Comments on: Moving beyond conventional remedies Thu, 21 Jul 2016 07:57:19 +0000 hourly 1 By: NW Sat, 15 Nov 2008 16:25:09 +0000 Part of the reason why some states are going bankrupt or near bankruptcy is the flood of ILLEGAL immigrants (and trust me, as a citizen of Mexican decent, it’s not always insulting) are abusing the system by means of invading ERs for simple health care, lowering the wages, being hired for jobs they are not skilled for because of the desire of cheap labor, and illiteracy. By extending citizenship status, you are doing NOTHING. I’m sure ACORN pressured banks into giving some of these people loans.

I realize that not all of them are bad, but it’s time to change this, because it will not help our economy. Why should my father continue relocating in the construction industry, because he wants to put food on the table for my brothers still? It’s not racist — it’s not always Mexicans, it’s others who come here and abuse it, and that’s a lot of tax revenue and money being lost, if I’m not mistaken.

To offer them status here, when some of them could be criminals? A joke. But a greencard might be a better option, IF they prove to be honest-to-God good people. You’re sincerely out of touch with the reality that hits the midwest.

By: David Litchfield Fri, 14 Nov 2008 21:06:46 +0000 The time has come to stop basing national economies on production of goods
people don’t need and can’t afford.

By: Diana Furchtgott-Roth Thu, 13 Nov 2008 02:50:05 +0000 Hank,

That’s very funny, you should be a Reuters columnist. But selling “other stuff” would not address the decline in housing prices and stabilize our housing markets, whose problems are at the root of our current financial crisis. Until the deterioration in housing prices stops, deliquencies and foreclosures will rise, lowering the values of mortgage-backed securities and leaving the holders of these securities in a precarious situation. That’s why having the government print money or run deficits and buy “stuff” such as infrastructure and tax rebates is having little effect–it does not address the fundamental problem with the economy.


By: Hank Shaeffer Thu, 13 Nov 2008 01:45:53 +0000 I like the idea of giving visas to people who agree to buy houses. But why stop there? How about selling other stuff? The national parks come to mind — or at least the national monuments. Sell trips on the space shuttle. Or how about roles on TV shows — I mean after we bail out the networks. Everybody wants to be a star, right? Let’s use that. President for a Day. (Or at least Vice President.) Auction off the White House. Right, maybe not the White House, but how about the Lincoln Memorial? The Washington Monument? And if you don’t want to get rid of them altogether, we could do a long term lease. Or at least auction off the naming rights. “The People’s Republic of China Lincoln Memorial”. What;s wrong with that? Hey, and if you think that’s creative, wait till I tell you my idea for get out of jail free cards….

By: Josef Hoffman Tue, 11 Nov 2008 16:09:55 +0000 Investing in infrastructure puts people to work, especially lower skilled people who want to work rather than take a handout. Why would you insult a newly jobless person by giving them 5000 dollars, a pat on the back, and a shove off in to a market with no jobs?

By: Gary Leeper Fri, 31 Oct 2008 11:11:33 +0000 I am impressed by the debate, if for no other reason that it shows that those of us who are not academics or politicians have moved beyond apathy and are thinking and speaking out like we haven’t in a long time. I intuitively believe the solutions will come from the grass roots, as it should in a democracy.
Most of the solutions I see proposed seem to start with the proposition that cheap and easy credit are part of the Bill of Rights, when it should be treated as a scarce resource subject to harsh review of the quality of the borrower. We are being swept along by an irresistible wave of de-leveraging, and every solution that depends on more borrowing threatens to add to the “fat tail” of financial failures that has helped get us into this crisis.
Intuitively, I know that there is no solution that does not result in a decrease in standard of living for all of us, as we built our current standard on several generations of debt creation and postponement of reality. Somehow, we have to eat the mountain of debt and come out the other side with a new reality that prohibits deficits and easy lending.
In the meantime, the market is going to speak, whether we want it or not, and the cost of borrowing in real terms is going to rise, with governmental (fed, state and muni)borrowing not being exempt no matter how many lending facilities or discount rate cuts we create. I fear that infrastructure enhancement spending proposals
fall into the category of short term crisis response. We’ve been borrowing for decades for infrastructure without adequate analysis and planning for capital repayment, much less financing the necessary repair and maintenance. Is it any wonder that government depends on inflation?
There is light at the end of this tunnel, but it looks like an awfully long tunnel, full of rocks and holes, to me.

By: Maurice Mon, 27 Oct 2008 08:03:16 +0000 Ms/Mrs Furchtgott-Roth.

While I applaud your quest to search for new solutions to the current financial crisis, I find some of your suggestions rather disturbing and see no link to how it would rescue the economy.

1) “…Congress could give unemployed workers an additional tax-free sum, perhaps $5,000…”

You’ve suggested that unemployment benefits should not be extended but Congress should send a cheque of around $5000 to aid unemployed workers to pay for their expenses, bills and the like, as an incentive for them to find a job. Giving people a lump sum to tide over does not equal to them finding a job. Even if you take away that $5000, they will still be pressed to find a job to feed their families unless you’re telling me that they are comfortable living in the streets. The real problem is companies, having less job spaces and job opportunities for people due to lack of demand and need, due to the credit squeeze, not because workers complaining that they need a $5000 filler

If Congress mailed $5000 to every unemployed person, not only would the situation not change in any respect, Congress would find themselves having $5000 x 5% of America’s population less to deal with the situation.

2)”…Congress could help the weak housing market by expanding permanent immigrant visas, or green cards, for those who promise to buy a house costing at least $300,000…”

You stated that at 100 000 immigrants having green cards, the real estate market would then have $30 million in cash to bolster the sector, to stem housing price collapse. Apparently, you only looked at the numbers, (100 000 immigrants x $300 000 = solution), and not the problem. People will get the news, its immigrants who are buying property, not Americans, its foreign investors who are rich and buying houses, not Americans. The confidence is still not there, and we’ll see another bubble.

Immigrants buying the houses at $300 000, wait for the rise in prices to say, $500 000, sell. The mass selling would then bring everything down again. Voila, profit! Not to American economy but some foreign economy. There’s still the political issue on immigration at stake which I would not discuss.

3)”…Congress could raise revenue to recapitalize the impaired banking and credit sector by selling oil and gas exploration and drilling rights…”

The oil companies would then transfer the cost incurred from their purchase in the oil drilling rights to the consumers by raising the fuel prices, hurting the citizen’s pocket even further. At a time of credit crunch, additional expenses are really not necessary, especially in the short-term.

4)”…At the same time, Congress could make current tax rates permanent rather than having them rise on January 1, 2011…”

Easy credit was one of the causes of this crisis, there is no reason to try and tempt it once again to ease the crunch. Adding more poison to a poison would not create an antidote. Moreover, consumer confidence is still not there, and foreign companies would be wary. Instead of only considering big corporates and their balance sheets, please consider the common man’s needs too. Government initiatives, job fairs and the like, it would bolster the confidence of the consumers, which are the real driving force of America’s economy.

By: Magic Dragon Mon, 27 Oct 2008 01:40:34 +0000 We always objectify the problem.’ When WE, individually, are the problem.
We always treat the symptoms of a problem, without curing the disease (creating commerce in the process). Until we evolve and develop more consciousness these problems will persist.
This economic problem was created by greed and exacerbated by fear.
We learned nothing from the Great Depression!
‘We have met the enemy and he is us!’

By: laissez Sun, 26 Oct 2008 21:30:15 +0000 Interesting comments. The ONE thing everyone forgets, is that government has NO MONEY. It can only take from one person and give to another. The problem with government is that is has become a blotted monster controlled by unaccountable politicians who have transformed the wealth we citizens have created, into monolithic bureaucracies and pork barreling on an incomprehensible scale. If the government had no money, it created staggering deficits which not only we, but our children and their children will pay for. Its like an limited spending credit card – but like a credit card, someday it has to be paid. As a student of economics, and proponent of the brilliant Abba Lerner school of thought, perhaps we should hold the politicians as criminally responsible as the corporate executives. Let the economy find its own equilibrium through the actions of its citizens, as opposed to Big Brother. To say any politician can bring about “change” is a myth, only we can.

By: JimF Sun, 26 Oct 2008 19:24:05 +0000 This is astonoshing. Let’s at least give her credit for seeking new answers.

But the only worse, financial nonsense I’ve seen of late is Republicans arguing that the way to fix Wall St.’s balance sheets is to eliminate “mark to market” rules so the banks can make up phone values for assets no one will buy. Preso, they have assets! Not.

The columnist is right that Pelosi’s plan is also nonsense (You can assume that without even looking since it comes from Nancy “buy votes with pork” Pelosi).

The argument against infrastrucure investment is specious: We need investments that aren’t just short-term fixes that push the problems off a few years. We need to plans that match our country’s longer-term priorities. California’s high-speed train is one such plan that would provide new jobs soon, and improve our economy and quality of life later on.

There must be others of that ilk.