Unless you live under a rock, you have heard about the economic crisis the United States, and therefor the rest of the world, is under. That it is happening is no real surprise to me. This was not caused by any one person or entity. I can go into great detail why I think the house of cards finally collapsed, but explanations aren’t going to change anything. No, what we need now is an immediate kick-start to the economy. Changes that will benefit individuals and businesses alike. I have a few ideas I’ve been kicking around with some friends.
Tax incentives to businesses that encourage their employees to work from home. Simple things like 100% write-offs on laptops for employees, broadband connectivity from home, transition to Voice Over IP phone systems that allow employees to have a work phone in their home that is on the company directory. This will also have an immediate impact on the demand for gasoline and therefor oil. Since we aren’t driving as much, we will also be cutting down on greenhouse gas production as well.Another benefit is that some families will no longer have to put their children into daycare. The time lost to the individual in a commute to work, sometimes as mush at 4 hours per day, is priceless. Obviously not every business can do this, but it would still be a substantial impact on the economy, traffic and smog.
Suspension of taxes for a period of 30 days. All taxes. Even if you don’t think that you pay taxes, you will benefit from this one. Take a look at your receipts the next time you buy anything. Take a look at your paycheck and see how much is taken out each time you get paid. Like to have that back for a month? Of course this might lead to a complete restructure of our taxation programs…damn!
Rescind the bail-out bill. For whatever reason, required by law, greed, stupidity, banks made loans that they knew were risky, at best. They loaned money to people with no-income, made interest only loans on million-dollar homes to people that only make 100 thousand per year, gave out Adjustable Rate Mortgages knowing that at the end of the 5 years there was no way that the buyer could afford the property. People that agreed to these terms were just as greedy, but it took the approval of the lender for them to get the money. The answer is not to reward abject greed by giving the banks money to continue their bad habits. Instead what I think needs to happen is that the government should require that the banks extend the original terms (IE interest only or low introductory rate) of the mortgage to the buyer for 3 additional years. I also believe that the government does need to guarantee deposits into all FDIC insured banks up to one million dollars each depositor instead of just one hundred thousand dollars.
I’m sure there are arguments against these ideas and I know that they fly in the face of ongoing political practice, but isn’t the ongoing political policy responsible for our current predicament?