The New York Times published a review today of Kinsley’s latest book, Old Age: A Beginner’s Guide. Reading attentively, I learned at least two things about him.
First, he’s an off-the-charts genius whose intellect simply can’t be compared yours or mine. According to the reviewer, “Mr. Kinsley possesses what is probably the most envied journalistic voice of his generation: skeptical, friendly, possessed of an almost Martian intelligence. If we ever do meet Martians, or any alien civilization, he has my vote as the human who should handle Earth’s side of the initial negotiations.”
OK, I’m reading a bit between the lines, assuming the Martians must be really smart to have developed an advanced civilization on such a barren planet. I know; I saw the movie. (Jordanians must be pretty brainy too.) But the review goes on to plead with Kinsley to write more books, a whole shelf of them, before it’s too late.
And the second thing I learned is that Kinsley’s idea for a grand gesture by the Baby Boom generation, before it marches off into the land of assisted living, is to completely retire the government’s fiscal deficit. I haven’t read the book to get the details, but this must mean something like: boomers vote for politicians who will raise taxes enough to buy back the bonds held by, well, some of them and some of their younger relatives. As a last idealistic act, the énragés of 1968 will remove US treasuries from the world’s portfolios. Searching for a heroic sacrifice comparable to waging WWII, Kinsley has hit on the idea of cashing in US bonds and, I suppose, replacing them with bonds from England or Switzerland or wherever.
Very Martian indeed.