People are saying recession. I’ve heard the word depression tossed around. The Federal Reserve has cut interest rates two times in eight days. The House and Senate just approved an “economic stimulus package” for which I don’t qualify because I didn’t pay any taxes last year. Besides my slight bitterness about missing a handout from the government (too bad it’s not free health care or something, you know, practical…), I wanted to go over this “stimulus package,” which if I think about it more carefully, actually makes me feel sick and awful that I’m a part of this country. As far as I can understand it, this “package” is going to give most people and businesses either a little extra money or a tax break. And these two things will help strengthen this weakening economy which is attached to a miserably weak dollar as well. This is what makes me feel nauseous: in order to strengthen this economy, the government is going to give almost everyone some extra money so that they’ll go out and spend it!! Why does economic growth and a strong currency equal consumption of stupid, worthless products? Why do we need constant growth in the economy? Doesn’t anyone in the world seem to understand that growth cannot last forever? That eventually something is going to snap? That perhaps giving most people a few hundred bucks might NOT help the economy when gas is three bucks a gallon and no one is doing anything about it? Since I’ve been back from Vietnam, I’ve had a lot of time to think while living home alone. After “sowing my wild oats” as it were by eating horribly unhealthy fast food and taking a few road trips, I’ve been mostly cooking my own food, driving the absolute minimum amount possible, and going to one store one time a week. I’ve made a conscious decision to consume less than other people, and I’m carrying it out. This talk of “the stimulus package” seems ridiculous because it just encourages consumption, which in turn will only be a temporary solution to this economic crisis that this country is facing. My suggestions for fixing this economic problem (and let it be known that I’m not an economist or a politician): Get the fuck out of Iraq and Afghanistan (that’ll save more than $1,000 per second). Stop all deficit spending (and hence get our debt out of foreign hands). Start the conversion to a renewable energy country and economy, thereby creating millions of jobs, both skilled and unskilled in the process.
My sentiments exactly:
(Image stolen from Jesus’ General.)