I've had a difficult time following news related to the stagnation in the economy. I understand that steps are being take to fix the problems in the country's economic system, but it doesn't feel like anything has been done to me.
Sure, there are numbers in reports that suggest things are getting better. And I see vital roadways and transportation projects being conducted and I appreciate the money being spent to keep those infrastructure workers employed, but what about the small businesses that also need help? What about the growing ranks of the unemployed who are excluded from national statistics because their unemployment benefits have run out?
We have a problem in our country and giving money to banks in the hopes that they'll give people more loans that they may well end up defaulting on only exacerbates the problem. The economic collapse was caused by our skyrocketing national debt, so why would we encourage incurring more of it?
I own a small film and video production business (our expertise is feature documentaries like Killer at Large, but we've done all kinds of videos to pay bills) and a loan wouldn't help me do as much as more work would. And my guess is that most people would be a lot better off with meaningful work instead of more credit. The problem is that all of use have too much debt and not enough money coming into our bank accounts.
Help from the government has been slow on this front. Why are we investing in banks when we should be investing in people by way of federal works projects? When Franklin Roosevelt was faced with an economic depression almost 80 years ago, two goals were paramount to him. First: Get people working. Second: Don't let them think you're resting on your laurels when dealing with the problem.
I think the perception of progress is every bit as important as the actual progress being made. Why is the Obama administration not announcing a new federal works project every week with success stories from the week before? We need the projects the administration has been tackling (like roads, bridges, medical records, etc.), but why aren't we sinking money into all kinds of small businesses?
Why can't there be a slush fund allocated to each state where small businesses like mine could submit proposals for work that we could do that would benefit the communities we live in and have the government foot the bill? How about that for some actual stimulus?
I'm just frustrated and throwing ideas out there, and I know some of you are thinking, "But how would we pay for this?"
The answer to that is simple. Tax the rich.
I'm not kidding.
What are they going to do with their extra money anyway? Throw it into that overgrown slot machine called the stock market?
Seriously, the greed of the super-rich has choked the life out of the middle class, it's about time the middle class balanced things back out. They are the vast majority (or would be if there was such a thing anymore)....
But my overall point with this piece was simply this: More needs to be done to create jobs, even if the government is the employer. The feeling of a stagnated economy and market needs to be fought with a sense of urgency to the problem and to change directions quickly if the results aren't up to standard.
My ideas outlined in this post won't solve the problem and maybe they aren't the answer, but we need a new idea to start up each week or two and we need to keep moving until we find a hundred things that work.
Follow Bryan Young on Twitter: www.twitter.com/swankmotron