The following suggestion at first seems impractical because it is so simple: What if we, as a society, simply give consumers money to spend in the economy? In other words: What if the way to achieve the strongest possible economy is to give every citizen more money to spend? For example, what if we gave every citizen of the United States $25,000 to spend? $25,000 sounds impossible the first time you hear it, but consider the possibility.
Would this simple step -- giving money to every consumer -- accomplish the five economic goals set forth in the previous section? Yes. It would be a huge boost to the American economy:
* The economy would be strong because of all of the consumer spending.
* The economy would be stable because income (and therefore spending) would be guaranteed.
* With $25,000 per year to spend, innovators would no longer be forced to work -- they could focus their energy on innovation, living off of the $25K per year they receive. Inventors would have time to invent, writers to write, entrepreneurs to breed new companies, etc. They could devote all of their time to innovation. There would be billions of dollars for people to invest, especially in their own businesses. And investors would have a stable marketplace into which to introduce new products.
Most importantly, it would create a nation where the citizens are truly free. If every person had $25,000 per year in today's dollars to spend, they would be able to live their lives even if they lost their jobs. If robots took their jobs it would not be catastrophic. People would be able to weather the robotic takeover, retrain and move into new careers.
For the last two weeks, I had intended to write up a little review of the new Star Trek film, but then I got thinking about what this franchise has meant to me. Don't worry — I'm not some loon who knows the stardate of when Kirk took his first swig of Romulan Ale, and I certainly can't translate Shakespeare into Klingon. However, I'm not a casual fan, either. I've seen enough Star Trek to know what the prime directive means or that Uhura's name comes from the Swahili word for freedom.
A personal history piece on Star Trek, complete with my term paper circa 1993."
"Lead us in a few words of silent prayer." -- Bill Peterson, former Houston Oiler football coach