Sunday, February 8, 2009

Magic Wands Ready: Fix the Economy

I'm listening to the Sunday morning political talk shows and my mind is wandering. But some thoughts keep reappearing and I'm just going to jot down what I think might help us fix what ails the United States of America's economy.

  1. I hear that 600,000 jobs were lost in the month of January. Happy New Year -- not! Of those jobs how many were people earning six figure incomes? Or how many were entry level jobs -- Home Depot, the car companies, Circuit City.... If the lay offs or 'downsizing' would start at the top with the CEO, CFO, board members that would slash much larger pieces of expenditure with fewer bodies effected. It would also free up people who already have capital and connections to start their own company, move into positions that might benefit the economy. As is, the people laid off make straight for the unemployment office and seek government relief. Jettison people who can land on their feet, not those who are already struggling.
  2. Put Chris Dodds in and jerk Harry Reid out as senate majority leader. Reid and house speaker Nancy Pelosi have made a lot of enemies during the Bush years and have a long list of pay backs they wish to administer to those who abused them. We need fresh leadership without a vendetta. Dodds seemed like a well liked voice of reason during the presidential campaign, I think he could be effective. I'm not sure who should replace Pelosi. Not a clue. Maybe Durban?
  3. Invest in education. Since most of the lay offs are of people with entry level job skills, why not invest in their training and grow a better workforce while we have this opportunity. I realize that President Reagan is a cult figure to many but I still deeply regret his decision to cut PEL Grants and other tuition reimbursement or free tuition programs that would allow everyone to partake of higher education. It has been proven in primitive countries that if women receive education the qualify of the family's life and economic status improves. Why don't we offer education to everyone. If someone wants to learn, why put walls up that keep them forever separated from the knowledge?
  4. Provide more aid to our states. They know best what infrastructure needs attention. Why not fund those projects, and allow them to provide the services that people need to have a quality lifestyle? People work for the states -- they may be one of the largest employers across the United States, yet we hear that funding for them should be cut. This is a time when people will rely even more heavily on the states for their care and guidance -- crime will increase as more people's income disappears -- just one example. People will try to keep warm even after their utilities are cut off and will burn the damnedest things eventually igniting their house. Social services, even libraries are getting more use.
  5. I don't have a fix for corporate greed. I have many questions -- first of all who gave them the power to run our country? Corporations who have no morals (we see that in how they handled the money given them to bail out their greedy selves) and Wall Street sees only profits and more profits at the expense of many people's lives. Yet they hold the power. Government does need to take that back and make corporations and financial businesses accountable for their actions. A million dollar fine would certainly keep you and I in our places, but that's like asking them to put a quarter in the till for their misdeeds.
  6. Enforce TRUTH! Make every company and business be 100 percent truthful. Yes, I offer this energy at this amount and it will cost you a gazillion dollars to clean up the irresponsible mess I made of the environment while making this product because I wanted a bigger profit and didn't want to spend money to make the production as well as the product safe.
  7. Promote small businesses -- including arts. Musicians, artists, creative people contribute to society, not only financially. Their work often gives hope to those who most need it. Inspire others, and get people to thinking in new and innovative ways. Sometimes they soothe the anger and frustration. Music has healing qualities -- physically and emotionally. Art leads to new thoughts and more creativity. Fabric art can often be wrapped around a person and also provide comfort. Writers can bring about important discourse. And with non-art small business -- people are able to provide for themselves and a few of their friends and neighbors. In our small community where I grew up, the small businesses provided summer jobs for many of us. They kept widows employed and their children fed. The owners contributed to the community -- little league uniforms. And provided a service with a personal touch. Small business is the heart of our country. Paul Revere was a small businessman.
Anyone else have any bipartisan suggestions? Or NON political suggestions. What can we do to get our country back?

One thing I urge everyone to do is to support a favorite company, especially a small business. Now is not the time to stop buying from them if you can at all afford it. Pick your favorites and support them.

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1 comment:

Alice Folkart said...

Hi Dawn - lots of righteous anger and energy in which I join you.

Yes, I have a suggestion - have the states/counties/municipalities put a moritorium on raising rents/leases for a year or even two. I live in a small town and several local merchants have had to close up shop - a restaurant, a neighborhood market, a gallery, a couple of fast food places - because their leases have come up for renegotiation and their landlords (corporations mostly, not individuals)are raising the rents and asking for various expensive concessions. The combination of the difficulty in getting business loans, downturn in business, and rising rents and costs of doing business is literally KILLING these small businesses. And with the demise of each little business, local suppliers lose a customer or two, and local people lose jobs. A local gas station, which had the best prices and was located out of the loop and very convenient to the townspeople, closed because it's landlord called in the lease. No one could understand it until we watched the station razed and the land paved over to increase the parking acreage for the supermarket next door. Guess who the gas station landlord was? The supermarket chain.

I could go on bitching forever, but I really do think that if we just froze rents and leases for at least a year it might be just what the economy needs.

And, Yes, I know that landlords need to make money too, but we'e all in this together and if we sink, we'll all sink together.

Thanks for the platform, Dawn.
Alice Folkart
your friend from IWW