While our government and its elected officials scramble to solve our economic woes and put America back to work, I thought I would take a stab at introducing my own plan.
What do we have to lose? It beats just complaining out Washington’s inactivity. Besides, any plan coming out of either house, party or the White House will be condemned by the other side and they’ll just use it as fodder during the next election cycle when little if anything will get accomplished as they play Tug-o-War with our future.
My approach may be considered radical in comparison to any other plans that will be rolled out. But my plan will be aimed at solving not only employment issues but go to the heart of what truly ails our country today, in my opinion. It’s based on the dreams of the Founding Fathers and the vision I think most Americans and those who would like to be a part of this wonderful country, think of when they see the Stars and Stripes.
Most of the recent stimulus plans send money and tax breaks to their significant voting blocks and the organizations with the largest lobbying efforts, who worked hard to insure they’re first in line when the government has money and tax breaks they want to send out. It comes then as no surprise that big business, labor unions and those in our society less fortunate who represent a large voting block are generally in the mix.
That last group could be broken down into two portions those who truly need assistance and those who’ve learned to live comfortably within the system, and require their own form of stimulus to become a productive a part of society.
This country was established based on religion, family and free enterprise. Using that as my basis we need to look at how we return to one nation under God, strengthening the family structure while invigorating and encouraging small business and start ups.
My plan starts with a summit of all active American Religions to discuss ways of working together to encourage a renewed interested in all faiths. America has slowly been turning away from God over the years and I believe those actions are taking its toll on our society. I’m not one who believes God is punishing the U.S. for such actions. I just firmly believe we need a benevolent God as the central figure in the structure of our society.
The concept of separation of church and state doesn’t mean the elimination of one over the other. Both play an important role and both are in current need of attention. Without church, state has no true moral compass. In order for there to be balance in our society each of us needs to recognize right from wrong. True faith gives each us greater control over the direction government takes. It becomes a balancing scale between the two and it’s what’s missing in our society today. One can not succeed without the other.
Recently I was sent an editorial written by filmmaker Michael Moore, who lamented that America’s downslide began when President Reagan fired the striking Air Traffic Controller in the early 1980s.
However, I think America’s downslide began about 10 years earlier in the early 1970s when Blue Laws were repealed. Blue Laws outlawed the opening of retail establishments on Sunday and the sales of alcoholic liquor products.
I recall prior to there removal, Sunday was a day when families and extended families got together after going to church services and enjoyed a big meal at grandma’s house. Sundays were set aside for church, family and special outings. Today Sunday is just another day. From where I sit, the Blue Laws provided the catalyst to help bring families together as two key attractions, shopping and alcohol, were taken out of play.
As part of my economic recovery program I would look to enact a national Blue Law insuring that every business is closed one out of the seven days with the exception of emergency services, communication, agricultural, recreational, and seasonal businesses as well as public services utilities. I would also double the IRS deduction given for contributions to a legitimate religious faith.
Small business is the engine of the country and represents over 80 percent of the nation’s businesses. They are repeatedly overlooked when it comes to government stimulus plans. Small business has given birth to some of our nations largest and most successful companies today.
Major firms and large businesses are large enough and sophisticated enough to fend for themselves in the world economy. It’s generally these big businesses that send jobs out of the country and focus on their profit first and foremost.
County, community and employment tend to be far down on their priority list. We need to invest government money in small businesses, reaching middle America, providing them a safe harbor to take the risks associated with a small business, weather the economy and provided our struggling communities with a stable and diverse local economy.
It’s estimated that approximately 13.9 million people are unemployed around the country today. There are over 6 million small businesses with more than one employee. If each small business was given a 150 percent tax credit for the entire amount of the wages paid for hiring an unemployed person we could put a serious dent in reducing the unemployment rate while greatly stimulating our local economies.
Any person launching a new small business would be eligible for low interest SBA loan for start up funds, given a three-year federal tax holiday as incentive to get off the unemployment rolls and encouraged to hire other unemployed persons.
When you consider we spend nearly $5 billion every week on unemployment benefits with nothing in return, this plans attempt to use those funds to create self sustaining employment. Obviously an employment base line and rules would need to be established for such a tax credits to control any abuses but such a stimulus would inject a new found confidence in Main Street and raise the importance of American entrepreneurship, while not seeing any of the funds leave our shores or be gobbled up by excessive compensation bonus plans, as was the case with the Wall Street Bailout Plan.
A renewed interest in Faith, Family and Small Business will impact every sector of our society. Much like Roosevelt opened the eye’s of the country after the great depression to the New Deal, this plan will put America back on the path to common sense and work ethics rooted in family and faith values. But I wouldn’t hold out much hope that any version of it could be considered anytime soon.
Main stream politics isn’t prepared to deal with any of these issues any time soon, but I thought drafting it was more productive than complaining about Washington’s inactivity and who knows we use to joke about same-sex marriage and look at what continued persistence on their part has accomplished. Who knows? There may be hope for my plan some day.
Dan Alexander is publisher and owner of Denton Publications. He may be reached at email@example.com.