Saturday, February 02, 2008

Boost the economy by helping people in need

An economic stimulus plan that includes an increase in food stamps, unemployment insurance, aid to prevent state cutbacks, home energy aid, and temporary tax rebates targeted to low- and moderate-income people will work best, Federal Reserve Chair Ben Bernanke and other top economists say.

But the stimulus package approved by the House leaves out most of these pieces.

A temporary increase in food stamp benefits is the most effective stimulus measure on the table.

It would generate $1.73 in increased economic activity for each $1.00 in cost.

Extending unemployment benefits so that workers’ benefits don’t run out before they can find a new job would be the second most effective measure, generating $1.64 in increased activity per dollar of cost.

Read more about the effectiveness of various stimulus options here.

Florida ranks second in the number of people receiving food stamps and who will lose unemployment insurance soon. (California tops both lists.) See the state-by-state listings here.

More than 1.2 million Floridians received food stamps, and about 86,000 will exhaust their state jobless benefits from January to June of this year.

So the final shape of the stimulus package could be crucial to Florida.


At 10:37 AM, Anonymous JosephThePoet said...

If a pile of checks are sent out, then a huge chunk of the money will go to food and inexpensive goods (Walmart type stores), and to expensive life-style buys (overseas supplied too).

The employment in other countries will be given a massive assistance by the purchases coming from the “US Stimulation Package”.

The politicians would have done better by, for example:

1 Giving out $billions in food stamps that get spent locally and help the poor.
2 Setting aside $billions more to extend Unemployment Insurance that also helps locally (including to take retraining).
3 Include using $10-20 billion for maybe clean fuels research, or redesign rebating to clean up dirty coal power plants.
4 And by taking a whopping $100 billion of it, and telling the American public that the money is up for grabs for the full cost of their purchase and operational installation of wind and solar power collectors, of all sizes, on a first come first served basis. Exclude large power farms from this stimulation package but not the bulk purchases of with-in city limits units that cities may wish to install. Many American people, cities and companies would jump in to get their chunk of the $billions.

Engaging these few things would cause instant effects and the money will be invested to promote the “US economy”.

The continuing effect would be us becoming world leaders in these and other clean power technologies, many Americans finding permanent good employment, the US becoming a little more energy secure, and investment in the US stock market would also be assisted upward by the effect of American companies gearing up for the manufacturing, sales, and educational needs.

Giving us poor and suffering a few dollars won’t help us. The availability of many good jobs would be better. Sort of like being given a fish as opposed to being helped to become a fisherman.

My first blog on “The US Stimulation Package” can be found at:

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