The bailout is going to cost taxpayers, both present and future, a huge amount of money, something for which we'll be scrambling to turn out our pockets for generations. So, here's an immodest proposal.
Issue a special-issue low-yield bailout savings bond, available in 500K or 1 million USD denominations, marketed at potential immigrants to the U.S. If you are a permanent resident (green card holder), and you purchase a 500K bond, you get expedited U.S. citizenship, and if you are a non-permanent resident, the purchase of a 500K bond will get you expedited permanent residence status. Or you could buy 1 million and go straight to citizenship. The usual residency requirements will still apply (which would have a large positive impact on the housing market).
The population of the United States is a little over 300 million. The increase in population would be a drop in the bucket. Moreover, this would be a self-selected population, evidenced not only by the willingness to pick up and leave their country of origin (thus entrepreneurial in spirit), but also in shelling out half or one million US dollars. The individual who can afford to shell out/lock in 500K or 1 million USD, given a residency requirement, will very likely be spending significantly in the U.S. economy, thereby speeding up the economic recovery even more.
Of course, you might ask, who is the target market here? There are wealthy parents in China who easily spend a couple million dollars for their child to go to school in the U.S. (housing costs, navigation of bureaucracy, etc.), some to escape the grueling examination system which still suffers from a low number of slots for the number of students, others because they wish to seek a long-term existence in the U.S. anyway. So, grant them citizenship. Make life easier for everyone. It'll be worth a couple million to them, and the economy needs it.
Current music: Bon Iver - The Wolves (Act I And II)
Labels: capitalism, economy, immigration, prose, rant