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How to fix the economy from the mind of a crazy old retried guy.

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First you have to accept the premise that the engine that drives the world's economy is the purchasing power of middle class America and Western Europe.

If you accept that premise, then their are only two ways to put things back to normal.

  1. Lower prices

or

  1. Raise wages

I mean, the reason we're in the mess, is because most of us dont have enough money to buy what we need or want, right?

I remember working at motion picture studios in the 70s and early 80s, and althought, my basic job category paid less then what I made, before I retired, I had alot more cash in my pocket.

So, what are my crazy ideas?

We need to do some of the obvious things and some that aren't.

Obviously we need to change our laws to bring back manufacturing to America and make it harder to move businesses offshore, along with their tax revenue.

Since Reagan and the PATCO strike telling business that employees (aka people) dont count, only the bottomline (aka money) is of value, my wages and working conditions have continued on a race to the bottom.

If you want to start the economic engine again, we need to raise people, at the very least, to equal the value of money. See I told you I was crazy.

Here are some of my suggestions.

Stop pushing on unions to lower wages, like the UAW. Notice I didn't say not to rearrange the pensions and health care. Pass laws that strengthen unions and encourage membership to grow. Strong unions mean more money in all our middle class pockets, not to mention better working conditions and a MUCH nicer place to work.

Find ways to give business tax breaks for increasing the average salary, until 100k/year, giving workers more money. More wages means that you and I both have the mind with the money to spend it.

We all know that most of us either have made less money or stayed the same, while prices have gone through the roof, ie: gas, food, rent etc. I dont know how a young guy can afford to take a nice young woman out to dinner and a movie these days? Look at what happened when gas prices went up and then down. That sucking sound out of your wallet was not an accident folks

A little deflation is good for the soul.

We need to stop feeding the pharmaceutical companies and health care industries drug habit. FREE MONEY! Lets get real people, they dont have our best interests at heart.

I would like our government to take a look at my Motion Picture Health Plan. We have our own HMO type clinics, our own hospital and our own retirement home. They know they are going to have to pay our medical bills for years, if not the rest of our lives, so their approach is to keep us healthy. When you dont have to worry about paying dividends at the end of the year, you take a long run point of view.

If I am not happy with the doctors Motion Picture refers me too, I have Blue Cross, through Motion Picture, to fall back on. I can go to any doctor of my choice and pay the difference.

Let me say, I have the best healthplan in America and I have yet to be dissatisfied with any doctor MP has referred me too.

The point I'm trying to make, is that dont be afraid of national health, be afraid they may do it wrong.

Even though I was on the Executive Board of a Hollywood union for 20 years, I've never thought business should have to pay for healthcare.

We need National Health and at least half the money saved by business should go to workers wages. In short, take the money not paid for health and increase workers wages.

Like I said earlier, if you want to improve the economy, you have to start by improving our lives. That means, better health, better wages and better psyche.

Some of the ideas supported by our next President are on the right track, but only when ideas that increase the value of people, not just the value of my stock, will things get better.

Now, lets see how many good ideas you can add to my post and maybe some crazy person who counts, will read this and get some not so crazy ideas?

Originally posted to nickm11 on Fri Jan 09, 2009 at 12:20 PM PST.

Poll

What Do You Think Of My Crazy Ideas?

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Comment Preferences

  •  I like them but... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Sychotic1, Dirtandiron

    there is still some fundamental poison that has to be dealt with.

    How credit is used must change. Banks make their largest profits off our credit, and encourage us to use it for everything. Credit should only be used for investment. It must pay for itself into the future.

    All this credit is available through fractional reserve lending, which is qualitatively the same as counterfeiting. It makes mine and your dollars less valueable, while allowing that free money to create bubbles. It kills. The Fed kills economies.

    We said we want change, and they gave us a handful.

    by MouseOfSuburbia on Fri Jan 09, 2009 at 12:55:44 PM PST

  •  Pretty simple if you want lower prices and higher (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Dirtandiron

    wages.

    You can instantly do that as a matter of fact.

    3 simple steps:

    1.  Drastically reduce income taxes for everyone making $250k or less like Obama promised in his campaign.  This would serve just like instantly getting a higher paying job.
    1.  Drastically reduce sales taxes.  This would reduce the price of most things we purchase
    1.  Provide a payroll tax holiday for 6 months to 1 year.  Again, this would serve just like a wage increase.

    Pretty simple stuff and pretty straight forward.

    •  What else? (0+ / 0-)

      Do you raise taxes somewhere else or cut spending to offset the decreased revenue?

      Bring the WAR home

      Starve the corporate beast, buy local!

      by EthrDemon on Fri Jan 09, 2009 at 01:10:41 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I am simply showing you the easiest (0+ / 0-)

        way for Obama to spend the stimulis money.  If it were up to me, I would pay for these tax increases by drastically reducing the size and scope of the government.

        I would start out by reducing the military spending my at least 50%.  I would then reduce overall entitlement spending by at least 50%.  I would also let the Bush tax cuts die for everyone making more then $250k.  I would keep making cuts after then initial 50% cut across the board for military and entitlements until I had a year after year surplus.

        I would want to reduce the size of government enough to pay for massive tax cuts for everyone making $250k or less and to produce a surplus.  We need to start paying down all the debt we have.  It is already over $11 trillion and growing.

        •  Unintended consequences re: defense spending (0+ / 0-)

          One of the reasons I still have a job is that my company subcontracts with Northrup Grumman and General Dynamics on Navy jobs.  If you're in manufacturing this is one of the few areas that isn't outsourcable.  While I agree with cutting military spending, can cuts that big be made without causing more unemployment?

          (Now, if there's room to make a 50% cut from things like Star Wars/missile defense, nuclear weapons, and other "out there" projects, then this is pretty much a moot point.)

          Bring the WAR home

          Starve the corporate beast, buy local!

          by EthrDemon on Fri Jan 09, 2009 at 01:50:05 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  No, there will be unemployment as a (0+ / 0-)

            consequence of government spending cuts.  The focus of government spending should never be about making sure people keep their jobs.  That would almost be criminal.  Afterall, this is my money and every other tax payers moneys.  The only reason government spends is because it produces something tax payers need.  It is all about what is needed.

            In this case, tax payers need to government to drastically reduce spending to produce a surplus big enough to start paying down the national debt.  Tax payers need this because we don't want to see hyper inflation or our federabl government going bankrubt.

            Goverment waste is a huge problem.  Military spending for the USA is almost equal to what the rest of the entire world combined spends.  Obviously we don't need to do that.

            Entitlement spending is completely out of control as well.  We spend more on wasteful entitlements then most countries entire GDP.  A reduction to the toon of 50% is probably only a starting point.  Many entitlement programs need to be phased out all together.

            I am simply proposing that are government start looking out for the middle class again.  We are the majority afterall.  Reducing our taxes and reducing spending are the same thing.  Anytime you see the government have a deficit, it is the same as a tax increase on the middle class.

            •  I agree with all of your points (0+ / 0-)

              It's the timing that I think is the issue.  I do think increased government spending in the face a recession/depression is a good idea to keep the economy moving, but more deficit spending on top of the Bush deficits does pose a serious risk for the health of the dollar.

              I do wish it was easier to make people see that reduction in economic activity (and therefore tax revenue) necessitates a reduction in government expenditures in the long term to reach a steady state.

              And while I think the reduction of government waste is a good long term goal, I think the resultant unemployment on top of what we already have is going to make a bad situation worse.

              It's a pretty good example of damned if you do, damned if you don't.  I do not envy the position of the President-Elect.

              Bring the WAR home

              Starve the corporate beast, buy local!

              by EthrDemon on Fri Jan 09, 2009 at 02:34:53 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  I agree with you (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                EthrDemon

                We need deficit spending today.  We just need to remember that larger reductions in government spending will be required down the road due to the deficit spending we do today.  Many people forget that fact.  Many on this site either don't realize or forget that this massive deficit spending will require beloved entitlement spending to be sharply reduced as well as military spending (which many on this site are for).  It is a give and take.  We are punting our problem down the road.  It will still be painful down the road however.

      •  If you increase wages (0+ / 0-)

        the wage increase gets taxed.

  •  decent ideas (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Dirtandiron

    A shorter work week would also help.

    I think I'd rather raise wages than deflate though. Rising wages means economic growth (something Henry Ford knew over a hundred years ago) whereas lowered prices cause a deflation spiral

    Also automation is starting to kill our economic potential. I've seen whole categories of jobs pressured or destroyed recently and nothing new is coming to replace them.

    Ignoring lost manufacturing jobs and outsourcing issues  (which are BIG) whole other categories are being hammered. Telemarketing is gone (it was a crud job but it was a job) retail clerk jobs are going thanks to automated checkout, lots of jobs in the accounting and related fields are being wiped out by software, NetFlix is killing the local video store (which is roughly one decent job plus several crap jobs) and  so on.

    This pressure has just begun and in the long run the effects will be the entire "West" US and all will become third world poor.

    •  Netflix employs a lot of people (0+ / 0-)

      And I am guess it pays as much as those crap video store jobs.

      There are bagels in the fridge

      by Sychotic1 on Fri Jan 09, 2009 at 01:14:25 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  agreed but... (0+ / 0-)

        The question is how many jobs does NetFlix with its one or two  big concentrated distribution centers  make compared to say a bunch of local video stores.

        I'd suggest a lot less.

        Once we move to E Distribution of media the problem will be even worse. Rather than tens of thousands of jobs that almost anyone can do you will have a few hundred high specialized jobs at some server farm. This is a very very bad thing for the long run.

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