Instead of giving a couple trillion dollars to the financial institutions, how about instituting a financial holiday — something like what FDR did — and using the trillions of dollars to create infrastructure and affordable housing?
We could also raise some more money by ending the wars and cutting back military spending.
Some of the money would be left over to create national health care, alternative energy, and tuition support.
If we needed more money beyond that, we could raise taxes. With all the spying on ordinary people, the NSA must certainly know where the fat cats are hiding their money in tax shelters.
Sure, there would be problems. People would need access to their money to get groceries and the like before the jobs were online. But the plan suggested here seems no more outrageous than rewarding the felons for their crimes.
Something patched together by the Treasury this quickly is sure to do more damage than any outrageous suggestions made above.
Michael Perelman is professor of economics at California State University at Chico, and the author of fifteen books, including Steal This Idea: Intellectual Property Rights and the Corporate Confiscation of Creativity, The Perverse Economy: The Impact of Markets on People and the Environment, Railroading Economics: The Creation of the Free Market Mythology, and The Confiscation of American Prosperity: From Right-Wing Extremism and Economic Ideology to the Next Great Depression. This modest proposal first appeared in his blog Unsettling Economics (URL: <michaelperelman.wordpress.com/>) on 22 September 2008.