I’ve been watching and listening to all this bail-out talk over the past couple months and have come to a singular conclusion, regardless of which industry we’re talking about. All the bail-out money is attempting to do is to preserve a status quo and not really fix any underlying cause of any of this. Like friends at a drunken frat party, when the money and booze dries up, all you will have left is the house full of broken stuff.. and no friends.
So, here is a really simple sample solution.
I was listening to NPR a few days ago about a story that linked a Kansas farmer, a Japansese woman and an American woman who didn’t buy rugs for her house. (I can never find the story on their web site, so maybe you’ll have better luck.) Bottom line, the farmer had really cheap soy product, but couldn’t get any containers to ship it over to Japan, where they really wanted to buy it because women weren’t buying rugs from China where the containers come from.
Ok, so in America, we have three things that will solve this problem: land, out-of-work factory workers (or soon to be with the way GM is going) and the ability to make crappy products that fall apart after one use. Bear with me; that is a good thing!
So, what if we just rapidly built a factory in the middle of some city near a transportation hub nobody really cares about (Wilmington, OH comes to mind right now with DHL closing down) to make crappy containers that will make it over to Asia at least once, but would really not be reusable to ship stuff back over? They could be made out of super-compacted switchgrass or some other bio mass. That way, we would always have a fresh supply of containers, we would be MAKING STUFF again in America and we would have repeat customers.
Hey, Gov. Strickland, if you are listening, the formula isn’t that tough. We don’t mind a “bail-out” program, but let’s make sure the money goes to create assets and not just fund failing industries. After all, the eight track tape player, VCR and LP are gone and nobody wanted to bail them out. CD’s are on their way out as well, but nobody is rushing to bail them out… you get my point.
Take the container example (product everyone needs) and just apply it to all these other industries.