It’s the economy, stupid



High unemployment, low job creation, lack of consumer confidence, uncertain conditions, shock after shock to our financial institutions. Dependence on foreign sources for our fuel needs Sacred cows that politicians are fearful of changing.

There is a growing pessimism about us, and distrust of our leaders. Also when did the word politician become synonymous with corrupt or prevarication? Can we solve this? Is there a solution? What can we do? What can be done? What is the path out of this recession? Is there a solution? Of course there are solutions; there is no one path to success, but politics, rules and one side doesn’t want the other to succeed. Or even be able to receive credit for good ideas, positive trends, and small victories. Make sure that you blame everything bad on the other side and anything good on your side. So here then is one possible path to success. First, stop the uncertainties. Let there be an end to arguing over taxes, who pays too much and who pays too little. Let there be one rate and everyone pays that rate. And by everyone that includes both people and businesses. Severely limit exemptions, if an industry needs a tax break to get started so be it. But spell out exactly how much and for how long it will be. Also in the timeline provide a schedule and framework for its abatement.

Second, combine unemployment and welfare into one program. I know the term workfare is unpopular, but it seems like a good title. To start with if you have a job and lose it then let’s hear it for unemployment. Set up a guide for how long it can last and what you are required to do at each step. For example six months with benefits provided you are actively seeking work. Extend it to twelve months but require counseling and training in new skills. It could even be set up with the timelines dependent on economic conditions, regular times as above, double the time for recessions, and two and a half for severe recessions. Now, what about welfare? A free pass forever no but a much more forgiving system than the unemployment plan. Forgiving does not mean no responsibilities. For instance, full benefits for up to three children after that no increase in payments. Also, after a certain amount of time to continue receiving benefits clients must get mandatory training, or program sponsored work to earn benefits. Work, yes, work there are many roads and highways that need cleaning. The National parks have work that needs to be done. Set up a work camp and assign people to them. Carpentry, plumbing, electrical, maintenance, domestic skills, etc.can be learned. What about the children! Well it would seem that daycare skills and requirements can be learned also. In fact the small business administration can be set to fast tract loans for welfare recipients.

Third can you spend your way out of a recession? No! However, by judicious spending you can ameliorate its effects and shorten its length. Wow- we have spending why are we still hurting. We are still hurting because the spending was wrong, it was misspent. The spending should have gone to projects in the US. For instance our main tank, the Abrams, is getting old – order five hundred more. Want a new type of destroyer? Order ten or twelve over a set time. What else? How about infrastructure, let’s build high speed rail from San Diego to New York, Corpus Christi to Chicago. We could also build from Houston to New Orleans, across the Gulf coast and up the Atlantic seaboard. Also domestic companies and firms only, it’s our line let us design, build, and implement it.

Fourth, research, research, research, I forget the ratio but roughly every dollar spent by NASA generated ten times that amount in the economy. So the moon by the end of the decade, we did it. So here is a timeline for space. A moon colony built and staffed by 2020, Mars by 2025, and a colony or research station by 2033. On Earth a successful, usable fusion power system within fifteen years. Research equals breakthroughs – breakthroughs equal jobs, and jobs equal a growing, booming economy. Also just as an aside between us breakthroughs give us advanced military technology, and this makes us safer.

So while a common sense application of money will never stop a recession, it can and will, reduce the number, strength, and length of future recessions.

ROY POKLADNIK, a teacher and problem solver welcomes comments and suggestions for topics . He may be reached at :

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