So, it seems that the United States economy is at a standstill, with an occasional hopeful hiccup in a positive direction.  I was listening to Marketplace on NPR the other day, and I heard a piece of commentary by Robert Reich, some economically savvy gent.  You can find it here.  I highly recommend a listen.

It appears that we are in a cycle that looks like this:


When it should look like this:


These diagrams were, in fact, professionally made.  Don’t hate.

The bottom line of Mr. Reich’s argument, which I have to admit is one with which I agree, is that we need jobs that pay enough for people to spend money.  And hey, let’s have the government take a crack at it since corporations seem to be eying only their profit margins, outsourcing jobs, lobbying Congress, and generally behaving like dirtbags.  We need a new WPA!  Hire teachers (yeah!), construction workers, hire young people (hell, hire old people!) who are willing to be thrown into public service!  Pay for these jobs with taxes on those of us who make $1 million plus.  Thanks in advance, guys.

At this point, you might say, “But Lindsay!  Isn’t that socialism?  Gasp! Communism??? What about our pledge to capitalism?  Every man for himself!  Pull yerself up by your bootstraps or, you know, eat my dust!  What about the American mantra, ‘Eat shit and die if you can’t afford healthcare!’?  Surely this isn’t fair!”  My response would be, “Calm yourselves.  At this point, the millionaires won’t last much longer if the rest of us can’t afford to buy their products.  We are in a critical period, and in such times of duress, mantras must occasionally be abandoned.

I (cautiously) hope that those in charge and their advisers are hearing things like Mr. Reich’s commentary and realizing that sensible solutions are now the only feasible ones.