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Meg Favreau Headshot

A Better Stimulus Package

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The stimulus package is going to fail. That's an ugly, terrifying fact. You might be wondering: "How do you know this, Meg? How is it that you can predict the outcome of the stimulus more accurately than the hypothetical love child of Ben Bernanke and Suze Orman? Is it your extensive financial training, counting fake coins in kindergarten? Or is it all of that policy experience you have from writing letters to your congresspeople?" Neither: it is my massive experience with stupid teenagers.

Look: our Economy is relatively young, and we need to recognize that. Sure, immature hijinks like spending beyond our means got us in this mess in the first place, but we're not going to get the Economy to suddenly grow up by just telling it to act responsibly! I mean, if you had been spending all of your money on flat-screen TVs and risky loans, would you suddenly want to stop partying and fix crumbling on-ramps? No way! If we push the Economy too hard to act like an adult, it's just going to get fed up and run away to China. That's why, if we want to get the Economy's attention, we need to make the stimulus package attractive and fun. You know, give it some financial bounce and wiggle.

Here's what I suggest: Let's take the funds from the stimulus package and use them to set the Economy up on a hot date with the American Dream. I can guarantee you they'll hit it off. Sure, the Economy will probably spend too much money on the American Dream at first, trying to impress her. But as the two continue dating, they'll discover how much they have in common, and they'll connect on a much deeper level. The American Dream will be enamored with the Economy's strong work ethic, and the Economy will love the American Dream's wild side when she suggests they slash the tires of all the bankers and mortgage lenders that hurt her poor baby.

Eventually, the Economy will realize that he's in love, and he'll settle down. He and the American dream will have millions of children--jobs. Crisis solved.