A Case of Bad Gas

Reprinted from Loose Change (TCBMag.com)

There are certain things about human beings that are shared, validating the old joke about what the Zen master said to the hot dog vendor: “Make me one with everything.” Universally we all share sexuality, eating, loving, spirituality, even bad gas. I defy you to name any among us who hasn’t experienced a bit of the bubbly in the lower trunk.

Hang on to that feeling for a moment.

When it comes to the economy, how do we spell R-E-L-I-E-F? Romney and Obama have their plans, but God knows which is better or worse. Bottom line: This economic gas requires that something’s got to give.

My prescription? Apple. And I’m not talking about Honeycrisps.

Here’s the setup: Apple has amassed $200 billion in cash, which is a whole lotta moola. America needs moola. America, meet Apple. Apple, America.

As a legitimate citizen of the U.S. of A., I for one am willing to offer naming rights to my country to Apple—for a cool $200 billion. The United States of Apple or, if you prefer, iAmerica. Sure, the devil is in the details, but basically, for a fee of $200 billion, plus $50 billion per year for the next three years, Apple would own America’s good name.

Lots of good things would result. Apple would receive all rights to the country’s name. As is the case in any marketing partnership, they would participate in corporate strategy decision-making. Apple would be the undisputed owner of America’s vast customer base. It would be front and center in every exercise of international diplomacy. We’d finally get out of Afghanistan. After all, Apple can’t endorse wars. Anyway, how do you invade countries when your armed force is called the Apple Army? America would be required to adopt Apple’s reputation for innovation and creativity—meaning most elected officials would be out of work. We’d bring in more smart Asians to goose up our technology and engineering sectors. Tim Cook would open Obama’s State of the Union address with some mold-breaking messaging. Just think of the array of new products and infrastructural advancements our country could market to the world. And the jobs we’d create!

Taken a step further, states could sell naming rights too. California does a deal with Cisco to cover their $16 billion deficit. Chump change to Cisco. California becomes CaliCisco. New York . . . same deal only with Quark. For a measly $15 billion, the Big Apple (no pun intended) becomes New Quark.

The U.S. of A. could be solvent in no time. States could re-open schools and stop selling pull-tabs. Given most of the other options I’ve seen from our politicians, this may be our only shot at moving America back from the brink of financial collapse.

Think about it.

Editor’s Note: Gary Johnson is President of MSP Communications in Minneapolis, MN and authors the blog Loose Change for TCBmag.com.