7 Ways to Fix the Economy
Anyone with half a brain can see that the U.S. economy is in a malaise. It’s just muddling along.
Unemployment is still high. Economic growth is low. Prices are rising for goods and services (just think
gas prices and food prices). Job creation is low (people you know that have been unemployed are still
unemployed). Small businesses are still struggling to survive given decreased demand and tight credit.
The real estate market is in the tank; house prices are still falling and foreclosures are likely to spike
this year. The banks are still in trouble, despite what the Fed says and does. Federal budget deficits
continue to be the norm, requiring additional increased in the national debt. There’s still a risk to the
U.S. economy from the economic crises in Greece, Portugal, Spain, Italy and so on. All of these factors
paint a pretty bleak picture for the health of the economy.
I wholeheartedly believe that the U.S. economy is on the brink of a double dip recession. I would even
argue that the current environment is still recessionary even if it doesn’t meet the technical definition
of a recession. I suspect if you’re one of the millions of Americans struggling right now you’d probably
agree with that. If you’re doing well, you probably haven’t been impacted too much or noticed what
everyone else is going through. Sadly, it’s a situation of those that have a job prosper while those who
don’t have a job suffer, which on a side note is a sad reflection on President Obama’s class warfare
strategy that is attempting to divide this country. While we may not be able to stop the economy from
slipping back into a recession in the short term, we can take some actions to fix the economy for the mid
and long term horizons. I think there are seven actions that need to be taken to get the economy back
Infrastructure projects are great. We do need to have some massive
infrastructure projects, and I don’t think that should be limited to roads. We need to be looking
at infrastructure in terms of rail, power grids, hydroelectric power generation, wind farms,
bridges, nuclear facilities, ports, oil development, and research facilities.
The Chinese are making massive investments in infrastructure. They spent $900 million on
the Tianhuangping hydroelectric project. They’re spending $6.3 billion on the Xiangjiaba
Hydropower project, $5 billion on the Shanghai-Hangzhou maglev railway, $7 billion on the
Xiludou Dam, $14 billion on the Harbin-Dalian Highspeed Railway, $18 billion on the Jiuquan
wind farm, $33 billion on the Beijing Shanghai Highspeed Railway, and $44 billion on building
highways to connect China, India, Southeast Asia, and Europe. Look at what these projects
mean and look at what we’re doing here in America. We’re falling way behind.
The I-73 project is a highway project that would go from Michigan to South Carolina. They’ve
been talking about this for decades, and it still isn’t done. When it comes to roads, we need
to get on it. We need a lot of road projects to make the flow of goods and people a lot easier
throughout the entire United States. Let’s expand I-95, I-10, I-40, and all the major highways.
If they’re six lanes now, let’s make them ten lanes. Let’s go ahead and start getting ahead of
the curve. Our population is going to continue to grow, creating more strains on the ability to
move goods and people easily. Let’s get the road projects going. Have crews working twenty-
four hours a day seven days a week if we have to, but let’s get them done. It wouldn’t take the
Chinese decades to build a road. And while we’re on transportation, let’s work on expanding
our ports. We’re going to have more and more goods coming into the United States, so let’s get
ready for it.
While we’re expanding our road systems, let’s go ahead and spend money on a high speed
railway that connects east and west and north and south. Not only would we be able to more
efficiently move goods and people but we would alleviate congestion on our roads and in our
skies. It should be a pretty easy concept; have the high speed railway follow the major highways
and branch off to other markets as well. Let’s get the project built quickly. Let’s not wait years.
And I’m not talking about the rail to nowhere out in California that people in L.A. need to drive
over 100 miles to get to before boarding to go to Las Vegas. That project isn’t going to do a bit
Let’s work on some wind farms and hydroelectric power projects and on updating our power
grid. Let’s work on offshore drilling, open up ANWR in Alaska, and build the Keystone Pipeline.
But let me throw in another idea with all this. Let’s privatize some of this. We can’t privatize
all of it, but we can certainly privatize a good deal of it. The projects that are worthwhile will
get funding from the private capital markets; those that aren’t won’t fly. Infrastructure has
long been an industry on which governments have monopolies. There are numerous examples
throughout the world of private infrastructure projects from toll roads and bridges to ports to
power plants to railroads. Privatized projects would get built in a fraction of the time as federal
We need to get on these infrastructure projects now—not tomorrow, not the next day, not next
year, not five years from now. We’re getting farther and farther behind. There’s a much larger
public good to be served by doing all these projects. We need to have the courage to just move
these projects forward and to hell with the lawsuits and the protests and the years of studies.
Let’s streamline the whole approval process. It’s embarrassing that the world’s superpower has
an antiquated infrastructure system.