Monday, March 1, 2010

Only Slightly Silly

Only Slightly Silly

With all the money wasted on the stimulus, a proposal comes across my desk:
“Dear Mr. President, Please find below my suggestion for fixing America 's economy. Instead of giving billions of dollars to companies that will squander the money on lavish parties and unearned bonuses, use the following plan. You can call it the "Patriotic Retirement Plan": There are about 40 million people over 50 in the work force. Pay them $1 million apiece severance for early retirement with the following stipulations: 1) They MUST retire. Forty million job openings - Unemployment fixed. 2) They MUST buy a new American CAR. Forty million cars ordered – Auto Industry fixed. 3) They MUST either buy a house or pay off their mortgage – Housing Crisis fixed. It can't get any easier than that!! P.S. If more money is needed, have all members in Congress pay their taxes...Mr. President, while you're at it, make Congress retire on Social Security and Medicare. I'll bet both programs would be fixed pronto!”
1. At a million dollars each, for 40 million workers, that's $40 trillion. That even makes Obama's budgets look "reasonable." But let's trim down the number of workers and the amount of buyout.

2. Actually, it would not take a million dollars a piece to get many to retire--even $250,000 each would be more than sufficient. Many of those are married couples, and with half a million dollars (assuming that you aren't deeply in debt), it is possible to retire, if not "lifestyles of the rich and famous" at least well enough off that they would not need to work. That gets us down to

3. And yes, it would open up a lot of jobs. Indeed, it might open up so many as to cause a crisis--so perhaps retire only five million a year.

3. The requirement to buy a new American car would actually have to be phased in over a five year period, or it would cause inflationary pressure on the car industry.

4. Buying houses? Most of the over 50s probably already own a house, so this would mostly cause mortgages to be paid off, reducing demand for mortgages and lowering interest rates even more. Not a bad thing, really.

Still, consider what would happen if the federal government had decided to "buy out" five million American workers with $500,000 each, with similar requirements. It would

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