What has it done? NOTHING. Citigroup is still going to fail. Foreclosures have not slowed. The stock markets are still on a roller coaster ride from hell. NOTHING HAS CHANGED. WE GOT F_D !
The best analogy I can think of is where a group of people drum up a panic about an impending storm. They convince everyone around them that if they don't pitch in some cash quickly, the storm will destroy their city. "The longer you wait, the more impossible it will be to avert this impending doom!" So everyone tosses their wallets into the pile and takes a deep breath. But the fact of the matter is that it's a natural phenomena. The market was going to crash anyway. It was building up instability for decades and it was at a snapping point. They got their cash and a very lucrative deal to manage it as they see fit. We got railroaded.
I digress. Sorry.
The solution is to reallocate the people who's jobs are failing to other jobs where we need them. It's not that fricking complicated. Well, maybe it is, but it's worth the complication.
I'll say it again (pardon the broken record): we need to beef up our infrastructure!!!
We need to repair and replace aging bridges, pipelines, roadways, tunnels, signage, electrical systems, and much more. We need to rebuild schools, government buildings, and more apartments than I can point a stick at. We need light-rail, fast-rail, and our parks could use some help as well. Some places I've kayaked looked like they could use a few bodies to help clean up trash that accumulates from ignorant passers-by, maybe some improved ramps and boat slips as well. Highways definitely need help in many places. Even with the reduction in traffic loads that were reported during the spike in gasoline prices, the traffic was still too heavy for the roadways to bear in many places.
There's PLENTY of work that can be done. If the government is going to hand money out and call it "stimulus" or "bail-out" or a "loan" or whatever, they should make it a win-win as well. It seems no matter what their plans are for doling out money to people, they still expect unemployment to rise, foreclosures to rise, retail sales to fall, and the whole deflationary draw-down to begin a "death spiral" as many have called it. Putting people to work fixing up our rusty old crap and making it sparkling new would do us all much better.
So, GM, Ford, and Chrysler are all whining they are going to collapse. No they won't. If they file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy they get a pass to restructure and reorganize in ways they can NEVER do otherwise. They can eliminate overbloated UAW contracts and supplier contracts. They can modify their business operating structure. They can streamline management costs. They innovate. Maybe they just got too big to effectively manage. US corporations have shown a tendency to grow too many arms and legs over time. And for the workers that get axed, that shouldn't be the end of their livelihood fortunes. These are the ideal people to reassign to updating our infrastructure. They already have vital skills and a proven desire to work and provide a quality result. We'd be wasting their talents and wasting a great opportunity for our entire country to let them sit home on unemployment.
Yes, this is identical in scope to the Civilian Conservation Corpse (CCC) work in the 1930's. So what. It worked. We're still reeping the benefits of that program. Everytime you drive down a scenic highway (Skyline Drive, Blue Ridge Parkway) or through a national park, or many major metropolitan bridges, you're enjoying the fruits of that program. What are WE going to do that will last through our grandchildren's children's lives? Are we going to take a hand-out and watch the infrastructure our grandfathers and grandmothers worked so hard on, just fall apart and leave a rusty pile of crap for our kids to deal with? I sure hope not.