- Step 1. Forgive all Federally-Backed Student Loans. Sure, it's expensive, but if you're on-board for almost a trillion in deficit spending, why not? About 50% of college students graduate with student loan debt, at an average of $10,000 per student. I know plenty of people in my life with monthly payments over $500 per month. That's a couple of car payments. My generation is heading into the workforce with unprecedented personal debt. Forgiving the "good debt" of educational loans will help get responsible grads off to a healthy start in an already troublesome job market.
- Step 2. High Speed Rail/Commuter Light Rail. I'm all for better roads and bridges, but the real infrastructure overhaul America needs is a new commitment to rail. Americans need to be weened from their over-dependence on automobiles. A rail revolution will reduce our reliance on foreign oil, reduce CO2 emissions, employ millions, and ultimately save Americans money (while making them more productive). Okay, that won't help autoworkers, but let GM build trains instead.
- Step 3. Pay Teachers What We Pay Congressman & Employ More Of Them. We are in the midst of an educational crisis in America, and one of the biggest problems we face is a shortage of skilled and gifted teachers (meanwhile, we continue to layoff the great teachers we do have while closing more of our schools. Make teaching a prestigious, competitive industry with high standards and high rewards. Not only will we improve education, we'll create more high income jobs.
- Step 4. Fund Universal Healthcare. I don't go to the doctor because I can't afford it. If everyone could afford preventative healthcare, we'd save money on treatment, while supporting the growth of the medical industry. A healthy populous is a happy populous, and money we aren't hording for that possible medical emergency is money we're spending as consumers, stimulating the economy. Plus, I'm willing to bet that passage of universal healthcare would lead to a middle-class baby boom in America, and a growing middle-class tends to be good for the economy.
Sunday, February 08, 2009
Why is the U.S. approach to stimulus so utterly retarded?
Stimulating the economy is not as complicated as everyone would have you believe. Here's my simple 4-step approach. I'm not saying this list is comprehensive, but it blows my mind that these aren't at the top of everyone's list.