Please pardon my absence. (I didn’t know that I had a few regular readers.) I have been waiting to see the new administration’s true colors. Although it is still too early to know them, I am beginning to once again feel compelled to sow my little seeds of thought. So here is one:
What should the government do to help the economy?
First of all, do not save the companies that crashed full speed into this mess. They did that despite glaringly obvious signs that trouble lay ahead. Instead of being careful, short sighted business leaders and investors obsesivly followed unsustainable economic incentives. If we keep them around to lead after the economy recovers, then they will do the same thing out of habit.
While we are getting rid of those bums, re-invigorate the economy in the short-term by investing in projects that have long-term benefits. Besides investing in sustainable home-made energy sources and transpertaion networks to do that, also fund education. Give students or their parents vouchers that will fund the hiring of more teachers. Give shcools vouchers for hiring construction workers to improve their buildings. Save the commercial publishing industry, (and access to their low-cost content), by sponsoring a nation-wide marketing campaign that targets the audience of every publication. Have it encourage American’s to value education, hygiene, and courteousness. Employ graduates by sponsoring research and developement of technologies that are more efficient. Then give the results to domestic employers. Investment in these kinds of economic fields will yield short-term stimulus while providing long-term benefits.
The culture of American business and the irresponsible consumerism it fostered are what caused most of our economic and environmental problems. The business environment encourages corporate gluttony. And its leaders are familiar with only that system. A fresh start is needed. It is time to dismiss the old corporate guards to find new employment. They should consider learning a new skill; a sustainable business skill.
In the meantime, our government must take charge. Only the government has the resources and authority to correct the economy. It can begin doing that by using short-term economic stimulous money to invest in labor-intensive endevours that provide long-term benefits. While that is putting money back into the hands of wage earners, the government can reform market regulations. A network that employs the most talented professionals can be created to develop a system of sustainable economic incentives. Irresponsible business leaders, by their own hands, have given us this opportunity to replace them and their unsustainable ways.