Incredibly, what was at the time simply a joke, has now to my amazement, been basically implemented, with a few twists, in the government’s Cash for Clunkers program.
Admittingly, Cash for Clunkers has a nicer ring to it, supporting my contention that the top employees of the Treasury are linguists rather than economists. To the extent that hyperbole, i.e. a “good story”, is the recipe for financial success, this linguistic talent at the Treasury will assuredly be quite beneficial for the US economy in the years ahead.
Given the success of the Cash for Clunkers program, I’m not sure it’s any longer outrageous to imagine the government printing cash, in due time, for almost any conceivable type of garbage, e.g. broken iPods, malfunctioning refrigerators, older HDTV’s etc. As I suggested in the original post, once lemons are able to subsidized, there’s no reason to stop there. The government, can easily rationalize the printing of “cash” for a host of useless products, on even firmer environmental grounds than that offered for clunkers.
My favorite idea for a new stimulus program: Bling for your Burger. This would provide subsidies for healthy food for anyone who brings a McDonald’s hamburger, preferably double-cheese, into their local restaurant. As eating out has become difficult with the recession, Bling for your Burger will definitely help to reignite the US restaurant industry, while simultaneously improving the health of the US population.