Wednesday, December 21, 2011

#355 / Do It Yourself

An article by Joseph E. Stiglitz, in a recent edition of Vanity Fair, discusses what we need to do now to restore our national economy to health and vitality.

He (or Vanity Fair) called his article "The Book of Jobs." I don't think he mentioned "Do It Yourself." That's my gloss on his analysis, which is, by the way, quite compelling. I recommend the article.

Probably, I should have called this posting "Do It Ourselves," not "Do It Yourself," since what Stiglitz recommends is a collective, not an individual, approach to economic recovery. That is what I want to argue for, too.

If we want to "get this country moving again," then "we," collectively, need to mobilize "our" resources and direct them to the good investments which Stiglitz argues are the way we can pull ourselves out of our current economic depression. In other words, we need to spend money on things that will actually increase our economic productivity in the future, and there are more than enough of such DIY projects to get everyone back to work:
  • Rebuilding failing infrastructure, from water lines to roads and bridges
  • Preschool education and after school care for everyone
  • Affordable housing
  • Health insurance for all on a "self-insured" basis
  • Tree planting and environmental restoration projects everywhere
  • Reduced educational costs for higher education ...

This is very much a partial list. While we can borrow some of the money (which is alright by me, for a good investment), we can also do a lot of this "pay as you go." That means taxing those who have the money now to provide an investment in the future for everyone. That's not "communism," the way I see it. It's "Do It Ourselves."

I am tired of waiting for the bankers and the other apologists for the 1% to do it for us!

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