The Next Bailoutees

[By Paul Greenberg, to appear in next Sunday’s New York Times Book Review]

A little while back my daughter told me the following depressing joke:

Woman: What do you do?

Man: Me? Oh, I write books.

Woman: How interesting! Have you sold anything recently?

Man: Why, yes. My couch, my car and my flat-screen television.

My friends (as the nation’s most famous loser, John McCain, likes to begin his appeals), in these times of plummeting consumer confidence and evaporating labor markets, it is time to address the problem head on. We must now go boldly forward and bail out the writers.