Saturday, January 3, 2009

The economy

We had the Wall Street/banking bailout and then the car companies and now President to be Obama is trying to stimulate the economy a bit. I'm not necessarily against stimulating the economy, especially if it is in the form of giving taxpayers their money back (now granted it is in a way just wealth redistribution, at least the way the last stimulus check worked, but I qualified, we got some of our tax money back so I'm not going to get up on my soap box about that).

So ... what I would like for the focus of the money to be on is big things, things that can be spent fairly quickly, and things that in some way benefit all.

- a big chunk of stimulus should go to infrastructure rebuilding, especially bridges. This stuff has long been overlooked and we could put every road builder to work tomorrow and it would put money in the economy while helping everyone with their traveling and ability to get to work. 

- big stimulus check/checks should be cut for research in a couple of fields. Obama obviously has some thing he likes and so do I and there might be some overlap. Things I really wish the government would get to researching on is 1. Stem Cell Research, 2. non oil based energy, 3. lots and lots of medical research. As the baby boomers get older and Americans seem to be becoming less healthy year in and year the government could really help out all Americans if they could push forward innovation in medical fields and put money in the economy. 

Also, as everyone seems to want "alternative energy" they seem to advocate all sorts of different things. I admit I don't know what the answer is but I think that the best solution, and I have talked about it before, is that we come up with regional solutions for energy. Wind works in the plains and the coast where it is useless elsewhere, tidal work some but that obviously only works on the coasts, hydro-electric is great but only works near the big rivers before the transportation costs of moving the power eats up the efficiency, I am a big fan of nuclear but we need to explore everything including switch grass, ethanol, natural gas, hydrogen.

- a final thing I would like to see the stimulus to target is specifically a goal of Obama's, internet for all. IMO the most important thing in the world is knowledge and the internet can spread knowledge more than any other thing since the book and the printing press. This is especially useful when I have seen numbers as high as 76% of Americans currently have a computer. Speding on stimulus for this puts money into technology companies, people who like to create and advance themselves, it hires installers and line pullers and all those folks in the creation of the network and more in the maintenance of it. A smaller but useful project that could be a good way to help stimulate the economy.

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