Tuesday, September 30, 2008

It's Your Money (Sort Of)

$700,000,000,000 divided by 4,149,000
     Equals $168,715.00. This simple equation transacts the following figures: Divide the amount of money being requested by our government to plug the holes in our submerged economy by the estimated number of U.S. home mortgages currently in foreclosure or more than 90 days in arrears. The solution: $168,715. The median price of an existing, single-family home in this country is $202,000. Why not give each of these 4 million+ families $168,715 and demand that they immediately fork it over to their mortgage holders, which would effectively get the families out of debt and bring real money (sort of) into the banking system? The answer: this is too simple and also prejudicial.
     Why not divide the $700B evenly between the entire citizenry of the USA? We would each receive $2,293.00 (this figure goes down a little bit about every 7 seconds so if we’re going to go this route let’s get on with it.) Every time I’ve received an unexpected $2,293.00 I’ve bought a new television, tool or guitar and given a little of it to my kids. I suppose some would make wiser decisions but I think most Americans would do something frivolous like me. Of course, these unwise choices do put real money (sort of) into the retail system and that can’t be bad for the overall economy. The answer: This will do nothing to forestall the gigantic debt carried by most American families.
     What if we targeted this money to pay for the costs of the Iraq War? I just checked and the cumulative debt realized in this action since 2003 is just under $600B (this figure goes up about $2,000/second so if we’re going to go this route let’s get on with it. Check the clock: http://zfacts.com/p/447.html) If we act quickly we could earmark (read: steal) the balance of the funds to underwrite the medical costs and welfare of those who served in the field of battle during these troubled years. The answer: this makes too much sense and also greases the pockets of those who have already gotten rich from this war – and others.
     Would it be wise for our government to buy shares of Berkshire-Hathaway? Anyone with the slightest bit of knowledge of the stock market knows that this company has done handsomely well for those who can afford to own a few shares. The current price per share is about $130,000.00 and with $700B the USA could own 5,384,615 shares of this most impressive stock. This seems much more interesting than owning an over-extended insurance company, mismanaged brokerage firm or bankrupt mortgage lender and I’m confident the results would be much brighter. The answer: I’m thinking there’s a fellow who may not think too much of this plan – I may be wrong.
     How about we toss this money into rebuilding the infrastructure of our country, focusing on the Interstate highway systems and bridges we’ve heard so much about? And let’s be fair with the distribution of the resources and give each state an equal share be it Rhode Island, Kansas or Texas. I have no idea but let’s say it costs $5,000,000 to build a safe bridge. That would allow us to build 140,000 bridges in the USA or 2,800 per state. That’s absurd. Let’s build 280 bridges in each state and allow each state to use the balance to enhance their own infrastructure with the remainder. Each state would have a paltry $1.26B with which to work. The answer: There will be an empty, 8-lane, paved highway named after every state congressman, senator, deputy sheriff and mayor that ever lived crawling into every backwoods borough in this country and someone in each state capitol will have a brother-in-law in the concrete business.
     Or why not simply acquiesce to the request from most of our noble governmental leaders? After all, doesn’t this seem like the correct thing to do: Print money that has no value, place the discretion of its disbursement into the hands of the idiots who should have seen this coming a long time ago who will turn it over to their friends - greedy, arrogant pricks who have bankrupted our nation and are hiding out in their Martha’s Vineyard bunkers with the bloody millions they’ve stashed away until these ‘necessary clouds’ lift and they hear they’ve been bailed out and will come back to Manhattan next week for a couple days and do some new deals? The answer: Well, it hasn’t passed, yet. 


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