Wednesday, September 29, 2010

A solution to our economic woes?

I was first amused, then thoughtful, when reading a suggestion from Straight From The Snark's Mouth about how to deal with our economy. She found it using StumbleUpon, and I reproduce it here, with a grateful nod o' the head in her direction.

Dear Mr. President:

Please find below my suggestion for fixing America 's economy.

Instead of giving billions of dollars to companies that will squander the money on lavish parties and unearned bonuses, use the following plan.

You can call it the Patriotic Retirement Plan:

There are about 40 million people over 50 in the work force.

Pay them $1 million apiece severance for early retirement with the following stipulations:

1) They MUST retire. Forty million job openings - Unemployment fixed.

2) They MUST buy a new American CAR. Forty million cars ordered - Auto Industry fixed.

3) They MUST either buy a house or pay off their mortgage - Housing Crisis fixed.

4) They MUST buy their own health insurance. - Health Plan for seniors just fixed!!!

It can't get any easier than that! If more money is needed, have all members of Congress and their constituents pay their taxes.

If you think this would work, please tell everyone you know.

If not, please disregard. Then shoot yourself!!!! - 1 job opening

God Bless America.

Y'know . . . the more I think about this, the more I wonder . . . is there any reason why this program wouldn't work? Think about it. Instead of splurging billions, even trillions of dollars on bailouts and buyouts and entitlement spending, we simply give a chunk of US taxpayers enough money to sort out their economic woes, set themselves up for retirement, and make way for everyone else to do the same.

A million bucks per head, for 40 million people, would total 40 trillion dollars. Sounds like a huge amount, doesn't it? Unfortunately, if we leave things as they are, paying out Social Security and Medicare and other entitlements, we're headed for a national deficit much larger than that. I mentioned it earlier this week. I agree, finding 40 trillion dollars in the short term is impossible: but we could reduce the amount up front, and pay some over time. We could also pay workers as they turn a certain age, perhaps in exchange for canceling future Social Security and Medicare coverage. There are ways to do this.

A million bucks wouldn't go too far, of course. We can allow a quarter of a million for a house, another twenty-five grand for a car, and (say) six hundred thousand into annuities to produce an income of two to three thousand dollars a month (perhaps supplemented by private pension arrangements and/or Social Security and other income). That'll leave just over a hundred thousand as a cash 'cushion' for emergencies and other needs. That won't make for a luxurious retirement . . . but it'd be a darn sight better than most of those eligible would do under present circumstances.

Dammit, this might have been meant as a sarcastic series of suggestions, but I can't think of any reason not to try them!



Anonymous said...

Arithmetic question: Is 40 million times 1 million equal to 4 billion? No, 40 million times 1 million is 40 trillion.

I think we might see a wee bit of inflation

Peter said...

Anonymous, I agree. I've edited my post to highlight that figure, and look at ways it might be afforded: but, of course, if we do nothing, we'll be facing a deficit much larger than that figure anyway!

*Sigh* . . .

Anonymous said...

I seem to recall this was the plan of Dr. Frances Townsand and his supporters (Townsandites) during the Great Depression, except there were a few less zeros, the money went to people over 60, and the money would come from a tax on all business transactions. It was popular enough that it led to the creation of Social Security in 1935.

George said...

It wouldn't work. That much liquidity hitting the market at one time would just increast prices unsustainably. On the plus side, it would wipe out our non-entitlement debt. Of course, the holders of that debt might get a wee angry with us. You know...shooty angry.

SS and Medicare are not sustainalbe. They WILL collapse. The only question that we have is whether we will allow them to destroy the economy first.

Anonymous said...

In order to get all this money, the government will have to suck money out of the economy in the form of taxes, which will hurt the economy.

Every cent the government gives to people to "retire" will be a cent forcibly removed from someone who earned it by working for it- who will be unable to spend it, or save it, on their own for what they wish to purchase.

Paying people NOT to work and giving them money they did NOT earn does not make the economy better. Riches are created by moving resources from low value uses to higher ones. Stealing money from taxpayers and giving it to others so they will sit on their $%# does not crate wealth.

This is just as idiodic as "Cash for Clunkers".

Jess said...

I'm thinking this amount would'nt be needed if Federal Income Contributions Act had been repealed in 1945.

Imagine if all the money stolen for "social security" had remained in the hands of the private citizens in interest bearing acounts, with banks competing for the business?

Betty said...

Let's see. My parents are 63 years old and own and actively participate in their own business. Does this mean they would be forced to sell their company when they are forcibly retired, or just shut it down and put all the employees out of work? No gain there. They already own their house (and their business) outright. No gain there. Both vehicles are American. No gain there. They already buy their own health insurance. No gain there.

What a terrible day in America it will be when capable, competant people are forced to retire and forced to choose what make of car to purchase. There is hardly anything American or Patriotic about this "retirement plan."

Also, does "American" car mean American brand or American made? We have Dodges made in Mexico and my Toyota was made in America. Which counts under this fantastic plan?

Considering the gov't has their claws in GM, maybe we'll all be forced to buy GM?

Anonymous said...

Paying people to not work... What could go wrong?