Here’s how we can solve the economy.
And by “the economy” I mean unemployment, which is mostly all that matters.
In the next few months, Congress is going to try and pass another highway bill.
The government should use the opportunity to begin a $2 trillion, 15-year construction project.
That sounds expensive, but back in 1956 Congress passed the Federal Aid Highway Act. The highways were supposed to cost just $26 billion, but they ended up costing $129 billion. Adjusted for inflation, that’s about $1 trillion today.
I’m thinking of a nationwide network of trains, but I’d happily take a nationwide wireless network, dozens of airports, and new roads.
It’s all stuff we’re going to need eventually, and right now is a very cost-effective moment to build and buy. labour and land haven’t been this cheap in years.
Of course, you’ve heard this all before.
The reason it’s never gone anywhere – the reason we haven’t been able to pass the massive stimulus project we need to keep our economy on life support –– is that President Obama is the wrong kind of propagandist.
He’s good at campaign slogans and posters of himself – but he’s nowhere as a futurist.
He spent a year trying to convince the country that we need to reform healthcare – but has Obama ever helped you feel what it is like to live in a country where that problem is solved?
Remember the $800 million stimulus in 2009? Where did all that money go? I vaguely remember Obama talking about “shovel-ready” projects and weatherization.
I’m convinced that the reason people look back on that spending with such disdain is that they don’t feel like they got anything out of it.
Obama needs to tap his inner Steve Jobs – or hire someone who can.
We need the magic of a Jobs’s keynote and the gleam of an Apple Store – the promise inherent in a iPad commercial: that soon, the world is going to improve.
Disclaimer: I cover the technology industry – not government. Because of that I might have the unreasonable expectation that people can actually do amazing things and even solve problems.
The master at work: