My mom sent me this and I thought I’d share:
In an article from the St. Petersburg Times Newspaper on Sunday, the Business Section asked readers for ideas on “How Would You Fix the Economy?” I thought this was the BEST idea. I think this guy nailed it!
Dear Mr. President,
There’s about 40 million people over 50 in the work force; pay them $1 million apiece severance with three stipulations:
1) They leave their jobs. Forty million job openings – Unemployment fixed.
2) They buy NEW American cars. Forty million cars ordered – Auto Industry fixed.
3) They either buy a house or pay off their mortgage- Housing Crisis fixed.
All National financial problems fixed!!!
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While it sounds like a good idea, I just don't think our founding fathers would have looked at it the same way. The Government will borrow, tax, or print money to give to one particular group while leaving the bill for that to the next generation. If you follow most of these problems at some point you find the Government was partialy to blame for what happened. Housing bubble caused by the Federal Government making banks give loans to people who could not pay them back. Fannie May, Freddie Mac, and affordable housing programs that put people in places they could not afford with Government subsides. Auto industry was ruined by Government regulations on fuel economy and polution control standards that were unrealistic, but politicaly correct. Financial melt down came because the people were encouraged to borrow against the equity in their homes to pay off credit cards, or take vacations. Once they spent all their equity and the housing bubble burst now they are upside down in their home loans. With nothing to loose they are just walking away from their homes and that is flooding the market, further driving down the price of the other houses causing a cascading effect. So I will just take my last dollar and play the lotto, and hope I can win lifes lottery.
Kewl!!! Becky, honored to have a post from you. There's some great ideas posted on the link you provided us. I bet some DeKalb County readers will post ideas with you. Jeesh. I should interview you after the ideas have all come in and you've selected the winners. That would probably be in January or something, right? I guess I'll have to come down there for the interview… you folks got any courtesy press packages? 🙂
This appeared in the St. Petersburg Times on April 12:
Editor's note: In February we published reader suggestions — serious and otherwise — for how to fix the economic crisis. This was one of them (not "the winner" as some message boards have suggested):
"There are about 40 million people over 50 in the work force … pay them $1 million apiece severance with stipulations. They leave their jobs. Forty million job openings — unemployment fixed. They buy new American cars. Forty million cars ordered — auto industry fixed. They either buy a house or pay off their mortgage — housing crisis fixed."
We didn't print that it would cost $4 trillion, or less than the bailout. But readers are right that this would cost $40 trillion — nearly three times the national gross domestic product and nearly four times the national debt. So, a fun idea? Sure, just like making pro athletes foot the bailout bill, investing in a national bullet train system or legalizing marijuana — all ideas our readers suggested. An effective one? Not at all. Of course, world leaders' ideas haven't been terribly effective yet, either.
It's not too late to share your ideas at http://www.tampabay.com/news/business/article973953.ece.
I sure don't want to stop people dreaming! If we didn't dream once in awhile, we'd probably stop working. Numbers aren't everything and at least the concepts in the above "Interesting Idea" are well worth fantasizing about. If we agree to temper fantasy with present reality, coupled with hard work, then we will realize some approximation of our dreams. I salute those who are daring enough to share their dreams and ideas. I also appreciate the ones pulling us back again to ground when we find too many balloons tied to the lawn chair. Try, and try again.
Mac For beakfast I prefer what Paul Newman had every morning in the movie " The Verdict"
Kerry just had to go and burst the bubble. Well, it was great while it lasted. Nice to have a dream like that to fantasize to every once in a while. Well, I owe, I owe, back to work I go.
Ed and Kerry… I hate math. Now more than ever. I had calculated that Gracie would be my choice for President since her mom, like me, is over 50. She got a little steamed when I explained that we could probably only do this age 50 qualifies for a million bucks once. But it was sure nice being in the right place at the right time for once in my life. 🙂
Bessie, you ought to be in politics! 😉 Oh, that's right. I'm honored to have Mayor Bessie participating! The points in your letter are great.
I'm sure you'll agree, Ed's buying breakfast!
Anyone that has been a teacher for 37 years deserves "Sainthood" Anyway after posting last night I thopught back on what one of my teachers told me over 30 years ago. He basically said "in your lifetime you will earn over a million dollars." Yaeh, sure, I was 18 and he was the teacher what did he know.
Well looking back have made over several million dollars. I just can't figure out what happened to it!!
Well folks, sorry, but this idea just won't work, and not only because the proposed million dollar payment might not be enough in retirement…
As Ed says, do the math:
40 million people given 1 million each totals $40 trillion. That's about 2.85 times the current annual USA Gross Domestic Product (14 trillion) or about 3.64 times the current National Debt (11 Trillion).
As a benchmark, there are currently about 10 million "millionaires" in the entire world (in US dollars).
So where would all that money come from? Print it, I suppose! I'm sure that would be our current government's solution.
I never did like math, too bad the idea doesn't work out. I sure do like the concept-putting money directly into the hands of the people. Or better, don't take it from them in the first place!
The real killer here really is that if you did pay off your home with part of the Million, the real estate taxes in a community like ours right now would make it impossible to stay there.
Cool ideas but first do the math. Lets say that I took that deal and grabbed the 1 million. I am 55 years old so lets say I will live until I am 75. That 1 million divided over 20 years is only 50k per year. So I would have to quit my present job and take a sizeable pay cut. I would have to pay off my mortgage and but a new car making 50k per year (couldn't make ends meet doing that). Since I am now not working I would need to buy my own health insurance until age 67 making only 50k per year ( not possible).
I do agree with Bessie that I would have lots of time on my hands and would probably work for some type of local charity. This would be done of course to make up for the fact that I would no longer be able to contribute financially bacause to the income reduction.
My point is that is 1 million bucks doesn't really go as far as we think it would.
Thanks. I do dream, or try to vision…look at the whole picture, have a goal. Dreams do come true if one tries hard enough. I will be sending this and an additional comment to the President and my Senators…maybe other Senators as well. One should never stop trying…it's important to be involved.
I believe in the President's goal of trying to make things better, I believe in our people and in our country…I know, sounds silly, but that's it. Hope you like the letter.
Here you go!
I spotted this (see below) while reading through a local publication (DeKalb County Online…DeKalb, Illinois) online. The idea certainly makes sense. I included my personal comments to the article below so that you can see how this would affect one person…quite an impact, don’t you think?
Please consider the idea. It would help to free you to do the multitude of other things on your “To Do List” and leave you time to work on improving your bowling average. A little humor always helps.
The average person receiving this money would not be greedy like some AIG employees. You could even add more stipulations such as X amount of money should go to charities over a period of time, X amount would be placed in savings, X amount towards health insurance, and so on. The logic of this idea makes so much sense.
Then, you can move to reform some of the practices in government that helped to create this economic mess as well as to move toward initiating discussion on several topics. For example:
-Better government oversight to assure that lending practices are properly administered.
-Ethics reform which would eliminate elected officials receiving money from those with a vested interest. One running for office should not be put into a position of being obligated.
-Investigating and investing in research that will help the environment and overhaul our infrastucture. We should hang our heads in shame. There is no reason for not having state of the art recycling programs. Our bridges, roads and railway systems…a mess.
-Initiating programs that would help neighborhoods revitalize aging buildings that could be used for homes and businesses. Gosh, in our little city alone, such a program to repair and upgrade homes would do so much for so many.
-Let’s not forget about investing in education…the goal…smaller class sizes so that teachers can actually teach, state of the art facilities and materials, funding for ongoing teacher training and mentoring. NCLB has NOT solved the problems of education. More emphasis on getting to youngsters at a younger age and LOTS of resources for the high risks children. Utilize the resources of some of your retired educators…their experience would do wonders for reform. Pay them a little money to ease their retirement and tap the wealth of knowledge they possess…invaluable. The generation of teachers who are dedicated to their work will soon be gone and there are no plans in place to use their know-how to stimulate the imagination of those entering the profession. I’m a teacher…37 years.
All this is well within reach. All this certainly is part of the vision you have so vividly put forth. All this would have a positive, ongoing impact for years to come.
Well written Bessie and very well thought out. It would truly be one stimulus package that would certainly do some of the most good. Well nice dreaming isn't it?
I rarely respond through this type of medium, but the idea sparked my interest.
It's long been my opinion that by putting money into the hands of "the people", at least some problems of our economy could be solved. Most folks would spend the money wisely. $40 mill is a small price to pay and would certainly put a significant dent in the problems we face.
Now, let's see, with $1 mill and my little pension, I could pay off debts and purchase a decent health insurance plan, I could buy a smaller, more fuel efficient car and could afford to fix my 14 year old beloved vehicle which would delight my car fix person to no end and it would be my prize antique (just like me). I could invest in some businesses which would help them thrive and donate a healthy amount to local charities which would help so many people (boy, would that feel good). I could do repairs on my home which would help local contractors, I could set aside some funds for young people I know from young families so they could further their education. I'd have lots of time on my hands so that I could volunteer my services to help mentor future teachers and help out at our schools, I could rewrite my will leaving my estate to a whole variety of organizations and set up trust funds to help out where needed. It would be like being Santa Claus for the rest of my life! Well…you get the idea.
My next step…send this idea to DC. I know it's hard for most of us to think in terms of so many zeroes behind a digit, but even DC could figure this out, AND, they wouldn't have to do much reading. Also, the money could be forwarded electronically thus saving a small fortune in mailing costs. All one would have to do is go to a local tax person and hire them to complete the details…they'd be getting some business, too.
Imagine this scenario 40 million times over. WOW!
There…we've figured it out.
Well, now I have to decide between Gracie and Gracie's mom for President. The more I read this post the better the idea sounds. Full disclosure: I'm north of 50. Gracie, on the other hand, has several, errr MANY, years that she would have to work to get there, so, DeKalb County Online would be left in good hands. No fretting, readers!
I was not sure where to put this, but maybe under Here's an Interesting Book:
I have it as a paper copy and it is the Illinois Constitution itself, with explanations. It is very useful.
It's the sad truth but you are right Ron, I'm laughing and crying at the same time. It is a very sad state in DC right now, whatever happened to common sense and the ability to think for one's self?
This would never work it's to simple the government would screw it up!
Now there is a very inexpensive stimulus plan and put into the right hands. Can you imagine the impact this would stir. Heck, it would be worth a shot. What the hell, with all they've spent to date, this would be considered chump change at the least.
I, too, did the math, then scrolled down to see if anyone else had done it first. (Good going, Kerry!) $40 trillion is also 10 times the amount Obama and his rubber-stamp Congress are trying to spend to steal credit for ending a recession that would end in a few months anyway (it's called the business cycle). Remember that the timing of the real start of the recession — September 2008 — is suspicious at best.
I have a better idea: get the government out of the bailout business and let the free market end this recession. Yes, the free market includes a lot of corruption and discrimination (which I often complained about when I lived in DeKalb County), but socialism and totalitarianism create even more. And in a TRULY free market there are always better places to go if you don't like the deal you're getting now.