Friday, September 25, 2009

How to Stimulate the Economy

I had dinner with my father tonight, and, among other things, we talked about stimulating the economy and creating jobs.

I don't wish to devote this space to complaining, as I frequently do, that Barack Obama is not making job creation the priority. I think that point has been made.

Instead, I would like to direct Obama's attention to something that might inspire him. (Personally, I liked the idea of offering tax credits to businesses that hired Americans in 2009 and 2010. I thought it had merit. But it wasn't included in the stimulus package. Whose idea was that? Obama's? Biden's? A member of Congress'? Your guess is as good as theirs.)

What Obama needs to do is find ways to create short–term jobs, much like what Franklin Roosevelt did in the 1930s. With all the unemployed people out there, it can't be a bunch of small crews working on small projects, although some of those could be included.

The idea is to get those people working again and spending. Everyone agrees that consumer spending lubricates the economic machine. Get millions of people working on jobs that last, say, six months or a year, and those people will buy a lot of things they aren't inclined to buy when they have to count their pennies.

Obama needs a project the size of the pyramids. And Lewis Black might just have the answer. Watch and enjoy.

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