Monday, August 8, 2011

Where Is the Right Kind of Stimulus?

Now what? We raised the debt ceiling, and S. & P. lowered our country's credit rating. Congress voted to cut spending, but our deficit will still keep growing. Where is the action that will really make a difference? Where is stimulus we can believe in?

If new business is the traditional the engine of growth for our nation, why aren't the government and our financial institutions freeing up the capital to fund start-ups? Experts are saying since few organizations are hiring, we'll have to invent our own jobs. That means more people will need to become entrepreneurs. But where will the money to hire yourself come from?

We got out of the recession of the early 1990s through the growth of new businesses and the invention of new technologies. But capital was freely available to fund all that growth. Why isn't it now? We need members of Congress to take action in this and other areas, if we are going to pull our nation out of this steadily deeper trench.

Yesterday, Thomas Friedman, writing in The New York Times Sunday Review ("Win Together or Lose Together" - August 7, 2011), said we need a smarter long-term fiscal plan. He said we need to invest in "the pillars of our growth, wtih special emphasis on infrastructure, research and incentives for risk-taking and start-ups." I couldn't agree more.

In fact, I found myself in agreement with his entire piece on dealing with our "Great Contraction". We need some real leadership to come forward and get us going on rebuilding, on genearting a "national renewal," as Friedman calls it. He says we need to treat our situation as the emergency it is, and get people behind the changes we need to make.

After reading Friedman's opinion piece, I really began to believe that we can have a balanced approach to cutting expenses, raising revenues and catalyzing growth through business formation. The big question is whether there is anybody out there who can take the helm and steer us in the right direction? Anyone?

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