Sunday, November 23, 2008

young couples dining out

the alabama senator richard shelby continuously disappoints me, as do almost all Alabama politicians. here in oregon, while there are disappointing politicians as well, some amazing individuals also work for the state as well. however, i read an article this morning from the birmingham weekly (which I still read despite being translocated) concerning senator shelby's opposition against bailouts for American automobile manufacturers as well as Citigroup, an organization that has gained a lot of attention in the past few days. the post by Kyle Whitmire notes that Shelby thinks bankruptcy would be a better idea than any sort of financial bailout, though the only reasoning offered by Shelby in the article is that a bailout might not work and would just be a waste. which is true. would a bailout work? is a bailout necessary? while i believe a bailout is necessary for both the big three car makers in america and Citigroup, i also worry that perhaps these corporations will crumble anyway. the chevy announced that its volt will hit the markets a year later than planned and cost $40,000. while the car is a plug-in and american-made, what will differentiate it enough to make it more desirable over hybrids made by foreign car companies. "american-made" doesn't mean much to the liberal, middle-class individuals and couples who can afford to buy hybrid vehicles. so where is chevy's advantage?

my answer to the economic crisis has been: pretend it doesn't exist. it seems like the best thing to do is to continue to spend money as one would were there not a financial crisis, permitting your budget and projected job stability. this makes sense considering a conservative economic stratagem these past years has tried to stimulate the economy by cutting taxes, supposedly so that the middle class has more money to spend. however, tax cuts and stimulus packages didn't provide enough to truly stimulate spending. however, now the economy surely shows a higher percentage of saving as people consider the economic future. thomas friedman in his opinion piece in this sunday's times even advises young people dining out to go home and save money instead. friedman sees this crisis far from over. contrary to friedman here, it seems to me that spending is generally what will stimulate the economy, however, i will admit that due to the nature of this financial crisis, simple spending will not stop the slow failure of mortgages and in conjunction, the banks which hold those mortgages. so is saving the answer? at this time, like we need an environmentalist to tell us what the average person can do daily to help save the environment, we need an economist to tell us what the average person can do to help the economy.

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