08/13/2009 05:12 am ET Updated May 25, 2011

The Stimulus We Need

More money? No.

What we most need is a stimulus to get off the dime. Then the money will flow as it is not flowing now.

The President has hinted here and there.

We need a green economy with green jobs that will be the economy of this century, not the last.

We need to do away with the effects of metrosprawl and move beyond the tyranny of oil.

Yes, yes, yes.

But none of this has mobilized the entrepreneurial and business side. It sits like a lump, not for a general lack but for a lack of specifics. Specifics. Repeat specifics.

Here are some specifics of the stimulus we really need.

We need the president to say that the high speed internet grid is going to make geography irrelevant and enable people to put down roots anywhere they wish and still earn a living. This will create a massive recalibration and open the door to the creation of new human settlements. Modeled on pattern language principles.

We need a realistic notion of work at home, not the current proliferation of network marketing, MLM schemes.

We need to develop work at home that is tied to real businesses with roots and a record. We need to rethink delivery and transportation and find ways to combine the two in vehicles and modes of transport that are a step beyond what we have yet designed or invented. We need the president or fire up the business imagination with guidelines for what positive change will look like.

We need to know that communities in the future will have their schools within walking distance and small enough to enable one to one teaching with heavy use of cyber-means to let the best resources get to all children.

We need to do the same localization of health facilities so prevention can be more than a dream.

We need to say that we will begin to create licensed and competent professions spanning the whole area of care.

We need, in short, a vision that will excite businesses and alert them to where investments can be fruitfully made. A vision that exudes confidence about the future. We are suffering from metrosprawl sclerosis and planning myopia.

A good future will challenge, as the president had done, a consumer society not willing to end its health-sapping agriculture, its driving-intensive urban planning and its mindless zoning which separates vital functions of a human community.

We need, in short, a lesson in pattern language and its application to the outline of what we really need to make life genuinely better.