Pissing Down Your Leg

Thoughts on Economics and Economic Policy

Time to Rescue the World

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Well, the world is going to hell in a hand basket today. Stocks are down 5-6% in one day after a horrible week last week. The unemployment rate is stuck over 9%, GDP is barely growing at all, and the administration doesn’t seem to have a plan. So here’s a plan.

It’s time for a little international intervention. And not with bombs, but with bulldozers. Let’s start with Haiti. The country is still trying to recover from its horrible earthquake and is struggling to do even the most basic tasks such as clear away the rubble. My suggestion is that as we wind down the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, we send a new army of construction workers and engineers to clean up and rebuild Haiti.

Imagine that we send 100,000 workers and the needed equipment. They would be paid by the federal government and could also hire local workers. Ideally, these workers would be pulled from the unemployed (there should be plenty of construction workers), and be hired for at least a year. The cost of labor would probably be around $10-20 billion. The cost of materials (although I’m no expert) would be another $20 billion (with the requirement that they come either from American or Haitian companies). This would provide stimulus (and jobs!) for the economy.

And we wouldn’t need to stop in Haiti. If we can make that a success, we could move on to other countries that need our support. The end goal would be three-fold:

  1. Jobs for Americans.
  2. Good will for America.
  3. Better infrastructure for our neighbors.
Of course, we could also do the same thing in this country. Many parts of our infrastructure badly need maintenance and/or upgrades. The key is that we need to provide this stimulus in the form of jobs. So far the stimulus provided has done little to nothing in providing work for the unemployed.
Would this be a massive undertaking? Yes, of course. But we have 14 million unemployed workers. We need to create millions of jobs. This is the best way to start.
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Written by Liam C Malloy

August 8, 2011 at 6:50 pm

Posted in Leadership, Recession

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