The CreateDebate Economic Bailout Plan
With regards to the recent bailouts and economic stimulus packages put forward by the US and UK, millions of people across the world suddenly became armchair economists. But could you actually do a better job of presenting a realistic and actionable economic stimulus package? Which companies would you have supported, and which areas would you have increased and decreased funding to?
What I'm looking for in the initial arguments within this debate are well presented and sizeable economic strategies that you would have put in place to aid your respective country (UK, US, or a country of your choosing) through the current recession. Sub-arguments will then be used to discuss the strategies presented within each plan.
Remember, it's far easier to criticise than to present viable alternatives.
Well, it's too soon to tell if the bank bailouts are going to work we keep hearing,
but from someone who took 1 economic class (bear that in mind) it seems the bank bailouts are a scam.
one of the best things to come out of the great depression was for the government to insure savings up to a point well above what anyone needs to live on.
so, the idea that banks failing means consumers lose all their money is false.
the only purpose of the bank bailout was to free up lending, and to get interest rates down.
now, it's still just as hard to get a loan, and not only have banks used the money for bonuses, vacations, and chairs that cost six figures, but they've used some of the money to begin a lobby to sway congress to allow them to continue ridiculous 30% interest rates, and in some cases more.
so skip the bank bailouts completely for now, and come back to it later.
the first action should have been to begin public works to employ the unemployed. use the huge emergency bailout money to start creating jobs all those months ago, and maybe they would be around already.
as of now, the projects have not begun.
so let the banks go bankrupt if they must, force them to change leadership and practices. loans would be no harder to recieve now because of it. the government would not have to have printed such huge amounts of money, and more money would be available to employ people.
meanwhile we're 3 months closer to employing some of those 10 to 15% of the population that does not have a job (the way they count unemployment now is innacurrate because they stop counting people who don't have jobs as unemployed after so many months... they still don't have a job, they just don't count anymore, thanks reagan, great idea)
if the public projects works, and people are employed, then banks don't need a bailout, because people will still need a place to keep their money, and they will still want to take out a loan on a car, etc.
And if those banks still fail in spite of money flow, guess what, they need to fail because they are bad systems.
what we're doing now is basically saving bad business under the guise of them being to big to fail. for what though? what good has come to bailing out the banks so far? how would it be different now had we not bailed them out? I would say it would currently be the same, and they pulled the wool over our eyes from the beginning.
Short term public projects help, like infrastucture which we've desparately needed for decades now, but ultimately, only two things will extend western societies prominence in the world for any amount of time.
1. Clean energy that costs consumers less, that does not keep dragging us into the middle east, and that employs people here, and businesses here which generates wealth.
2. National healthcare. as long as business has to spend a dollar on health care for every dollar of salary, people aren't going to get the raises this country needs, they are not going to hire more people, private insurance will continue looking for the cheapest cures instead of the right ones because they are based on profit, people will continue dying when they don't have to because of this, or because they simply do not have insurance, and hospitals and ultimately tax payers are going to continue to be stuck with the bill when someone without insurance makes it to an emergency room because they are dying, and need some treatment that costs hundreds of thousands of dollars,
when, if they had had insurance, or if they had insurance that was concerned with prevention, they could have treated the condition early for a fraction of the cost.
So ultimately, that's would be my entire plan.
1. create jobs
2. clean energy
2. national healthcare
if banks and businesses still fail when the consumer has money (both from the jobs, and from paying way less for energy) and they no longer have to spend as much on healthcare as they do on salaries,
then guess what, they suck, and someone will come along with a better model that works.
that's what is good about a free market.
Side: What Daniel Hannan Said
The purpose of the bank bailouts was to keep the economy from imploding. Not doing so would have been, in the words of Warren Buffet, "cataclysmic." Not just to the US economy but to the world economy. "Too big to fail" is not just a phrase, it's the reality of the situation.
Calling the bailouts a scam is just conspiracy-theorism.
Also the failed banks have changed leadership and have gotten out of the sub-prime mortgage industry.
Side: Leave it to the pros
again, "cataclismic" failure, doom and gloom. But why? I believe the reason they give for the doom and gloom is a monetary freeze, ie, no lending.
Unless there is another reason why it would be so "cataclismic," I will have to assume this is correct.
And if this is correct, and since the banks are still not lending and still raising rates, I believe "scam" is an accurate term.
By all means though, while I'm not an economist, explain to me why it would be so horrific outside of the adjectives and quotes from investors with an obvious stake in the game. I will probably understand you if you do.
And which CEO's have been fired of the hundreds who scored a loan? I think I've heard of one or two, but there may not even be that many.
Side: Leave it to the pros
When you start talking economics thats my business by the way. Just to clarify the subprime mess, who do you think stopped it? I bet your first guess in your head is the government and how they saved us. Well no that's wrong. It was the free market and the banks and the bond holders the free markets themselves that pulled them off the table literally in a few days I remember it very well because that's the business I'm in. I do agree with you though about the bailouts not being a scam I think to a degree they where necessary here in the US. Most of them will pay it back and will be able to with interest. Great Britain is in a bigger mess because they have tapped into their resources and super high taxes but have nothing left to give so there concern is that unlike our banks that most of them will be able to pay it back, banks in England won't be able to and that is why this gentlemen is speaking out as such.
Side: Leave it to the pros
Although most of the participants of this site are American, I feel that I am not suitably knowledgable of the American economy to present any kind of economic package that would suit America. Therefore my plan, although not complete in any form, will attempt to identify suitable policies that could be put in place within the UK to aid during the recession.
Firstly, a very small bit of background. The 2009 Budget released by the Labour government contained a number of packages to attempt to aid the economy through the recession. It also estimated borrowing and economic growth over the coming years. One of the most important facts released was that the amount of borrowing, for this year alone, will rise to £175bn.
Here are my policies, split into different catagories. Remember, this is not complete and I am obviously not as privy to as much information as the UK government. These policies are based solely on the information to hand, a small amount of hindsight and the small amount of knowledge I possess about economics.
- Increase the personal allowance for tax from £6,475 to £7,000 to give the lowest paid additional cash in their pockets.
- Freeze the basic rate of income tax at 20%, and increase the band up to incomes of £50,000.
- Increase the higher rate of income tax to 42% for wages between £50,000 and £100,000.
- Introduce a highest band of income tax that takes effect from £100,000 upwards, with a rate of 50%.
- Increase alcohol and cigerette tax by 5%, with 3% earmarked to go directly to NHS funding.
- Scrap Vehicle Excise Duty, instead increasing the tax on fuel to create a fairer system whereby those who use their cars and the roads more, pay more.
- Scrap VAT on all new economically friendly cars to stimulate the failing car industry.
- Scrap the 18-21 band on minimum wage, instead having a single band for over 18s, and increase the rate of the minimum wage to £5.90.
- Scrap the unfair system of allowing restaurants to make up the minimum wage in tips.
- Introduce neighbourhood babysitting schemes to encourage mothers or familys on benefits to get back into employment.
- Scrap unemployment benefit being paid in cash, and instead pay in tokens/stamps to be spent on essentials only. No one out of work should be allowed to use benefit money for luxury items such as cable TV.
- Introduce scheme to force those on unemployment benefit for long periods of time to perform community service work in order to continue receiving their benefits.
- Reduce child benefit payments substantially for every additional child after two to discourage the huge population growth.
- Scrap Trident missile system upgrade, saving approximately £20bn.
- Scrap ID card system, saving approximately £10bn.
- Push through with the £10bn of savings possible within government. [Source]
- Thin out local government to introduce even more savings.
- End the current system of releasing the maximum budget for outsourced projects, instead forcing contractors to compete between each other more to reduce their charges.
Obviously, there is far more that could be done, but these are the ones that are immediately obvious to me. If you wish to discuss any of these points, please do so.
Side: Leave it to the pros
I recommend that we prohibit banks from creating money and but the money creation back into the hands of a transparent, publicly accountable, entity that operates in the best interests of the public. This is the first and most important reform or else the banks will simply create the money to repurchase the governments and resume running the world into the ground.
Next, following the recommendations of Silvio Gessell (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Silvio_Gesell) in his work "The Natural Economic Order" (http://www.utopie.it/pubblicazioni/gesell.htm): We should impose a fee upon the holding/hoarding of money. Not upon transactions, not upon borrowing, but upon the person or business who has money and does not spend it. On a weekly, monthly, or annual basis, apply a 5% to 12% per year charge on money. Who ever holds the money is responsible for paying the fee. This would encourage people to spend their money as quickly as possible. Once people have met their daily needs, it would encourage them to invest in their homes and businesses - or lend to their neighbors or simply donate to charity. If people wanted to stockpile goods for the future, they would stockpile goods, not money. Thus keeping money circulating in society.
Following that, I'd implement the recommendations of Henry George (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Henry_George) and his work "Progress and Poverty" (http://www.econlib.
Finally, all businesses that are best operated in a monopoly - like building and maintaining roads, railways, bridges, electrical distribution lines, and so forth should all be community property and run by community owned organizations for the benefit of the community. Like land, any profits received from operating these monopolies should be returned to the community in the form of reduced taxes or outright dividend payments.
I believe the above points will apply equally well to all countries in the world. Changing the political situation to implement is the real problem.
Side: Reform the whole system
There's no way in hell any layman could solve a problem as grotesquely complicated as the financial meltdown. I honestly think Lawrence Summers, Tim Geithner, et al are the perfect candidates for the job. They're highly intelligent, highly experienced, non-partisan and non-populist. I think that 99.999% of the people who criticize them don't know what they're talking about and really just oughta stfu. It aggravates me to hear all the rabble rousing from the peanut gallery.
Interview with Larry Summers (www.portfolio.com)
Side: Leave it to the pros