies, you want Starz! Just look at what's happening this month.
DR. EVIL: With this time machine, I will go back in time to steal Zeches Merquise's mojo.
(In the past)
ZECHES: Hey, punk. What are you doing with my mojo?
DR. EVIL: Not good...
ANNOUNCER: Zeches Merquise is himself...
ZECHES: Yeah baby, yeah!
ANNOUNCER: ... in Zeches' Power - The Guy Who Fragged Me. Tune in to Starz! this month for this and more great movies.
ANNOUNCER: We're back to Politically Incorrect, and with the star of our show, Relena Peacecraft!
RELENA: Hello and welcome back to Politically Incorrect with me, Relena Peacecraft. Right now Rabid Reformant is with the crew from Dilbert, and we're about to see firsthand what America's business image is like today.
TROWA: I am the Rabid Reformant, and I am with the cast of Dilbert right now to discuss what American business and industry has to do with...
DOGBERT: Excuse me, but isn't this a politics show?
EVIL POINTY-HAIRED BOSS: I am under the consultant's spell.
TROWA: Your consultant is a dog.
TROWA: American industry and businesses are what fuel the economy. And that has major political importance.
DOGBERT: Such as?
TROWA: Our exports have risen and imports have been cut down, so our budget has been balanced for the first time in almost thirty years, and in fact, there's a projected billion dollar surplus. And this budget surplus can be put to a number of uses, which are all important election issues. Social security, education, health care, paying off the national debt, et cetera.
DOGBERT: Is any of that surplus going into my pocket?
TROWA: When you retire it may pay for social security... wait a sec, you're a dog! Of course not! Let's see what the other employees think as I go from cubicle to cubicle. Excuse me, sir? Could I ask you a few quick questions.
WALLY: Okay, shoot.
TROWA: First of all, your company manufactures software, which has become extremely important in today's digital age. How will the future developments of your company affect our economy?
WALLY: We make what now?
TROWA: Your company. It makes, um, software.
WALLY: When did that happen?
TROWA: You've worked here ten years! How could you not know what your company does?
WALLY: Define work.
TROWA: Arrgh! Just what did you do this week?!
WALLY: It was another amazing week of success in Wallyville. On Wednesday the boss put me in charge of reorganizing the department. I spend two hours thinking of how to do it, then I realized I had actually used my brain. Fearing that such strenuous use of my mind would destroy the few good brain cells I had left, I "accidentally" deleted the project information from my hard drive and took the rest of the week off to recover by gambling in Atlantic City.
TROWA: Moving right along...
WALLY: And I bought some M&M Minis! The empty tube's big enough to hold my morale, conscience, and work ethic!
TROWA: Sir, may I ask you a few questions about your company?
TROWA: Your latest projects involve technology designed to improve communications. Do you think this will have a positive effect on our economy?
DILBERT: Usually our projects like this start out very well and look like our company just might make something off of it, but soon lazy employees such as ourselves stop working on it and forget about it altogether. When the deadline comes, we slap something together and hope for the best.
TROWA: And how do you deal with upper management when they find out the project is a failure?
DILBERT: Usually I get Bob the Dinosaur to give them a wedgie.
TROWA: "Bob the Dinosaur?"
BOB THE DINOSAUR: That's me. (Gives Trowa the mother of all wedgies. He stretches the underwear all the way up to Trowa's head and hooks it on his hair, which doesn't move out of place) This guy uses a lot of mousse!
TROWA: (high pitched) Help me! (Toddles off to the bathroom and comes out back to normal) I think I'm beginning to see a pattern here...
CATBERT: Hello, I am Catbert, evil Director of Human Resources. I feel like performing random acts of catness. Activate purring and shredding. (Chases Trowa around with claws ready to scratch)
TROWA: I think this company is a drain on the economy. OW! Stop that you stupid cat... grr, how can a cat be Director of Human Resources? OW!
ALICE: Can't... control... fist... of death! (Punches the camera. It fizzles out, and only sound is coming back. Sounds like Trowa and the cameraman running for dear life.)
RELENA: Thank you, Rabid. Now back to New York, Quatre has moved away from the floor of the New York Stock Exchange to a brokerage in a nearby building. Let's give it back to Mr. Conservative .
QUATRE: Relena, I'm here right now with George Dewey, who put everything he had into Microsoft at $3.00 a share and is now a self-made millionaire. George, what is your investment strategy?
GEORGE DEWEY: I'm tellin' youse guys, this is the way to be. Just nail the new Internet companies and chuck your cash into 'em, then watch 'em go up.
QUATRE: Yes, but with the market's latest dog days, or should I say bear days, tech stocks have been taking a beating and your clients have lost millions.
GEORGE DEWEY: Come again?
QUATRE: Overall, investors in tech stocks have lost half a trillion dollars so far this year.
GEORGE DEWEY: Tech stocks go down? I better start watching CNBC.
QUATRE: Well, we'll leave George to ponder his next move while we move over here to talk to another investor who has lost it all. Sir, do you mind if I ask you a few questions.
MAN: I guess. (sobs)
QUATRE: I hope you don't mind my asking, but what happened on the market today?
MAN: I invested in some new Internet company at $15.00 a share and everything was going good when suddenly it just collapsed. In seconds my stock was worth $0.01 and I lost everything. (sobs) I just have no reason to live anymore!
QUATRE: You may be strapped for cash, but you still have your home and family.
MAN: Actually, right after my stock bombed the bank called to say they were raising the mortgage rate on my house and were repossesing my car. Then the utilities called and turned off my water, electricity, and gas "just for the heck of it," and just now I learned that my wife divorced me and ran off to marry a Swedish skiing instructor named Lars. (sobs) I think I'll go and hang myself.
QUATRE: Pull yourself together! Now go over to that window and look out at Central Park and think about all you have to live for.
MAN: The view is quite beautiful...
QUATRE: Sure is.
MAN: Say, how high up do you think we are?
QUATRE: I dunno, five hundred feet? (Quatre turns to face the camera while the man tries to get the window open) With that we leave you with the market's risks and its promises. Now back to you in the studio, Relena. (Turns to see the man climbing out the window) Hey, don't do it!
(Quatre wrestles with the man and manages to pry him away from the window and somehow, Quatre stumbles backwards and out the window. Cut to Relena.)
RELENA: That's gonna leave a mark! Now before we go onto our interview tonight, here are the results of our gundampolitics.com interactive poll. We had 56% say they were glad the market was slowing down, 39% said that they weren't, and the remaining 5% said they could care less because they were illegals evading the INS. With that, let's welcome our two guests, Secretary of the Treasury Lawrence H. Summers and chairman of the Federal Reserve Board Alan Greenspan!
(Applause. Lawrence and Alan enter the studio and sit down on the couch. Relena leans over the desk to shake their hands, and then sits down. End applause.)
RELENA: Hello, and welcome to Politically Incorrect.
ALAN GREENSPAN: Thanks for having us.
LAWRENCE SUMMERS: Great to be here.
RELENA: So, you guys have been awfully busy with the boom in the economy. Lawrence, how does that affect the treasury?
LAWRENCE SUMMERS: Well with the economy the way it is, more and more money is put into circulation. If there's too much money out there, then it loses its value and drives up prices.
LAWRENCE SUMMERS: Right. And the treasury also handles the finances for the entire country, and it's my job to report to the president on such things.
RELENA: So, Alan, if it wasn't for interest rates inflation would go crazy. How can you curb that by raising the rates?
ALAN GREENSPAN: Say you wanted to get a mortgage on your home. You would take out a loan to pay for it over time. Since you are borrowing money, you pay interest on it, which is a percentage of the total bill. If there was 10% interest on a $5,000 loan, you would pay an extra $500 in interest. By raising rates, it makes loans more expensive, less money is used in transactions, and inflation can slow down.
LAWRENCE SUMMERS: You see, more money is released when we are sure that the public can be trusted with more currency. But to give money its value, we also have to have something to back it up, such as gold or silver.
RELENA: What about uranium?
LAWRENCE SUMMERS: Uranium?
RELENA: You know, that radioactive stuff they put in reactors.
LAWRENCE SUMMERS: Not quite...
RELENA: How about these?
ALAN GREENSPAN: Now how do you expect to back up our nation's money with Pokemon cards?
RELENA: This little guy here's worth fifty bucks.
ALAN GREENSPAN: Let me see that. (puts on reading glasses) Char... eh, Char-Lizard? Who would pay fifty dollars for a fire lizard?
LITTLE KID: Ooh, shiny Pokemon card. I want I want I want!
ALAN GREENSPAN: Here you go.
RELENA: Hey, that's my Charizard! Give it back!
(There is a brief scuffle, and the little kid runs off with the card in his hands)
RELENA: You know how much I paid for that? Huh? That thing cost me a bundle on eBay!
LAWRENCE SUMMERS: Aren't you supposed to be interviewing us about the economy?
ALAN GREENSPAN: Yes, why are we talking about using Pokemon cards and nuclear material to back up our paper money?
RELENA: Yes, one last question. The economy has showed signs of slowing down as of late. Is that because of the raised interest rates?
ALAN GREENSPAN: Yes. The Reserve Board intentionally raised interest rates to slow down the economy because if inflation got too high, there is a very good chance we could see a collapse of the economy that could possible send the whole world into a tailspin since the U.S. is such a major player in the world market.
RELENA: But everything's made in China.
LAWRENCE SUMMERS: Not everything.
RELENA: Check the tag on your shirt.
LAWRENCE SUMMERS: "Made in China."
ALAN GREENSPAN: "Made in China."
RELENA: See, as long as we have China, we'll be fine. When we return, Alan and Lawrence duke it out in tonight's Political Deathmatch.
ANNOUNCER: Hey you! With the pocket protector.
DORK: (with lisp) Yes?
ANNOUNCER: Feeling down?
DORK: I'll say. Nobody likes me because I'm a nerd.
ANNOUNCER: I have a sure-fire cure for your intelligence. The complete Encyclopedia Stupidia!
DORK: What's that?
ANNOUNCER: The Encyclopedia Stupidia features hundreds of the stupidist, and consequently shortest, articles ever written. Guaranteed to make you dumber or your money back! Here is a taste of what you'll find in Volume 1.
My Love for the Common People by Saddam HusseinDORK: I feel stupider just looking at those titles.
A Guide to Self-Control by Bill Clinton
A Complete Guide to Baseball by members of the Pittsburgh Pirates
Keeping the Peace by Dennis Rodman
Improve Your Putting by John Daly
Succeed in Home Ec and Shop Class by DN641
Political Freedom by Fidel Castro
Fight and Win by Richard Simmons
Things to Say to Women Who Like You by Heero Yuy
How to Play Tennis by Anna Kournakova
101 Win-Win Hairstyle Solutions by Shaquille O'Neal
The Expert's Guide to (insert whatever you want) by Homer Simpson
Be Serious on the Job by Jim Carrey
(Monday Night Football music. Cue the pregame teaser.)
HOWARD: Controlling the economy is what Alan Greenspan does best. As chairman of the Federal Reserve Board, Greenspan has raised interest rates several times in the last year to curb the ever-growing economy. Tonight he'll face Lawrence H. Summers, the Secretary of the Treasury and a member of the president's cabinet. Tonight, on Political Deathmatch!
(Cue theme song)
DUO: (singing) Weeeellllll
It's time to get ready to go tonight,
The government's best are ready to fight
Summers keeps the Treasury in safe hands,
And Greenspan raises rates to save the land
You better get ready,
For anything to expect,
It's time for the Deathmatch on Politically Incorrect
So get ready, c'mon get ready!
Are you ready for some combat?
Are you ready for a showdown?
We got Greenspan and Summers
Fighting in the Sandrock and the Deathscythe.
The battlefield is rockin' with all my rowdy friends
For Political Deathmatch, where the party never ends
Let's light this thing... NOW!
(Neat computer graphic of Deathscythe and Sandrock colliding and exploding)
HOWARD: It's a beautiful night here in Kitty Hawk, North Carolina, where the historic first flight by the Wright Brothers took place. But tonight, it's hosting our second Political Deathmatch between Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan and Secretary of the Treasury Lawrence H. Summers. Hello, everyone, I'm Howard, in the booth always with Hilde Schbeiker.
HILDE: Yes, Howard, and I'm sure everyone out here is eagerly anticipating this matchup. Mr. Sleeze has been working with them so they'll know how to pilot the two mobile suits to be used in tonight's fight, and he has assured us that they have some idea how to pilot the Gundams.
LAWRENCE: This fires the arm-beam thingy, right?
ALAN: Dang fangled new technology.
HOWARD: Like she said, some idea. Let's take a look at what these pilots have to do to win. ("Howards Break Down" screen, followed by pictures of Lawrence H. Summers with Howard's voice over) Lawrence H. Summers is the Secretary of the Treasury, and a member of the president's group of advisors known as the cabinet. As Secretary of the Treasury, he is in charge of the nation's finances. To win tonight, Lawrence will have to keep this battle in close range as he is using the Gundam Deathscythe. Age is also a factor, and perhaps Greenspan will become easily winded and lose.
HILDE: That's right, and Alan's really got his work cut out for him. ("Hilde's Break Down" screen, followed by pictures of Alan Greenspan with Hilde's voice over) As chairman of the Federal Reserve Board, Alan Greenspan is the man who has slowed down the economy to a pace the country can maintain. By raising interest rates, he prevented inflation that could have brough the U.S. ecomomy to a standstill. And with Sandrock, he will have long range guns at his disposal but he may move in to strike with the twin scythes. He's gotta fight off the fatigue cause by his old age.
HOWARD: It looks like Mr. Sleeze is ready to begin, so let's head down to the field.
HEERO: Okay you two, I have two things. First of all, fight clean and fair. Second, I'm lying. Anything goes unless I say it doesn't, first one to die loses. I can't make it plainer than that. Got it?
LAWRENCE: I guess so.
ALAN: Eh? What'd he say?
HEERO: On your mark... getsetgo!
HOWARD: And the fight has begun! Lawrence charges straight at Greenspan with the Deathscythe. He draws the scythe and swipes, Greenspan dodges. He counters with a few shots from the gun, Summers is barely scratched.
HILDE: Sandrock moves in, both scythes drawn, and Deathscythe is ready to counter. Oh, and Summers is charging to meet Greenspan.
ALAN: Oops, dropped the scythes.
HOWARD: Greenspan bends down to pick them up and Summers is tripped up and slams to the turf. Ouch, that's gotta hurt! He gets back up and Greenspan is waiting to meet him, the two meet and are now locked. Now it's become a wrestling match!
HILDE: There's a grapple, now Sandrock has Deathscythe in a hold, but Summers breaks free. He spins around and plows straight into Greenspan. Both are back up. Greenspan throws one of his scythes, and Summers counters by firing the beam arm!
HOWARD: The two collide and explode, now Summers has a problem. The scythe is his only weapon remaining. And since this is the original Deathscythe, his chances of victory are less that what they'd be if he was piloting the upgrade.
HILDE: Summers moves in, beam scythe drawn, Greenspan counters with one of Sandrock's remaining scythes. Both swipe at each other... Greenspan's is in half, and useless! Now the momentum shifts, and Summers has the only available weapon.
HOWARD: Wait! Greenspan shoots the scythe with the gun and knocks it out of Deathscythe's hands. Once again the two are locked in a robotic wrestling match. Greenspan throws a punch, Summers blocks, tries to trip Sandrock up, unphased. Now Sandrock kicks and knocks Deathscythe down, jumps... and lands right on the limp Deathscythe.
HILDE: It's been dis-armed.
HOWARD: It looks like Sandrock has won. Greenspan is preparing to finish Summers off. Summers is up, dazed, but in no condition to fight. Is Mr. Sleeze going to declare Greenspan the winner?
HEERO: Lesse, nope. Still alive. Continue.
HILDE: So Summers is on his last legs, literally, as they also look like they're about to come off. That was a vicious hit by Sandrock, jumping and landing right on Deathscythe, jarring limbs loose.
HOWARD: But Sandrock is not attacking. What could be wrong?
HEERO: Hey, the old guy had a heart attack. Summers wins!
HILDE: You said age and fatigue were a factor, and they certainly were. Greenspan suffered a heart attack during the pivotal stages of the match and lost. He was winning, too.
HOWARD: Would you believe it? Summers wins even though he was visibly beat.
RELENA: There you have it. Old man Greenspan lived to see 2000 and then died in a fight he was about to win.
STROM THURMOND: Honey, he was around for Y1K.
RELENA: Hey, you're South Carolina Senator Strom Thurmond!
STROM THURMOND: Yes. Yes I am.
RELENA: I thought you were dead.
STROM THURMOND: I am. It's just that the quote I just used got me in the 2000 World Almanac and it seemed appropriate for Greenspan.
RELENA: I see. Go away. (Strom disappears) Well everyone, thanks for tuning in to Politically Incorrect. Next time on...
DN641: Hold on, hold on. There's been some budget cuts.
QUATRE: What do you mean, "budget cuts?"
DN641: Apparently this show exhausted all its capital. We need some green, and fast.
QUATRE: Heh heh, why is everyone looking at me?
NOIN: I know! We need corporate advertising dollars. Air some commercials!
DN641: Shameless corporate sponsership! Hurry!
LEO TROOP 1: Walker, is that you?
WALKER: I've come to give you an important message. Beware the Gundam!
LEO TROOP 2: The Gundam got you? But you were with the Specials!
WALKER: That mobile suit is like no other. One minute I'm fine, the next my body's like mush. Be forewarned, for soldiers of tomorrow.
ANNOUNCER: Gundam. No Leo, no war, no problem.
(Two guys in cheesy meteor suits walk up to each other. There is a backdrop of planet Earth. Throughout the entire commercial they talk flatly, with no feeling.)
METEOR 1: Hello Meteor.
METEOR 2: Hello Meteor.
METEOR 1: Have you heard of the Alliance Network at pokemon1.terrashare.com?
METEOR 2: Yes. I played Pokemon TCG in the online league, read up on game strategy to become a master trainer, played the interactive Millionaire game, got price guides, and more.
METEOR 1: But did you know they now have a great Gundam Wing section?
METEOR 2: No I did not. What is it like?
METEOR 1: I got hard data on each mobile suit, character backgrounds, in-depth episode summaries, and found many ways to kill Relena.
METEOR 2: Wow. I must go there to see it for myself.
METEOR 1: Hey, is it hot or is it just me?
(Cheesy fire engulfs the two meteors. Flat speech continues.)
METEORS: Aaah. The atmosphere.
RELENA: Whew. Now we can finally finish the show. Note to self -- omit Otto from the next episode and save on the payroll. Next time, (under breath) if there is a next time, (return to normal) on Politically Incorrect, presidential candidates Al Gore and George W. Bush. We can either choose the president democratically in a vote or have them slug it out in our Deathmatch and, as Andrew Jackson would say, "To the victor goes the spoils." Tune in next time for another edition of Politically Incorrect with me, Relena Peacecraft. Goodnight, everyone!
(The end credits move to the left side as the following scene plays out on the right: everyone is standing around mulling over the budget when Quatre enters and waves to everyone. Seeing the opportunity arise, everyone starts to move in and Quatre backs away nervously. A chase ensures. The cameraman chases them all around the set. Quatre gets right up in the camera and his face fills the screen. "I am soooo scared. AAAAAAAH!" Everyone piles on top of him and money is seen flying everywhere. Cries of "here's a five" and "he's got fifties" are heard and soon Quatre is left lying on the ground with coins scattered all around.)
ANNOUNCER: This program was taped before a live studio audience at "I Can't Believe it's Not TV!" Studios in Daytona Beach, Florida and on location at Kitty Hawk, North Carolina.
Fanfic number two is under my belt. Was it better? Worse? Same? Send comments, questions, and anything else to DN641@aol.com.