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Why TARP Failed Small Business (And How to Fix It)
 

There are other options for reviving the economy, including asking Americans to invest in something similar to war bonds.

Much like we did with War Bonds during WWII, this is an opportunity for Americans to invest in our own future.

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We all hear that you should avoid the topic of politics. But I felt compelled in this election year to  share a few thoughts on the economy. Now, I have a friend who once told me "political correctness is like trying to pick up a turd from the clean end." Yet, here I go with a message that it is not directed at either party but to all those in or seeking political office.

In 2008 we were headed for an economic disaster and have teetered precariously ever since. Many economists, and I should point out that I am not one, have said that history tells us that a government that stimulates their economy during a recession reduces the length of that recession. Unfortunately I think while this may be true we missed the mark.  So next time consider this; if we find ourselves in a similar financial meltdown.

  1. Whatever the amount of the stimulus is, set it aside. Then allow banks and lending institutions to loan this money based on acceptable lending standards and credit scores to businesses and individuals. Thus guaranteeing the loans.
  2. Tell the financial institutions that they can loan against this money and they do not have to include it in their asset ratio calculations. Bad loans and increasing regulations have reduced the lending power of these institutions.
  3. This will not have the chilling effect on lending, but truly stimulate the economy.

I also want to pose a question. As an amateur historian I consider our current situation and our debt to foreign interests and try to find some solution in historical practice. What I found may be a little bit of a leap but bear with me.

What if we establish a new government bond, say an Economy Bond. Much like we did with War Bonds during WWII. This would present the opportunity for Americans to invest in our own future. It is said that war bonds solicited patriotism and conscience. One reason we might not have done this before is because of how Americans tend to react to budget deficits and poor bond performance. Much like the errant relative who doesn't budget but is always seeking a "loan," we might be forced to say NO. Imagine that!  Telling the federal government to live within their means.

Now I know we already do this to some degree. But what if there was an actual effort to sell Americans on the recovery and their role.

The fact is that I am willing to invest in our recovery and I imagine most Americans feel the same way.  There is wealth in this country and we can eliminate the foreign debt and the political dynamics this causes by borrowing from ourselves. I wish we didn't have to. I wish we had a balanced budget and every time I say "wish" I remember the line delivered by Burgess Meredith in "Grumpier Old Men."

What do you think? Would this work or do you have a better idea to help the recovery?

Last updated: Jan 31, 2012

GLEN BLICKENSTAFF is the CEO of The Iron Door company, which makes high-end doors and windows. Glen has a track record of turning around and managing retail, building and financial companies.
@glenblickenstaf




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