Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Five very simple yet politically impossible ways to lower unemployment NOW.

1. MASSIVE GOVERNMENT SPENDING. With treasury rates being at near all-time record lows, the government should be spending money like it was about to become illegal. Not mere tens of billions, but TRILLIONS. Spend until the 10-year Treasury note reaches 6%, which was considered tolerable during the Bush Administration.

Right now it's 2.5%, and the 30-year is even more ridiculous at 3.5%. If people were afraid of inflation, you wouldn't be seeing rates like this.

2. MAKE IT HARD TO HOARD CASH. Tax the fuck out of corporate profits unless a percentage is invested into R&D.

3. MAKE IT EASIER TO GET CREDIT. The government should engage in arbitrage of Treasuries to loosen up business credit slightly to companies with good (AA or better) ratings.

4. INCENTIVIZE HIRING BY MAKING IT SO CHEAP TO HIRE THAT IT'S DUMB NOT TO. Abolish FICA and fold it into regular income tax (but at first don't bother, just run a deficit, see point 1). Continue to pretend FICA exists to compute Social Security benefits eligibility. And, duh, single-payer health insurance. Both would cut the overhead of hiring someone nearly in half.

5. EXPAND THE SCOPE OF FLSA AND SHORTEN THE WORKWEEK TO 35 HOURS. Companies are working 1 person 80 hours a week instead of hiring 2 people working 40 hours a week each. This could be fixed by tightening up the requirements for considering someone salaried and also reducing the nonsalaried workweek to 35 hours.

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