According to a segment shown on the CNN's the State of the Union broadcast for Sunday, March 8, 2009, Saturday Night Live did a skit the night before showing somebody touting a national effort to donate ideas about how to end the economic slowdown (did George W. Bush give us permission to call it a Recession, yet?).
Why not actually do it?
Here is an example of one such suggestion.
Bring back $1 day at the movies.
It used to be that at least one chain of movie theaters in the L. A. area used to (long time ago) have Tuesday be dollar day. If the theaters are mostly empty on Tuesday let's do some match. Suppose a theater with a thousand seats has 60 customers who paid $10 for their tickets in it. Suppose that on dollar day they got 601 customers at a buck each. What would they get in addition to one extra buck income?
Well, they would create much more word of mouth buzz for that particular movie, they would get some nearby restaurants to be grateful for added business, they would create the impression that folks were out spending money somewhere and that in turn would have a positive effect and give a boost to the nation's attitude. Most likely that would also cause a few more automobile trips to be part of the day's growth score.
Are there other ideas that can be offered to help turn things around?
Since this columnist is an avid car fan (and reader of the Jalopnik web site) and, since some car fans would be willing to buy replicas of classic cars, and since the big three car companies own all the rights to their past products, why can' they make their own replicas?
Somebody somewhere is (or was) producing replicas of the 1957 Chevy convertible. Why shouldn't GM be doing that?
Could Congress give them a waiver on the necessity of smog equipment? That would help GM cut the costs of the basic vehicle and that in turn would make the item more attractive to potential customers. If necessary could they use modern smaller more fuel efficient engines? Wouldn't having a replica 57 Chev convertible, running on a "four-banger," to use while doing the weekend errands, be a terrific way to add some enjoyment to the chores?
Don't most modern four cylinder engines produce as much (if not more) power than a 1940 Ford V-8 did? Suppose that a modern fuel efficient four cylinder engine was providing the power to run around in a replica 1940 Ford DeLuxe coupe? This columnist would be very glad to have that kind of transportation available at an affordable cost.
It seems that there are more 1932 Ford coupes and roadsters on the road today than were manufactured back in the day. Why shouldn't Ford be able to mass produce such replica items as would be needed to put together an new replica?
Go to your local magazine store and look at all the hot roding magazines available there. It seems that today there are more people involved in producing hot rod magazines than there were actually doing the hotroding back in the Fifties.
These are just two ideas from one columnist. What if there actually was a national(on-line?) suggestion box available to the folks who want to offer new ideas? Wouldn't the politicians who desperately need to have new ideas to consider like to hear these new ideas?
During World War II the G. I.'s had to wear dog tags into battle. The metal items would make noise and if the soldiers were trying to be quiet, that was disconcerting, They couldn't throw them away. What could they do to quiet those pesky dog tag? Eventually some clever fellow figured out that the tubes on gas masks had could be cut and small portions of the tubes could be put around the dog tags and they wouldn't make noise.
Americans are resourceful and inventive. Why ignore this resource? Yes, for big ideas there would have to be some protection for the person making the suggestion that they would not be giving away residual shards of a profit, but some new ideas are desperately need.