The Idiot's Guide to Destroying the Economy: a 12-Step Program

7. Encourage class warfare. Divide the populace and destroy cooperation, thus encouraging backlash and creating paralyzing polarization.

8. Talk up protectionism, since the beggar-thy-neighbor approach has such a long and vigorous history of encouraging depression.

9. Scare people with talk of economic catastrophe. You can backpedal later, but the initial good work of helping people lose confidence should have a lasting impact.

10. Print money on a scale that will insure inflation in the future. Print it on a scale that will make people not want to hold U.S. debt without staggering interest on that debt, if they're willing to hold U.S. government debt at all.

11. Instead of allowing hopeless institutions to go bankrupt, pour vast amounts of money into them, prolonging the pain and running up the cost while only delaying the inevitable.

12. Burden future generations with unprecedented amounts of debt so that the eocnomy you ruined today stays ruined tomorrow.

My friend stresses that this list is not exhaustive. Ask your elected representatives for further tips. Or write to the White House: they have loads of ideas for making things worse. But be patient. Ruining the greatest economy the world has ever seen is not something you can do overnight. But it's amazing, isn't it, how much progress the President has made in less than two months? Five days before the election, he told his followers that they were that many days away "from fundamentally transforming the United States of America." Poor things. They thought he intended to make America stronger. Fat chance.