Friday, March 28, 2008

Jason reveals his own economic stimulus package

Tee hee, "stimulus package"....

So I was eating lunch in our work cafeteria the other day. One of my co-workers, in her change, got on of the new $5 bills, and we were all looking at it. We were all duly impressed by the big purple 5, and then one of my co-workers blurted out, "maybe they changed it to make it prettier so more people would want it". And I immediately said, "No, if they wanted me to desire more money, they wouldn't just make the 5 purple, they put dirty pictures on it!"

And that got me thinking....

The current ~$600 per taxpayer economic stimulus is pretty silly (and I say that armed with one quarter of high school economics). First off, for the vast majority of taxpayers $600 is not a lifestyle-changer. Second, isn't this the sort of free-money handouts that fiscal conservatives are supposed to decry? And finally, it feels wrong to spend our way to prosperity.

To stimulate the economy, you don't want to convince people to spend more (especially when they can't afford it. I can't help but believe behavior like that is responsible for our current predicament). You want to convince people to work harder/smarter/better/more to earn more money. That's where a limited edition of highly-prized pornographic images on legal tender comes in.

Now, it would do no good to make pornographic $5. Most people already have plenty of $5's or $20's they could take to the bank and exchange for $5's. We need a denomination that requires significant but reasonable effort to obtain. Also, bowing to our over-protective instincts, a denomination that children are not likely to see. Furthermore, it should be something with a high enough cash value that people aren't likely to hoard them--the opportunity cost of removing that cash value from your wealth should be higher than the value of looking at dirty pictures. And that's why I propose the pornographic $100 bill. Added bonus--it has not yet been redesigned, but is the next in line. Get on it, Larry Flynt!

Arguments could be made for other denominations (maybe $100 is too low, or even too high), but I think as the highest denomination that I've actually seen in circulation, it's a pretty reasonable choice. I suppose similar logic could also be applied to poorly performing currency. I can't help but think that the $1 coin would've been more popular if Sacajawea took off her top (note, same logic doesn't apply to the Presidential $1 coin series).

The point of all this is...I'd make a crappy leader. But I do wonder how many votes I could get if I ran for President and the entirety of my platform was "I'd replace the current pictures on our money with pictures of naked ladies!"
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