Concerned about the size of the stimulus? Yes, we all are. Some are concerned that we have just burdened future generations of Americans, our children and grand-children, with a tremendous debt that will take decades to recover from. Some are concerned that the stimulus is too small.
Another issue in all of this (besides mortgage defaults, deregulation in our financial industry and its’ implosion, and bailouts for all) is public fear and the psychology of money. We are in a cycle of fear. We are afraid we will lose our job, so we horde our money. Without spending money, (or the ability to get credit to spend money – another issue compounding the fear issue) inventories get overloaded, cash flow to other industries slow or completely halt and those workers get laid off. Businesses go under. Unemployment rates rise. And around and around the cycle goes.
These are extraordinary times. Extraordinary measures must be taken. I am not sure that the $787 billion plan is big enough to halt what is quickly becoming the “once in 100 year depression cycle”. FDR, had great plans, but he pulled back on the cash flow too early, thereby extending the depression for a while. Getting the country into WWII was how America got out of the depression. (Robert Reich’s blog speaks about this issue today, and is a wealth of information on the crisis. I highly recommend it.)
It is time for an overhaul in our whole system. Nationalization is becoming a reality. I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again. Let’s call a spade a spade and let’s go “socialist” for a while; nationalize our banks and embrace it. Fully. Together. Let’s put our people to work on government programs, and finally deal with our long term issues of health care, pensions and education. Let’s put the country on the path to rebuild for the future. To me, it will be these types of programs, with an eye to the future, on the upcoming century that can logically get us out of this mess.
I heard a quote a few months back in regards to the economy. The patient (the economy) has cancer and it needs sustained help for the long term. Right now, the patient is hemorrhaging (banks) and we need to help contain the bleeding. Once the bleeding is contained, then we can deal with the cancer. Two problems, twofold, and the reality is, the stimulus bill signed a few days ago probably won’t be enough.