In a recent White House email, with “You Tell Me” in the subject line, Deputy Chief of Staff for Policy Nancy-Ann De Parle sent out an open request for ideas on ways the President can put Americans back to work without waiting for Congressional approval. Since Congress has refused to offer the President anything but hate-speech since the Koch Party took over, opening a dialogue with the American people directly seems like a reasonable strategy. Here’s what I suggested:
1. Manufacture and deploy “fake plastic trees” (developed at Columbia University) that remove carbon from the atmosphere, simultaneously de-smogging our cities, improving public health, recycling carbon into usable fuel, and creating jobs.
2. Develop an “American Hong Kong” free enterprize zone to lure Apple and Motorola type techonology manufacturing back to the USA. It is theoretically possible to use machines and skilled machine operators to achieve the same productivity that China currently uses slave labor to achieve, and we are complicit in the enslavement of our fellow humans if we continue to buy goods produced by slave labor when an alternative is possible. Also, if the global economic situation does not improve, we may be heading toward another world war, and we need to control the manufacture our own technology in case of that scenario.
3. Bring back the trolleys. The General Motors streetcar conspiracy did incalculable damage to American cities by replacing cheap, rapid, reliable, profitable, non-polluting electric public transit with petroleum fueled buses. Now GM needs our help, and they’re willing to manufacture electric powered vehicles to get it. Let’s put them on trolley tracks. In 1920 almost every city with a population over 10,000 had an privately owned electric trolley system. They employed 300,000 people, served 15 billion annual passengers, and generated $1 billion in income. Our population is 3 times bigger now, so our numbers should be correspondingly multiplied.
4. End subsidies for sugar, tobacco, and other agricultural or consumer products that are detrimental to public health. This will cut health care costs by reducing instances of diabetes, heart disease, etc. Instead, offer subsidies for local and community farming with the condition that only nutritious food be produced. Local farms require less fossil fuels and more laborers than giant corporate farms.
If you have ideas, please enter them in the comment section below. At least one branch of government still wants to hear what the voters think. Even thought the comment submission period is now closed, circulating a good idea can have a far reaching impact. If you’re the economic genius who can get us out of this mess, please, let somebody know.