Saturday, January 26, 2008

Shoot Money Out a Big Cannon

Hey Jeff and all, Calculated Risk has laid down a challenge. Come up with the worst idea for a government sponsored economic stimulus package. I'm sure RLR readers have some great ideas for terrible programs-- the possibilities for stupid plans that yield absolutely no economic growth are infinite. To help you get started, consider what makes a good stimulus package? It should lower costs of capital to people that are going to spend it on new goods and services, and not save it, or pay down existing debts.

You are going to have to be really creative to outdo the 229 ideas (and counting) posted at Calculated Risk. Here's one that shows real promise. Money cannons. Place a money cannon at the tallest point of each municipality in the US. Load in $100s and $20s. Fire and watch what happens.

Hat tip and thanks to my friend at Underbelly. We agree that the money cannon idea is the one to beat. Sadly, this idea may not be as bad as the one our government just delivered.

8 comments:

Suzanne said...
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Alison M. Kilmartin said...

Okay, think Willy Wonka . . .

Have every goods and service provider in the country lower their prices by say 5%. Then, work with them to attach to 25,000 of those products (goods or services) a Golden Ticket, each worth $1 million. The public may then be motivated to buy, buy, buy at the discounted rate in hopes of hitting the jackpot!

With the cost of the current stimulus package initially estimated at $150 billion - $200 billion, the gov't could give away $25 billion in Golden Tickets and still save a ton of money!

Kelly J. Bozanic said...

I like it, although Willy Wonka always gave me the creeps. Now, if I could just find time to get out and shop, I might find that Golden Ticket!

Josh Fershee said...

How about "gift" cards that can only be used for corn-based products?

Jeffrey H. Kahn said...

I saw this suggestion on Scrappleface:

[T]he Bush administration will ask Congress to “rebate all of it” and introduce legislation to repeal the 16th amendment to the Constitution, which instituted the federal income tax in 1913.

“It just makes sense,” said White House spokesman Dana Perino, “that if $800 per person would stimulate the economy, then giving back all the money to the people would spark a capitalist revival and a golden age of prosperity.”

Josh Fershee said...

Last night I was thinking, how do we make sure people spend their rebate on goods, and not do something silly like save it or pay down debt? I think I have it: Super Secret Economy Saving Santa (SSESS).

We give everyone $1,000 credits to be used on Amazon and other online retailers, but the twist is that all purchases will be sent to some other person they do not know. Perhaps we give a profile -- "You are the SSESS for Rick. Rick is 48 years old, lives in the Midwest, and likes hunting, fishing, and knitting."

That way, everyone is spending money, because they can't keep it, and it will bring the country closer together, because we would all be getting gifts from total strangers.

Jeffrey H. Kahn said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jeffrey H. Kahn said...

As to be expected, the Onion weighed in:

"Members of Congress assured Americans that they have a definitive plan for reviving the slumping economy when they unveiled on Monday a bold new fiscal stimulus package that calls for the purchase of a pair of alpacas."