Sunday, January 27, 2008

Stimulating Whose Economy?

First, my appologies for taking so long to find time to blog on this. Like most Americans, I'm working around the clock. In my case, most of the work I'm doing is currently not compensated with a paycheck. I'm working, for free, as a member of the DeWitt County Development Council to help turn our local economy around and I'm busting my ascii almost around the clock, building a business to help improve not only the household economies of those of us working to build this beast, but to take the bite out of the bottom lines of businesses in an entire, huge, domestic industry... so that the savings will be passed along to every American who's struggling to make ends meet and maybe achieve a little of the American dream in the process. That said...

By now, you've no doubt seen the press on the bipartisan emergency stimulus package. Neither party is particularly thrilled with it, but boy are they quick to dangle that dazzling rebate in our faces.

What a shiny thing it is, too -- a $700 to $1200 (or higher) lump sum rebate payment. It sounds pretty darned good when you're deciding between fuel for the vehicle that gets you to the job that feeds your family or fuel for the bellies of the family you work so hard to provide for.

But, will it do what they say it will? Will we go spend it on beads and baubles at the big box discount store, thus stimulating the American economy by creating a demand for beads and baubles that will, in turn, create jobs in the beads and baubles industries?

You and I know the answer to that question is a huge, resounding "No." But, then, it's a little hard for us to lose touch with economic reality when we're the ones out here trying to survive it.

If they were in our shoes, they'd realize that we've been struggling to make ends meet for so long that $700 - $1200 isn't nearly enough to catch most of us up. Most of us will probably spend that money on necessities and catching up on bills.

But, even if we did all go out, en masse, to spend our little rebate windfalls on beads and baubles -- it wouldn't stimulate OUR economy, because we don't manufacture beads or baubles or much of anything else, here, anymore.

We have the economic equivalent of a gaping belly wound -- a band-aid isn't going to do anything to improve or even stabilize our condition. We need a real emergency cure, an enduring one, that stops the bleeding and keeps our money, here... or we're going to bleed to death.

That's the simple truth of it.

2 comments:

chez b├ęziat said...

Beautifully written and shared. And the struggle just to get by continues...

Melhi said...

Thanks... and the struggle not only continues, it seems never to end...