Reshape, Not Restore, Our Economy

| 2/17/2009 9:12:00 AM

Tags: economy, stimulus, Dan Chiras,

The United States is struggling to restore its economy, when it should be working to reshape or rebuild it. There’s a profound difference between the two.

Unfortunately, in our panic to revive the economy many of our congressional representatives have failed to fully realize one fundamental fact: Not all dollars are created equal.

New highways, bridges, and economic stimuli that return the economy to its former state and end up putting more people back into gas-guzzling RVs or too-large or energy-stupid homes do not hold a candle to stimuli that promote home weatherization, new wind farms and green transportation.

Let’s be fair. The economic recovery package recently passed by Congress provides funds for jobs and businesses that promote sustainability like energy retrofits, renewable energy and green transportation. But I fear that much of the rest is meant to simply restore business as usual.

As many who have responded to my first blog realize (A Smart Road to Economic Recovery), we can’t solve the problems we’ve created with the same logic that created them. So what do we do?

I urge all readers to write or call their legislators and write editorials in their local newspapers emphasizing the need to promote sustainable economic activity. What should we be promoting?

Joy Shepard_2
3/12/2009 3:28:45 PM

I say amen to this article. I think that instead of making easier for people to buy homes by giving tax deductions to them, they should be giving incentives and help to those people that want to take what they have and make it greener. I know that a lot of people are sick of hearing "go green" but if we look back at what our ancestors did, we would realize that a lot of what we use and abuse, we can do without. I think that if more people would look for ways to save and not just run out and buy or use something because "they can" we would ALL be a lot better off.

2/23/2009 8:30:20 AM

the scocilest comunist agenda that this magasen promotes is what got us in this mes. the govermint teling us what to do an when to do it. makeing lowns to people that can not pay it back started with the govermint preshring banks to do it or encour a discrimination investagition .that is one of the bigist problems or how about we have oil in the ground but cannot drill for it becous some wacio is wearied agout chang. ever hear of evolution things die an new things come in there place in responce to that chang. the reasioni started reading this magazean was gecous i wounted to be self safishint an live in a safe clean country.but wat you promote is not self safishincy but you promote just the opisit. sher you say grow your own food bild your own house but you alsow say that the govermint should make you do this or that that is caled slavery not self safishincy . i wount to be free to bild my house the way i wount to drive the vehical i wount whether it be a f350 or a electrick car whith out some one telling me that i have to do any thin or i will be punished in some way. ever here of the bill of right s it sead that we have the god given right to life liberty an the persute of happynes . not merdering hour chrildern an sick with abortion an youthanasa .not you hav freadon as long as you do what is politicly rorect .an not hapines as long as it is some comunists way of thinking. sary for my spelling but i am dislexic an a product of a govermint school that dose not care whether a kid kan spell but is very consurned agout making shure that i can put a condume on

2/23/2009 8:28:26 AM

I keep seeing all these comments in many publications about how, if we just had more freedom, the breakdown of the economy would have never happened. I'm sorry, but I see it from a totally different perspective. It was having all this freedom that caused the greed of man to run wild which caused the economy to tank. It is virtually impossible to turn people loose with no controls (i.e. the "free" market) and expect them to do the right thing with the common good in mind. Their ingrained greed will take over. The perfect example of this sits in the middle of Manhatten right at this moment. I grew up listening to Depression survivors who said that it could never happen again. I heard how there were too many checks and balances in place to ever allow anyone to take advantage of the system. Now we have the names of Madoff and Stanford splashed all over the media and the word that the SEC, the entity that was created for all the checks and balances, is the one who let them rape the American public. There has to be a system of laws in place that are constantly enforced to prevent the greed of people from taking the upper hand and that means government. Do we have a perfect government? Absolutely not! But did we suceed in our attempt at a "free" market? Absolutely not! As my ancestors were always saying, "you get nothing for free". Passing laws to protect the enviroment and requiring stringent enforcement of these same laws will get the same results as allowing a not-so-free market to reign over everyone. Laws will prevent what's happening in my own home city; depending on where you live, the zip code and the county dictates what you will pay for enviromental upgrades to your home. I cannot afford to make many upgrades to my home because, where I live, as soon as someone hears my address, my cost jumps into the stratosphere because I have a desirable zip code. Doesn't matter that I don't have the paycheck to match the

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