Sunday, February 8

Economic Middle Ground?

The news media was in a quandary last week. Is it a stimulus package or is it wasteful spending? If you listen to all the talking heads you'll end up in a panic in no time.

Look, take a step back and ask yourself some questions:

1) Is the global economy rapidly shrinking due to a collapse in the credit system?

2) Are millions of people losing their jobs?

3) Is the proposed spending designed to create permanent new government programs?

Anyhow, on a slightly different note, I just want to talk about the value of finding ways to reduce dependence on foreign oil.

Every single dollar spent on foreign oil is a dollar that is extracted from the local economy and sent overseas. Is that clear? Hundreds of billions of dollars are being sent from our economy into the economy of another country. The people over there buy things with that money, pay employees with that money, and fund the development of their infrastructure.

What do we get with that money? We get the ability to drive to work and back. We are not putting enough into our economy for the price.

If you spend hundreds of billions of dollars, locally, to develop alternative energy resources, you will create jobs locally. People earning that income will buy things with their income, pay taxes, and otherwise contribute to the economy. As well, when consumers buy those alternative energy resources they will contribute to the local economy too. Considering that this would be ongoing it almost sounds like an investment!

Obviously, I don't have numbers, but I don't hear this kind of language when I get all the talking points from the talking heads on the news. Why not?

We need a real analysis of situations instead of an ideological analysis of these situations. The media does us a disservice by only presenting antagonistic views instead of doing the digging and giving us what we need to know to make decisions ourselves.

These decisions aren't supposed to be taking place in a coliseum. It isn't about who yells loudest, who comes up with the most memorable slogan, or who can best present an ideology. It's about looking at the issue from all sides and then making a wise decision.

It's so disappointing to watch.

Frugal Guy said...
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13 comments:

Anonymous said...

So true.

Anonymous said...

Welcome to economic hell you all come back now!!!

Frugal Guy said...

Anons,

Thanks for the comments.

I think that anyone who is part of a mass layoff or who is unemployed through no fault of their own is certainly in economic hell.

It's real easy to think "let them suffer", similar to the "let them eat cake" comment that is historically famous.

Anyway, regardless of political slant, I think it is easy to argue that the good of the nation is enhanced when more people are economically active. In other words, when they are working, making good wages and paying taxes.

It's not all about handouts. It's about getting people to be productive members of society... and sharing the load. Most people are happy to do so. Many people would be more than happy to be able to do so.

Finally, I'll reiterate, the good of the nation is enhanced when billions of dollars are not sent overseas, out of the economy, to purchase oil. If this ever changes the money sent overseas will instead be used to pay salaries locally and to beef up our own economy.

Maybe some day it will actually happen?

Anonymous said...

One can dream...

CC said...

Your last bit was great. Regardless of what the situation is, when you're dealing with things this big, its about getting them done. Seems like many of our decision makers are concerned with advancing their own "side" instead of the good of the nation. A disappointing thing to watch, indeed. Great article.

soccer said...

Indeed.

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Frugal Guy said...

Anon,

Thanks for the spammy comment... how about not being such a jerk?

Anonymous said...

Damn jerk lol Fire up the economy instead before we all end up in camps or another Great depression.

Amy B said...

I completely agree with your observations.And I hate the yelling and the ideological posturing. Where was this guy when Wall Street was profiting by selling bad loans packaged with good? Why wasn't he yelling when the feds encouraged the housing bubble with low interest rates? Why didn't Republican senators object when Bush lost 13 billion dollars in Iraq in fraudulent rebuilding costs alone? Well, that's my rant. Sorry!

Frugal Guy said...

Heh, thanks for all the comments, whether for or against the stimulus package.

Something else to think about -- I find that arguments from both left and right have elements of merit that both parties should give serious thought to.

However, you do have to dig beneath the ideology to unearth them.

By the way, Amy, sometimes ranting is healthy... go for it! ;)

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