Midland, Texas – Meet John Bishop.  John is a free market advocate.  John has more passion for “the invisible hand” than he has ever had with his wife.  John keeps Atlas Shrugged by his nightstand so when he has nightmares of Karl Marx rising out of his grave, he can consult to the wise words of Ayn Rand to calm his night terrors.  John has been a die-hard free market capitalist since the day he was born.  John has Milton Freedman’s face tattooed on his buttocks.  John has lived and breathed free market capitalism his entire life.  He has spit on Union scum who preach, “workers of the world unite”.  But in 2020, everything changed…

“I remember last week so vividly,” John Bishop said while wiping the coffee from his mustache.  “It was like it was only last week.”

John Bishop runs an oil and gas outfit in the Permian Basin.  John has lived and breathed the hot Midland, Texas air his entire life.  When John was only ten years old, he started to buy mineral rights with the allowance his father gave him for doing household chores.  By the time John was 35, he had become a multimillionaire from his mineral right land value alone

“I learned to play the game of capitalism at a young age,” John said in a nostalgic way.  John’s eyes had a glow to them like a child has on Christmas Day.  They glowed like the frost on a fresh cut cornfield on a cool Iowa morning.  John sipped his coffee and stared at the table.  When he looked up at me his eyes were filled with tears.  The once glow was now gone.  His eyes were haunted by the specter of Karl Marx.

“I now understand the beginning passage of The Communist Manifesto,” John sobbed.  

“A spectre is haunting Europe—the spectre of communism,” I mumbled under my breath.

“The spectre isn’t haunting Europe this time though,” John mercifully stated.  “The spectre is haunting the entire United States Oil and Gas industry.”

John went to explain how we went from being a multimillionaire to becoming a poor blue collared peasant overnight.  His paper net worth plunged so dramatically his blonde bombshell of a wife left him for a hedge fund manager who runs a short only strategy profiting from the downfall of the U.S. Shale Industry. 

“Overnight I went from being a die-hard free market capitalist to a scummy communist who is praying to the ghost of Karl Marx that my oil and gas outfit gets a bailout from the United States Government.”

John said he just needs a few hundred trillion dollars to bail his company out.  After the bailout John promises he will go back to the capitalist way of looking down on poor people.  “If the government just sent me a few trillion dollars I’ll be able to pull myself up from my bootstraps and become a self-made man again.”

John is not alone on this endeavor of self-actuality.  There are thousands of once free market capitalists who have turned to the wise words of Karl Marx hoping for a government bailout.  “We are not alone in this undertaking,” John states.  “Pulling ourselves up from out bootstraps has proved more challenging than anticipated.” 

A government bailout is expected over the next few months as once multimillionaires are now struggling to meet ends meet.  “We are only asking for a few trillion dollars this one time,” an energy executive says on a Facebook group dedicated to the struggling oil and gas industry.  “We promise we will never lever up our balance sheets again.” 

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