*Brainstorming* How to get out of this recession...

Discussion in 'Politics, Religion, Social Issues' started by Prof., May 11, 2008.

  1. Prof. macrumors 601

    Prof.

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    #1
    I've been thinking. How can we get out of this recession? After about 3 days, it hit me. Build something really big. Now, it seems like a stupid thought but let me explain. During The Great Depression, to get the US economy up and running again and to employ millions of people, we built highways and dams which in turn gave millions of Americans much needed jobs. Now, what if we did this again? Would it work? Here's my plan.

    We start building wind and solar farms. Why?
    1. It's going to create lots of jobs.
    2. We can't send the jobs overseas because they have to be built on our own soil.
    3. It's going to solve our dependancy on forign oil.
    4. It's going to make America a cleaner, more environmentally friendly place to live.
    If we do this, it's going to kill two birds with one stone. The first "bird" being employing out-of-work Americans and the second "bird" being it's going to cure our addiction to oil.

    Now, I don't know the whole political side behind doing something this huge so feel free to help me out. Whatever you do, do NOT shoot this idea down. Add to this idea and make it better.

    So, what do you think?
     
  2. Ugg macrumors 68000

    Ugg

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    #2
    A high speed national rail network would be not only the perfect consumer of all that electricity, it would also greatly reduce our need for oil.
     
  3. Hawkeye411 macrumors 68000

    Hawkeye411

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    #3
    It's simple. Everyone needs to start spending money; which is difficult to convince everyone to do when you in a recession :D
     
  4. juanm macrumors 65816

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    #4
    Solar power is not efficient enough outside of the domestic use.
    To put solar panels on the top of every house and building is a great idea. To devote thousands of acres to solar energy is not.
    Provided a intelligent use of the resulting energy, solar (less efficient, but silent for residential areas) and wind (more efficient but noisy, outside the city) together are a great solution.
    That, combined, as said Ugg, to a modern railroad network would be a huge leap forward.
     
  5. vendettabass macrumors 6502a

    vendettabass

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    #5
    it'd certainly make me visit the US a lot more & pour in some tourist money. The reason I resist going to the states is because of the fact you need to have a car to get anywhere in lots of places, and being 21, that is something that I cannot do!
     
  6. Dont Hurt Me macrumors 603

    Dont Hurt Me

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    #6
    We should stop pissing away all those billions in Iraq for nothing and make the U.S. independent with many types of energies if you will.
    1 Problem though this president & 90% of congress are owned by these corporations. Its time for a new congress and new laws so our govt can work for us again and not these multinational corporations bank accounts. Big Oil must have been smiling when Cheney had those meetings. We learned nothing from the 70s it seems.
     
  7. stagi macrumors 65816

    stagi

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    #7
    I think we need to first trim down our budget, cut out some of the goverment welfare programs we have and instead put our money into overhauling our entire education system and towards incentives for business and mainly new business creation.
     
  8. Desertrat macrumors newbie

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    #8
    As a percentage of all power generation, very little comes from oil.

    You can't force the private sector to spend money they don't want to spend, or not ahead of when they are planning on some investment in energy.

    Our government doesn't have the money, Iraq or no. And the present candidates' notions about future spending are more focussed on social programs than infrastructure.
     
  9. Ugg macrumors 68000

    Ugg

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    #9
    So the money spent by NASA was worthless and didn't do anything for the advancement of science and technology in the US?

    What about the Railroad Act?

    There are any number of ways to stimulate investment by the private sector.

    What's needed most of all is the leadership to stimulate that investment in alternative forms of energy and transportation. That has been sorely lacking these past 8 years.
     
  10. Badandy macrumors 68040

    Badandy

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    #10
    Terrible idea, IMO of course.

    How do we get out of debt? I know, let's spend billions on public works! No, seriously, this would be terrible. The government employing people doesn't "create" jobs, it's just an inefficient transfer of money.

    Even so, with the advancements coming up in solar power technology, it would be incredibly short sighted to start a gigantic, national roll out of solar technology that will be made obsolete by newer technology very soon.
     
  11. aethelbert macrumors 601

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    #11
    Well, the PWA didn't get the US out of the depression. The mobilization for war in industry did. It definetely did ease some tensions, though (the same goes for Britain). Also remember that this isn't the depression, it's a recession: a natural trend in economics. If it gets worse, which it may or may not, then something like this could help. All the stuff that you mentioned is good, especially the rail network, but they're more long term projects than short term economic recovery ideas.
     
  12. Roger1 macrumors 65816

    Roger1

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    #12
    1. Come up with regulations to help prevent the housing meltdown from happening again. When I say this, I'm referring to preventing ethical lapses that seemed to happen, not so much bailouts, subsidies, etc. I'm not a lawyer, so I can't really define what I'm trying to say. Maybe some type of truth in lending laws that have teeth? Maybe it will help restore confidence in the banking industry

    2.End business subsidies. Not all of them, but the businesses that are making a good profit can do without. Put the money toward repairing infrastructure, making more bike paths, etc.

    3.Make a national standard where some kind of alternative energy source it built into each building (wind, solar, geothermal), to help lower our reliance on foreign oil.

    4.Create some kind of incentive for American businesses to make their product in the United States. Of course, this might have to be a subsidy of some type.

    I would suggest cutting taxes, but that's already been done.

    Boy, this is a tough question. Some really cool answers are cropping up. Maybe someone "in charge" will read them.
     
  13. Roger1 macrumors 65816

    Roger1

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    #13
    Just a quick question. What if we start backing the dollar with gold again? Would that have any effect on inflation, slow economy?

    One more thing: Since we have the whole "No child left behind thing", and all the education requirements for graduating from high school, how about a couple of mandatory classes on financial planning?
     
  14. Desertrat macrumors newbie

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    #14
    Ugg, what's NASA got to do with anything?

    The private sector, right now, is quite busily building serious numbers of wind generators. The manufacture of parts and pieces is already rather strained. All I said was that you can't get companies to invest beyond their planned rates of investment.

    And what's our government going to use as inducements? We already have folks in this thread hollering about "ending subsidies"--which are meely governmental inducements to further company investments/operations.

    Roger1, the housing meltdown in part resulted from the last go-around by Congress on preventing a recurrence of the savings and loan meltdown such as we had in the 1980s. IOW, like the generals who plan to fight the last war, the new regulations will speak to an event which already is unlikely to recur. But rest assured that the financial corporations which resulted from that last batch of legislation will find an entirely new unregulated arena for debacle in which to play--pardon my cynicism.

    As for a return to the gold standard, that would level out the decline of the buying power of money, but would also take us back to the boom'n'bust cycles extant before the creation of the Fed--not that the Fed is all that useful. Trouble is, the world is awash in paper money. While it all depends on which "expert" you listen to, odds are that gold would have to be priced at more than $10,000 an ounce to be able to match paper and gold. But I don't really have a clue, myself.
     
  15. Prof. thread starter macrumors 601

    Prof.

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    #15
    IDK about other states but Illinois has that already. I had to take Consumer Ed/Economics my sophomore year in High School.
     
  16. Roger1 macrumors 65816

    Roger1

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    #16
    Heh. I went to high school in Illinois, and I don't remember taking any financial planning classes. Of course, I graduated over 20 years ago, so maybe I just don't remember (old age, ya know). :D
     
  17. Ugg macrumors 68000

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    #17
    NASA funding is responsible for a pretty big chunk of American technological advances in the 1970s and 1980s. Not all of it intentional either.

    All the feds have to do is require that X% of all electricity be generated by non fossil fuels. Add in a week's worth of Iraqi war funding for research into solar, wind, etc and voila!

    If companies know that they have a guaranteed market for their product, are they going to continue on the straight and narrow path of their "planned rates of investment" or, are they going to switch gears?

    Germany required electric companies to buy solar and wind power at a higher rate. Those higher rates were passed onto their customers, which resulted in greater conservation. Now, not only is Germany generating ~20% of its electricity from renewables, it's also much less dependent upon that growling Russian bear for natural gas, and overall, using less electricity.

    Sure, it was painful in the beginning but Germany is one of the major exporters of wind generators and solar panels. More jobs for Germans, more income taxes for the feds, and less fear of a future meltdown. They haven't solved all their problems and Germany is poorly placed geographically to generate much more than they already are from wind or solar. But they've certainly taken a step in the right direction.

    In the last 8 years we've had no call for conservation, CAFE standards have barely risen (Even China has stricter standards than the US!), there's been no push to require stricter homebuilding standards, nor has there been any great push to build more mass transit in the areas it's needed most.

    We need someone at the helm who is willing to recognize that there's a serious problem and willing to take the necessary steps to address that problem.

    We're never going back to the era of cheap energy, why not deal with the inevitable and do something about it?
     
  18. Badandy macrumors 68040

    Badandy

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    #18
    And you don't see how creating a massive public works project financed by the government that pays wages to the people who finance the government is a bad idea?


    Anybody who can come up with a new energy plan to run our entire economy already knows there is a massive market and profit potential. Find a way to do it efficiently, and you'll make the big bucks. It's as simple as that, and you're already seeing billions upon billions of dollars being funneled into green ventures and technologies. Solar power is making huge strides, as are many other forms of renewable energy. Give it some time.
     
  19. Iscariot macrumors 68030

    Iscariot

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    #19
    There's two sides to this that I can see. The first, is that my own experiences with the Toronto Transit Commission is that a publicly funded transit system is going to be woefully mismanaged. There is rampant waste, corruption at many levels, and the union holds the entire city hostage to it's demands.

    The other side is the difference between Canadian and American tax rates and disposable income. Before ~75 000USD income, Canadians have more disposable income than Americans, even though tax rates are "higher". A national rail system or transit system may well cost Americans X per month, but as long as X is lower than the cost they would otherwise have paid out for a car/insurance/fuel, it ends up as a net gain.

    Personally, I would rather see bike lanes introduced in major metropolitan cities, because it represents a one-time cost with fairly similar benefits.
     
  20. zap2 macrumors 604

    zap2

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    #20
    That is a great idea.

    And legalize pot....very useful.

    I suppose building some alternative energy harnessing projects would be good to.
     
  21. Ugg macrumors 68000

    Ugg

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    #21
    Do we have the time?
     
  22. Badandy macrumors 68040

    Badandy

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    #22
    Yes, we do. The profit motive is already kicking in, as evidenced by the billions in venture capital flowing into new, enviro-tech firms. In addition, we are already seeing advancements in renewable energy such as more efficient solar panels and technologies. It's progressing, "kick-starting" it with government mismanagement is not the way to do it.
     
  23. Ugg macrumors 68000

    Ugg

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    #23
    Yeah, after 2 trillion spent in Iraq, there are definitely reasons not to encourage oil lackeys to be in charge of energy policy.


    So CAFE standards are merely government mismanagement? What about air emissions, water quality?

    What I'm saying is that the government needs to step in and require certain standards be met. Capitalism is not going to solve this problem, what we need is a concerted national effort.

    There is no single solution but without a nudge, private industry isn't going to solve the problem without a nudge from the government.

    Your statement that
    Is like saying that we should never have invested in coal fired steam locomotives because diesel engines were right around the corner.

    It doesn't need to happen overnight, but in order for it to happen at all, there needs to be a roadmap, like the one England is planning right now.


    Link

     
  24. Prof. thread starter macrumors 601

    Prof.

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    #24
    It was only 18 weeks long and the class was a joke.:eek:

    We were still forced to take it tho.:D
     
  25. Badandy macrumors 68040

    Badandy

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    #25
    Iraq, plainly, doesn't have much to do with this. Oil is a finite resource. We need to utilize renewable energy anyway.

    No, government mismanagement would be having government organize a massive effort to build solar cells and wind power technologies all over the nation. Government can provide subsidies (which so many here chastise) to renewable energy firms that will help with this roll out (which they already do).

    Capitalism has been shown to solve problems far more efficiently than government due to the incentive of the profit motive.

    They are! You think it's purely coincidence that all these new environmental inventions keep coming out? It's coincidence that the efficiency of solar cells has nearly doubled? Once the technology is ready, you can bet private companies are going to jump all over it in order to get a slice of the potential profit.


    EDIT: And Prof, that is really cool you got to take a class like that. As far as I know, the California Public School System doesn't do that and it shows. It shows all over the nation, and while it was easy for me to make a logical quip based on an idea you threw out there, the fact that this stuff is being thought of by someone our age (I'm guessing you're in HS or nearly removed from it) is definitely encouraging.
     

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