A Stimulating Discussion (A reprint of Vol. XXIV, Art. 27 … Two years ago today.)
After suggesting some ten or more factors vital to the restoration of this nation’s economic recovery, a campaigning politician is on record to have said;
“But they seem to be beyond the concern of a national administration which can think in terms only of the top of the social and economic structure. It has sought temporary relief from the top down rather than permanent relief from the bottom up. It has totally failed to plan ahead in a comprehensive way. It has waited until something has cracked and then at the last moment has sought to prevent total collapse.
“It is high time to get back to fundamentals. It is high time to admit with courage that we are in the midst of an emergency at least equal to that of war. Let us mobilize to meet it.”
Can’t guess who said that? Give up? It was FDR just before he took office.
Words to that effect could be uttered right now, as a matter of fact, because “relief from the top down” is what we’ve been getting from those so-called “stimulus” give-a-ways. “Relief from the top down”? Nothing could be further from the truth. Those multi-billions of taxpayer dollars remain in the pockets of the gangsters and banksters, which just goes to prove that the term “stimulus” was a misnomer. It wasn’t stimulus, it was payola. Pure and simple payola.
A true stimulus program of, say $ 787 billion, would have directed $ 100 million to revitalize each one of about 100 shipyards. That would use up some $ 10 billion, and 10,000 newly-employed workers at each yard, at about $ 100,000 apiece annually, would use up another $ 100 billion.
In the course of one year each yard could build 20 of the patented container ships for international shipping as well as for Short Sea shipping. If the average cost of these two designs came to $ 50 million per vessel, and even if the government (us taxpayers) had to foot the initial bill for the construction of those 2,000 vessels, another $ 100 billion of the stimulus funding would be used.
Heck, that still only comes to $ 210 billion. With the remaining $ 575 billion we might as well follow ex-DOT Secretary Norman Mineta’s advice and set up 200 more of our 361 ports to handle containers. At $ 100 million per location, it would only cost another $ 20 billion of stimulus funds.
Spending another $ 210 billion in the second year would boost the U.S.-owned Jones Act fleet to 4,000 vessels. And don’t forget:
– Some 16 offsite workers will be needed to support every shipyard worker. More jobs.
– Every one of those vessels will require about 30, or so, U.S. seamen. More jobs.
– Thousands of container port employment opportunities will be created. And still more jobs.
– … and the new vessels will be sold to U.S. owners, thereby reducing the cost by $ 200 billion.
Shipbuilding! That’s how FDR created jobs and mobilized us out of the Great Depression.