Economic Recovery Plan - Part I
[This is the first installment of a three-part plan to restore America's economic health.]
Over the past ten years, I've spent a lot of time explaining why the economy was doomed. That is no longer in question. Economic health depends on real goods and services being produced and consumed by as many people as possible, not on numbers in Wall Street computers. The numbers are important, as I will explain later, but only insofar as they reflect the reality of wealth creation. If real wealth is deteriorating, it doesn't matter what the numbers in the computers are doing.
That much is now clear to pretty much everyone. We screwed up by letting the uber-capitalists dictate the terms of the redistribution of wealth. Yes, wealth is constantly redistributed. That is a simple fact. Next time some uber-capitalist tells you that redistribution of wealth is wrong, tell him to give back the untold trillions of dollars that have been redistributed to the wealthiest class over the last 20 years. Redistribution of wealth happens. If you can't deal with that, you should probably go live in Cuba or North Korea, communist states where what little wealth there is does not get redistributed; it stays firmly under the control of the elite class.
The economy is screwed up, and a tiny slice of our society has made out like bandits. Can we agree on that?
Now I'd like to offer a way out for the 99.99 percent of you who are not billionaires, and a way out for the billionaires wise enough to realize that this situation is not ideal for your own well being and long-term prosperity. This will take some time to delineate. As with most messes, the economic mess will be more difficult to clean up than it was to make.
Here is the basis of the plan in metaphorical terms:
We can think of the economy as an an organism. Each person is a cell in the organism. Each economic institution or organization is an organ. Think of Wall Street as the brain of the economy. Manufacturers are the heart. Media companies are the eyes. Universities are the lungs. Agriculture is the stomach.
But industries -- and I throw academics in that bag in this day and age -- are not the only vital organs in the economy. What about the government? Like it or hate it, it is a huge economic player. It's something like the skin -- a protective barrier that covers all the other organs. What about labor unions? Like them or hate them, they serve a purpose in helping the organism to function properly. They're something like the skeleton of the economy -- both structural support and a store of nutrients.
Where the economy is concerned, a holistic approach to health is the only one that makes sense. The brain can't function without the heart. Nothing will last long if the bones crumble.
If you can grasp that, you are ready for Part II.