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
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.