A) Obama and his misguided collection of Goldman Sachs Economics Experts have been miserable failures and must radically re-evaluate their economic philosophies, strategies and tactics, including a major overhaul of the major players.
B) The economic interventions Obama and his economic team implemented brutally betrayed American workers and main street while pampering Wall Street with gambling insurance and welfare.
There is no
After his November election win, before he was inaugurated, Obama, just about every day, said he would heal/rescue/fix the economy from thebottom-up. But during that same time he was appointing top-down thinking economists with top-down track records.
After he was inaugurated, President Obama implemented one after another top-down economic intervention and they pretty much all failed or have not yet produced significant results. His heavy funding of infrastructure "shovel ready projects," which has some potential to producebottom-up results has barely released.
His one true bottom-up intervention, the "Cash for Clunkers program," was a huge success. It funnelled money into the economy, into the auto industry, removed gas guzzlers and did it through a totallybottom-up process-- citizens taking advantage of credits that were paid directly to the dealers. The money trickled UP to the auto manufacturers. Too bad they didn't apply the samebottom-up, trickle-up funding approach to the finance industry.
Now Obama faces what is perhaps his biggest challenge-- turning around a massive unemployment crisis that is already dwarfing Katrina in terms of the awful effects upons lives and families. This crisis shouts out for bottom-up solutions.
Here are some genuine bottom-up ideas that Obama and congress could implement which would start giving people jobs and help.
1-offer to provide 80% of pay as a subsidy to small businesses-- really small businesses-- under 50 employees. Provide medicare to those employees. This will do a few things. First, it will create actual jobs. The money will be requisitioned by employers but paid to employees. Employers will get workers for a pittance and will be able to take some risks to grow their businesses. The employees, many of whom will have had no health insurance, will have a huge burden lifted.
2-Offer employers who participate in the pay subsidy program more funds if they buy selected items that are predominantly manufactured in the US. This will support US industries.
3- Resurrect the conservation corps. It gave my father a job back in the 30s. Use the workers to do infrastructure improvements-- bridge building, national park maintenance, urban cleanup, even refurbing gutted inner city homes.
If $40 billion is spent on each of these, at least four million jobs will be created, maybe five or six million. We're talking $120 billion. That's so much less than what the Fed, TARP and the bailout have spent. In addition, these investments will bear fruit. Those employees will pay taxes and buy goods, hold onto homes at risk and that will mean even more jobs-- probably another million jobs. It is essential that the money is not given out in big dollops. Bottom-up economics requires the kind of administration that went into the cash for clunkers program.
There's every reason to hope that this program could apply to better paying jobs too. If I can hire a programmer and only pay 20% of the usual cost, that's looking attractive-- same thing goes for a grant writer, a graph artist-- and they will be helping me to grow my business or my non-profit. These ideas are bottom-up approaches that totally ignore the biggest companies. They are ideas that reach out to and support main street not Wall street.
It is likely that it will be important to also fund companies who get in the business of helping small businesses apply for, qualify for and take advantage of these subsidy programs. We need to create a new kind of infrastructure that makes it easier for small businesses to do business with big government, easier for small businesses to compete with big megacorporations. We can do this. It will not only save a forture, it will save families and probably save the Democrats hopes for 2010 and 2012