Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Special Contributor: James Baker

Today's conversation, in the media and among visitors to my store, has to do with the economy, specifically what should be done to stimulate jobs and the economy. Republicans want to stifle spending, while Dems see spending as the generator. I'm somewhere in between, with an appreciation for what saving can provide in the long run, and a belief that money is energy . . . and that to not spend is like having a Ferrari in the garage.

Truth is, the stimulus kept the economy from free-falling, but hasn't done much else. The fat cats who received stimulus money kept it for themselves, either in the form of bonuses or by sitting on it as capital in the bank. People aren't buying, so companies aren't spending on infrastructure like equipment that creates jobs, inventory or new employees, etc. To get it going, we need to extend the unemployment package so people can pay their bills while job searching, continue spending judiciously on the right programs, tighten or eliminate ridiculous and just plain immoral subsidies and tax breaks, and look for the unemployment rate to return to around 7%.

At that point, we can become more parsimonious, temper expectations about spending returning to levels that got us into trouble in the first place, and enjoy a life freer of demands to keep up with the neighbors.

To contact my dad about more of life's lessons, or whatever, reach him at


  1. Interesting, I've always seen that the best way to get the economy rolling again is to somehow...keep the stimulus money more in check so that it's being used in the right way. I'm saying that we basically turn it into a tax of sorts if it's not used within....I dunno...6 months?

    But that's just me.


  2. Interesting Manny. But i think we can all agree that the best way to get people off employment and working again is to...i dunno...make jobs available. it's too bad the stimulus money didn't go to that...