Does anybody remember the reports from a few years ago that said that we (the US) were in almost as bad shape as The Great Depression? Since then it seems that we were not quite as bad off, but certainly we were in terrible shape. And people are still in 2013 saying that we are having the worst economic recovery since then.
My proposal is that we treat this like we did the Great Depression. Do people remember their history well enough for this? The New Deal sound familiar to people? It was a major factor in getting the US out of the Great Depression. It had 3 major principles (the 3 "R's") but I want to focus on just one of them: Relief.
During the New Deal time, and focusing on relief the government created jobs by building things. Things such as: schools, hospitals, airports, government buildings, roads, and (I think most relevant) RAILROADS. I say railroads are most relevant because most airports seem well maintained, and while I recognize there are many schools and hospitals that can use work, I think the most jobs can be created if we focus on the railroads.
I think almost everyone can agree that the current railroad system in the US is pitiful compared to other developed nations. Just look at Europe. The UK has high speed trains going everywhere. There's the TGV which goes to Paris. China and Japan both have high speed trains as well! Why are we behind here in the US?
My proposal is simple: Replace Amtrak and create an efficient (energy wise and economically) train system running throughout the Eastern US (at least). Ideally I would say create a countrywide network (see image below). Imagine how many jobs would be created!
First we'd have to rip up those tracks we currently have since they are not built for trains to run over 120mph (roughly - don't hold me to that exact speed). Thats jobs for lots of people! Before you say it, yes its not something that people with a degree may want to do, but isn't it better than nothing? Even if its those who didn't go to school, its a great plus (they need jobs too!).
|An idea for high speed trains in the US |
(include the grey lines in the North West)
All of these new jobs would encourage the growth of our economy by putting money back in the pockets of the consumers, instead of those 'job creators' we keep hearing about. And with the new train system, I wold think more people would be open to taking trains around the country (assuming the pricing goes down some) which is an increased market and good for the economy.
Now obviously this won't solve the economic problems. I also firmly believe in a more progressive tax code, like raising taxes on the rich some points. Closing loopholes as Republicans suggest also would be a great idea in my opinion (but not to the exclusion of tax increases)! And as many people also say I take the position of reevaluating the current budget, making cuts where necessary (I'm thinking the military, but not exclusively).
I think an important factor is to find a way to make our system far more...equitable. Don't let CEO's make so much more than their average employees. Don't let the top 20% have 93% of the nations wealth. I think these are things that need to addressed and if done so properly can lead to a much stronger and more stable US economy.
But I think my idea of a train system is a good start to all of this. ;)