Throwing a wildcard into the economy?


A small businessman from Seattle has an intriguing way to get a quick cash transfusion into the major arteries of the economy, directly into the cash registers of companies that can put people to work if demand for their goods and services returns.

Dan Newman, a grocer, had a number of reasons to avoid tax cuts, a large argument being that they don’t stimulate enough spending to justify the risk of a hire, among other things. Nor is he excited about another tax rebate check, too much of which goes to paying down debt or into savings accounts. Shovel-ready projects are fine too, but there will be lag time from the drawing board to actual paychecks pumping cash into the economy.

No – his suggestion is for a government issued gift or debit card – he suggests in the amount of $2K – which would be spent at the user’s discretion. “The American Gift Card could bear a picture of Lady Liberty,” he wrote, “since it may be spent for whatever taxpayers wish: smarter clothes, dinners out, a weekend away, a new heater. And as gift cards tend to be used in person, they are of particular interest to local businesses.”

Newman’s comments are from an OpEd published in the 2/7/09 Washington Post.

RBR/TVBR observation: And if local businesses are interested, they may make a special effort to make sure they are in the plans of consumers ready to consume once more, especially at the local level. This is one stimulus idea that could directly benefit local broadcasting – give it some thought, and if it seems as good an idea to you as it does to us, maybe the power of the tower can help make the American Gift Card a reality.