Monday, April 27, 2009

Fixing the Economy

I received this by email on Sunday from a friend.

Apparently the St. Petersburg Times ran an article back in February asking their readers for ideas on how to fix the economy and this idea submitted by a reader actually seems feasible; certainly as feasible as continuing to shovel money at the businesses/people that got us all into this mess.

Patriotic retirement: There are about 40 million people over 50 in the work force … pay them $1 million apiece severance with 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.

When I read this to Scoob, he really liked the idea, then again, he's over 50. He did wonder how the stipulations would be enforced and I was thinking that it wouldn't be any more difficult that trying to reign in Wall Street and the banks. It actually might be more doable since the government would be working with actual people rather than corporations that have innumerable legal loopholes at their disposal.

I might be inclined to adjust that first stipulation though because after buying a new car and buying or paying off your house, especially in markets where even a modest house runs $300,000 - 500,000, you're really not going to have enough left to fund retirement.

Maybe require them to leave their jobs and not actively seek a new job for a minimum of 5 years, with an exception made for starting your own business. This would still have the immediate impact of opening up positions to curb unemployment, and would allow for people to reenter the workforce if needed, and would also foster small business growth, which has the potential to create additional jobs.

What do you think?

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