Dan Kennedy

The January 26th issue of “The Wall Street Journal” finally provided some really cheery news about the economy with the joyful headline: “Recession Batters Law Firms, Triggering Layoffs, Closings.”

I’ve long advocated a government imposed one- to two-generation moratorium on lawyers breeding. It would certainly have the support of the vast majority of Americans, but it would raise some thorny ethical and legal issues. So this is the next best thing: a Darwinian thinning of the one herd that probably takes more from the economy than any other, and contributes little. Cannibals even refuse to eat lawyers. It leaves a bad taste in their mouths.

The article says layoffs at law firms are now “commonplace.” Wonderful. Is there any other population of workers in this economy that could be furloughed en-masse and do less harm by its shrinkage?

Yes, actually there is – Congress, which, not coincidentally, has a lot of lawyers in its ranks. If only we could lay off Congress for two or three years. If they’re all home collecting extended unemployment compensation, doing nothing, none of their legislation – or the president’s – can move. And the country will be better off.

After all, most of the blowhards now arguing over how to best spend a trillion or more to solve our economy’s ills are the same incompetents and bought-and-owned toadies who drove it off the cliff in the first place. Having Barney Frank and Chris Dodd engineering the repair of the banking system is like putting the navigator from the Titanic in charge of your cruise.

Every bit of meddling and blindfolded spending Congress has done so far has, by every possible measurement, made things worse, and there’s every reason to assume their next bumbling move will too. They are, at best, Inspector Clouseaus. Less charitable interpretations are easily justified. Either way, it’s impossible to imagine us winding up worse off if the whole bunch of them went on extended vacations.

Dan Kennedy

Dan Kennedy is a serial entrepreneur and contributor to the Business & Media Institute.