The Woe is I Economy

05/06/2009 05:12 am ET | Updated Nov 17, 2011

Has anyone else had it with the woe is I economic reporting?

Yes, I understand that the world economic situation is precarious.
Yes, I understand there is much higher unemployment in the United States right now than in the recent past.
Yes, I understand that the Obama administration has chosen a series of actions designed to change it.

But what are you doing? What am I doing? What are we doing personally to change the economy?

The AA definition of insanity is doing the same thing in the same way over and over again and expecting a different result. Is that what we're doing? To some extent, yes, I think we are.

So if, just if, we were actually to put that definition of insanity to good use, what might we do differently to change our economic results?

First, we would have to change our thinking. Yes, an 8% unemployment rate is dreadful, and if we'll do the math, we could realize and focus on the fact that 92% of people are employed.

What we focus on increases -- good or bad.

Second, we would have to change our actions. I heard one of our many pundits say recently that AIG is too big to allow it to fail. Really? Dinosaurs were too big and they failed. Just because our economy isn't an obviously biological phenomenon doesn't mean the same rules can't apply.

What actions might we consider?

How about legalizing marijuana and even other drugs, getting them off the black market and into a system of quality control, delivery and point-of-sale taxation? That would be different.

How about a temporary moratorium on the Internal Revenue Service? I said, temporary. What if the United States were to abolish tax filing for anyone earning under the government's already magic number of $250,000 for five years? Think of the trees we'd save besides. That would be different.

How about eliminating income tax and its collection altogether and instituting a point-of-sale tax? If you choose a Mercedes, you'll pay the tax on that. If you choose a Mitsubishi, you'll pay the tax on that. That would be different.

How about any company that pays more than $250,000 per year for advertising has to give any overage to the government for economic stimulus, infrastructure recommitment, and program development for five years? That would be different.

Based on the information coming out of the media these days, I truly don't know who is right about the economy and who is wrong. It would be great if Obama is right. Nobel economist Paul Krugman doesn't think so. (See this week's Newsweek.)

I don't know any more, but, to quote Oprah, what I know for sure is that I'm not insane, and that if you're reading this, neither are you. Consciousness creates. Look at the good stuff more of the time. Then, in your own life, in your own finances, do something different, and maybe the economy will get the message and do something different, too.

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