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Web Letters | The Nation

Web Letter

First, thank you, I've been searching for the employment multiplier figures, and I stumbled upon them in your article.

I agree we need to heavily invest in green jobs; however, massive debt will lead to hyper-inflation, and completely destroy the economy.

Instead we need to use a counterintuitive approach. Raise taxes and cut spending. Also we need to create wage inflation by reducing the workforce. Here's my proposal.

1. Double the gas tax and raise $38 billion per year for green jobs.

2. Lower the retirement age to 58 with full benefits to lower unemployment and increase wages.

3. Cut the military budget by $100 billion, by ending the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, and invest $50 billion in green jobs.

4. Cut the prison population in half, give them green job skills, and invest the $20 billion in green jobs.

5. Legalize our 12 million undocumented workers; this will increase wages, and revenue for the government.

Obama proposes to invest $15 billion per year, which is not nearly enough to have an impact. My plan raises over $100 billion per year at no cost to the treasury.

It is no coincidence that the environment and the economy are collapsing at the same time. Neither Keynes nor Friedman will solve our current crisis.

Ramsay Mameesh

San Francisco, CA

Nov 8 2008 - 9:30pm

Web Letter

Since consumer spending is the engine of the American market, It is obvious that job creation, with good wages to support consumer spending, is needed. No jobs and low wages means no American market and destroyed wealth for those who are presently wealthy. Certainly, green jobs, infrastructure repair, along with saving jobs in state and local government are beneficial, but job growth in all areas are also necessary. The economy will still bleed jobs because they, and the industries that supported them have been outsourced overseas for cheap labor. Combine these policies with insourcing cheap labor to drive down wages within the country and you have a work force that has no disposable income to support the American market. The only way you can rebuild the American market is to pull out of any "free trade" agreements and the WTO, and create a wall of tariffs that would rebuild our industrial base and the jobs they supported. Do any aspiring economists ever read Alexander Hamilton's "Report on Manufactures," which was the "blueprint" for our economic and industrial development as a nation? I learned about Hamilton's tariffs in high school!

Pervis James Casey

Riverside, CA

Nov 7 2008 - 5:58pm

Web Letter

It may well be that the conventional response to address, perchance to end, the recession, is a large-scale federal-deficit-financed stimulus program. The remedy and problem, however, both reside in the quadrant of liabilities. With a $11.2 trillion US national debt (inclusive of the $700 billion bailout) and the additional $1 trillion stimulus proposed by Professor Polin, US debt interest payments exceeding $4 trillion per decade and projected cumulated federal operating budget deficits adding a trillion dollars to the debt every three years, the problem is clearly "out of the box."

The solution must be "out of the box" also. If we adjust the American balance sheet to reflect the value of 700 million acres of public land with underlying natural and mineral resources, one-eighth of the continental United States, we may find that we have several trillion dollars on the plus side of the ledger. Mind you, this is not a sale of public land but a valuation under valid criteria. Later convert the real asset, land, to a liquid asset, dollars, to either amortize the national debt or, better yet, purchase it back, become sole creditor and pay debt interest payments to ourselves. In short, stop tugging at the proverbial Gordian Knot and cut it. This solution does not require additional taxation or borrowing; it is simply a matter of perspective. An asset based on "real" public land/property is superior to dollars created at will or trillions of credit default swaps.

There is a historical precedent for this course of action, as well as a moral hazard. The new French regime in 1790 utilized a land-based currency called assignats to successfully amortize a significant portion of a similar-sized public debt. The moral hazard was in commingling the land-based currency with the general currency and making it equally redeemable (exchangeable for land)--and in repeatedly printing the money until it dwarfed the value of the land and caused hyperinflation. The proposal above safequards against these mistakes and excesses.

Perhaps with a little study and reflection, President Obama will slam dunk this one.

Sioan Stephen Bethel

Brooklyn, NY

Nov 7 2008 - 3:25pm

Web Letter

Stimulus: single-payer, Medicare for All, call it what you will, would be a stroke of genius right now. Not only is Medicare for All overdue, now it could be an important tool in getting America out of a nasty recession or even depression. How ?

Having the federal government pay for all healthcare would recapitalize business (especially manufacturing), school districts, local and state governments, individual payers and the under- and uninsured.

Hundreds of billions of dollars would spread throughout the economy in the most beneficial and fair way possible: covering healthcare.

This would save hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of jobs, hundreds of thousands of bankruptcies and tens of thousands of lives--while putting money back into the economy.

There couldn't be a better time for Medicare for All.

Michael McKinlay

Hercules, CA

Nov 7 2008 - 1:04am

Web Letter

We are decades away from ending the flawed theories that have led us into this mess. We are still walking around the alligator in the middle of the floor. We have deindustrialized the country with the flawed theory of global free trade/markets. Flaw number one, gluttony is self-regulating. Flaw number two, creating wealth by moving work to cheap-labor countries like China, where people work for subhuman wages living in dormitories.

Germany is cleaning our clock by creating value-producing labor in nationally "protected" industries. We have been duped by the Buffetts, Gateses and the Pickenses of the world into believing this idiocy of wealth creation. These theories were hatched in Las Vegas casinos, and we keep buying the dribble of these idiots. Seven hundred and fifty billion of our money and counting.

Only one thing produces wealth, value labor. Making things, like furniture, cars, vacuums. The rest of the economy is based on this fact. The service economy, information economy, is a myth.

JAMES PINETTE

Caribou, ME

Nov 6 2008 - 10:27pm