I have mentioned my admiration for Calvin and Hobbes previously. What I didn't remember was a particular Sunday strip he did a decade and a half ago which seems eerily reminiscent of today's economic situation. That is, until someone emailed it to me today. I'll refrain from posting the comic itself to avoid running afoul of copyright issues, but here's a transcript of the comic. Setting: Calvin sits behind a makeshift lemonade stand (an inverted cardboard box), on which rest a cup and a pitcher of greenish liquid with a lemon suspended in it. On the front of the box is scrawled: "Lemonade $15.00/glass." Suzie comes up to the stand:
Suzie: 15 bucks a glass?!
Calvin: That's right! Want some?
Suzie: How do you justify charging 15 dollars?!
Calvin: Supply and demand.
Suzie: (looking around) Where's the demand?! I don't see any demand!
Calvin: There's lots of demand!
Suzie: (skeptical) Yeah?
Calvin: Sure! As the sole stockholder in this enterprise, I demand monstrous profit on my investment! And as president and CEO of the company, I demand an exorbitant annual salary! And as my own employee, I demand a high hourly wage and all sorts of company benefits! And then there's overhead and actual production costs!
Suzie: But it looks like you just threw a lemon in some sludge water!
Calvin: Well, I have to cut expenses somewhere if I want to stay competitive.
Suzie: What if I got sick from that?
Calvin: “Caveat emptor” is the motto we stand behind! I'd have to charge more if we followed health and environmental regulations.
Suzie: You're out of your mind. I'm going home to drink something else.
Calvin: (enraged) Sure! Put me out of a job! It's you anti-business types who ruin the economy!
Calvin fumes for a bit, then goes and finds his mom.
Calvin: I need to be subsidized.
I tell ya, it's spooky.