Poetry Prose and Other Words

by Ken Ingham

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Blog 1992

January 1992
Jumpstart


You asked for suggestions about how to jump start the economy. Here's an idea. Declare an indefinite moratorium on the manufacture and importation of new cars, effective inauguration day, 1993. It sounds a bit crazy but THINK about it! The global automotive industry could look forward to a banner year as their planners began to contemplate how best to reinvest the enormous amount of capital that would accumulate. The most clever would recommend re-tooling to meet the inevitable demand for busses and trains, while retaining an ability to satisfy the expanded need for spare parts. The best of the mechanically inclined would be called into distinguished service as teachers and trainers of a new generation of skilled artisans whose services are already in great demand. The new emphasis on maintenance and restoration would turn junk yards into valuable national resources. Automobiles would be treasured for the incredible luxuries that they are, and used sparingly to preserve their miles. Public transportation would be the new boom industry. Urban sprawl would subside as inner cities thrived on cleaner air and the increased demand for renovated housing close to employment. Physical fitness would take on new dimensions as commuters turned to hiking and biking for transportation. The concept of a moratorium on new cars may sound extreme but if nothing else, it can provide food for thought for those economists who are struggling to liberate themselves from the worn out paradigm of growth at any cost. It can't last forever.

Note: The above paragraph was read on National Public Radio's Marketplace in Januray, 1992. It was , in response to their request for listener ideas about how to jumpstart the economy. It became the introduction to a longer essay on the idea of converting to a Maintenance Economy.


September 1992
Cant Read Your Lips

The conservative wing of the Republican party seems to feel that theirs is the party of God. This very moment, someone under contract to the Heritage foundation is working in Clinton and Gore's backyard to develop a 30 second video featuring Bush and Quale with long brown hair and white robes, rescuing the masses from the fiery licks of the democratic ticket with their forked crimson tails. Hey George! Have you ever heard of the national debt? Hey Dan! How many species would you be comfortable with by the year 2000? Are these questions irrelevant or what? I wish you all would bend over so we could read your lips more clearly.

As my good friend T.K. once told me, no fiction writer could ever create anything as bizarre as what's really happening out there.