Thursday, January 22, 2009
The Central Standard Economic Plan
It is common knowledge that we are in some financially trying times. The economy is in shambles, employment is down, the stock market is unsettled. Oil prices are so low that even oil barons are having a tough time of it...did you see Dick Cheney in a wheel chair on Tuesday? Needless to say, our new president and his cabinet have a tough row to hoe, as does Congress, of course. They are in this, too.
But, I have an idea that just might help float us up out of these benighted times. I read in a two week-old paper today (don't ask why I was reading a two week-old paper, I just was) that roughly 150 million people have been collecting the state quarters issued since 1999. Now that all 50 quarters have been released, that means that each person with a full set has at least $12.50 just sitting under his/her bed gathering dust. I would venture that many of these collectors have multiple sets, even big ass coffee cans full of quarters, canvas bags of silver coins, Uncle Scrooge McDuck-sized mounds of change piled around the hot water heater in their basements, but, in the interest of being level-headed here, let's assume 50 quarters per collector.
Altogether, that is approximately $1.8 billion. Imagine how fluid our economy might be if that kind of extra money were circulating. If maybe a hundred thousand of those quarters were going to buy a new Chrysler instead of hanging out in the hall closet, than perhaps the auto industry wouldn't need our tax dollars to save it. If sixty thousand of those little twenty-five cent pieces were being put down on a new big screen TV, perhaps Circuit City wouldn't be closing its doors in communities across this great nation of ours. If 264 million of those two bit coins were being used to sign a half-decent twenty-five year old right fielder to a lucrative contract with the Baltimore Orioles.... Oh, wait, never mind on that one.
Anyway, the point here is that it is time to make the tough choices. It's time to make sacrifices. At least, that's what our president said on Tuesday. Maybe our first sacrifice should be to spend those silly collections of coins that we have worked these ten years to cobble together. And let me be the first to ask of you, does anyone have a spare Hawaii? I can't find one.