Retrospective: Back in 2013, Thomas Friedman suggested a way that the President should promote the truth of today's world in globalization, what jobs are past and how to open opportunity for today's and tomorrow's jobs, reinvestments needed, and -- the best part -- to get and stay aspirational:
- Connect every household to the internet, at a gig per sec. Internet offers opportunity for education, ongoing learning, information about personal and national economic issues, help us invent how to become prosperous as a whole again. See http://www.nytimes.com/2013/01/16/opinion/friedman-obamas-1-2-punch.html?_r=0
1. Freebies, such as internet equipment and access, even through subsidies, increase productivity. Internet access targets to long-term societal and personal productivity goals, not in job-seeking, mobility. Wire the nation. That is as true today as it was in 2008 when this post was first written, in 2013 when I updated it, and now in 2016 -- ditto and progress made.
2. Giveaways, like inheritances, homestead acts, subsidies including for child care, see http://spotlightonpoverty.org/spotlight-exclusives/child-care-assistance-meets-needs-poor-working-families/ boost opportunity and do not foster dependence.
3. At issue today is America's productivity, its ability to compete, its funding of essential functions. An approach: look at the role of a targeted boost, to individuals or groups. Look at a boost that helps address the inability of many to get easily online. That bar to the information highway, with all its potholes, hinders their productivity, access to resources for quality of life. The bar can be geographic, economic, ignorance. Lower that bar and let people come over. Is that possible or feasible?
A boost to online access is not problem-free. But it clearly has the capacity to improve literacy, education, and foster information exchange, unlimited by private ownership media filters. Do it with computers in storefronts in every urban and rural area. See it already in much of Eastern and Western Europe. Wire the country. Use of it for terrorism, porn? It already is used that way, rather freely. The benefit to the many outweighs that - and that has to be addressed anyway, and better. Get to it.
Boosts are part of our heritage - with both its positive and negative side. Time to accent-u-ate the positive. Give an ear at ://www.jibjab.com/view/158980/.
The essence of any economy's growth is targeted stimulus. Any individual life benefits from some targeted freebies.
Here, after a look at the history of our own freebies in this country, our heritage of giveaways; we propose a particular one: We lay out the idea of a freebie nationwide, to stimulate seven weaknesses in our productivity at one blow. Use computers.
With computers, we can foster literacy, self-education, provide coupons for food deals and access to where the best prices are, give kids something to do at home, even when stuck there on curfew, or in the neighborhood, help elder-brains, teach English, history, sanitation, culture, cooking, nutrition, and any other subject you want, offer information for health and politics.
Eastern Europe fosters local internet spots, Go to the computer access space at Trebic CZ, at the entry to the old Jewish Quarter area, up the way and turn right.
Moguls, unite. Mr. Gates, please spearhead this great effort. For many of you, this would not even dent your holiday shopping.
We would benefit from a paradigm shift, see ://www.taketheleap.com/define.html/. Shall we finally move away from this cultural idea: That I have stuff out of merit; and the other guy has no stuff period; so obviously he has no merit because he doesn't have what I have, so rule of tough.
Internet joke last year: I have 1,000 cows. You have none. So?
Linked to productivity, freebies work.
The theory here is that well-placed, intentioned freebies, are part of our heritage - our American heritage. Where freebies are targeted, and have an exit strategy and time-line, so the giveaways do not perpetuate without results, and the giveaways actually results in people becoming productive, they are effective.
The benefit of the freebie - it spreads to all those whose gears touch those of the now-oiled recipient.
But it must begin with those most in need - there, at the most needy levels, the lack of productivity pulls us all down. If you start at the stratosphere with boosts, however, no trickling down trickles to where it is needed most. Think of all the new skills and opportunities out there, open through the internet.
What can be learned on the Internet? The one-man band.
Forms of freebies?
Do a hybrid - jobs in fixing infrastructure of course, and putting in place the surrounds needed for work, see Joy of Equivocating, Tax as Restitution? No. Funding and Productivity. Leading to - scroll down - a computer in every house, or at least computers lined up in storefronts in every neighborhood, see below.
Think of it. Think of the freebies in your own family.
Count the ways you received somethin' for nothin' - and it enabled you to exceed what you could have done on your own.
Sometimes a freebie is in getting off the hook for something you really should have been punished for. You got away. Free. Nothing publicized, nothing on your record. Did that help, or hurt? Did you repeat, or do better?
Did your parents pay for your college education? Did you inherit something at a strategic time, so you suddenly had the down payment for a house? Did you marry up, or otherwise receive gifts? Did you land on these shores and find opportunity, freedom and mobility - free of looking so different that you could not escape the stigma of having risen from a slave class somewhere in the world, or with features that identify you as non-European, the norm for assimilation. If your forebears landed that way, and bootstrapped up, should you then justify your headstart from where they left off, rather than having to start from scratch on your own as well?
Freebies sometimes do backfire.
Some people flop - the too-big and too-quick stimulus of the lottery check may lead to waste and ruin, we hear. See ://articles.moneycentral.msn.com/SavingandDebt/SaveMoney/8lotteryWinnersWhoLostTheirMillions.aspx?page=all/ Reward with no work doesn't last long, however. Reward geared to enabling one to become productive, may well.
So, receipt of a stimulus takes preparation, planning, and lining up fiduciary-oriented advisors and barring the cash-suckers. Plan how to use it. There must be constant effort to fight off the sapping kudzu that will spring up all around. Or letting it go to waste.
Others thrive with the freebies they get.
Luck helps, having a relative with means who leaves it to you, laws allowing property to pass to you, credits, refunds, deductions. None of that is merit based. How did freebies help thee? Let us count the ways: See the Faring Well listing, and definition of Welfare at PoseJuxta: Welfare Redefined.
The giveaway regardless of merit is part of our foundation, our heritage.
A. Exploitive, self-serving freebies.
Giveaways to one group can also be unbearably cruel to others - to which some say, rule of tough, history happens. Look at our treatment of Native Americans, Blacks in centuries of forcing them to provide us freebies. See FN 1
B. Bottom Line - Whether the freebie is with "merit" or by force, giveaways do benefit the recipients, and for the long term if targeted to productivity.
Freebies at the right time, at the right place, can mean getting out of the hole. Getting land and free labor - our heritage as Americans.
That is where we are bogged down now. People don't have that way of getting out of the holes they are in. People are in holes they can't get out of without serious giveaways, so let 's do it. It is better than carrying indefinitely an unproductive, restive, population.
Look at the idea of inheritances, by way of expanding the idea of what freebies really are. An inheritance is a total freebie, without merit, some tax attached, but most property passes - and the transfer is not connected to productivity at all. How many third or fourth generations down from the original moneymaker, the creative one, the pusher, have any creativity at all.
Is it true that a life of managing an inherited portfolio creates a sense of entitlement, not a drive to produce in exchange.
Go back to the longer Boosts discussion at Joy of Equivocating, Tax as Restitution? No. Funding and Productivity. Here we focus more on where to begin this era's need for freebies. We all benefit when everyone can be productive, has subsistence, education, is healthy, with backups at home or elsewhere for care-taking. We all get pulled in the hole when we let people stagnate, deep, at the bottom and in the hole, not even on a stable, bottom level of our success "stairs."
But, we do think that freebies have to be in a context, for productivity.
What good is "opportunity," Dear Candidate (the one Who Married Up), if it is across town, the person doesn't know about it, has no way to get there, and the baby is sick.
We put the first freebie on the list, the one with the most impact in education, jobs, health, political participation, at literacy and jobs. Including the Reservations. Especially the Reservations.
Wire the country.
Computers for everyone everywhere. How else to pull us all in, to a united effort, to a common source of information apart from propaganda.
On a practical level, the internet helps find the jobs near you. Print out the coupons. Find the best deals on groceries even. Check out candidates. Learn about issues, away from propaganda. Find facts. Learn English. Learn history on your own. Get literate if you speak English. Learn computer skills - it even helps Grand-Dad's brain. Kids learn how to fix them, local swap centers, repair shops. Come on, you with "disposable incomes" far beyond what you can spend on yourself and your reasonable (?) lifestyle. Invest in your children's future, by stabilizing the culture.
However, doing that will increase competition. Sometimes we think we keep our fellow folks down because that means we can batten down our own hatches without challenge. Keep the bottom ones so busy keeping body and soul together, that they can't apply for our jobs. The American Way of those already arrived?
Of course, put in whatever safeguards we can on cyberbullying, and predatory behavior - the same things the upper level kids deal with. But the dangers of the internet are no reason to keep an entire segment of the population ignorant of the tools they need to get ahead. You doubt the increase in productivity if people have access to information? Go to Dubrovnik, and see the kids, and adults, at the computer banks, for amusement, for business, a hub of opportunity. Europe and other global areas are exceeding us in student education, productivity. Change the paradigm - that we automatically are best. Is it UnAmerican to say we need to catch up? No. It is the ultimate in being American to want the best ability for our country to contribute positively to the world.
We need to catch up. Catch up? Catsup? Ketchup? Teresa Heinz, see ://www.heinz.org/about_board_bio.aspx?BoardID=2/, would you contribute a percentage of the Heinz 57 to computerizing the country? We used to take school field trips to the pickle factory and get a free pickle pin. How about a computer instead of the pin?
A. The source of our "freebies" in land. We gave ourselves lotteries.
Recall the forcible removal of the Cherokee, arrested, dragged, as other Indians before (some 90,000 Native Americans forcibly "relocated), see nu na hi du na tlo hi lu i, at http://www.powersource.com/cocinc/history/trail.htm; "the trail where they cried," ://www.firstpeople.us/FP-Html-Legends/LegendOfTheCherokeeRose-Cherokee.html/.
If this is unfamiliar to you as an American, and you think it is UnAmerican to raise it, do take a few minutes. Read about it, the expulsions, here from parts of Georgia in the 1830's, the 'Trail of Tears" killing so many, and the lottery following divvying up the gold and farm land for the whites. See ://ourgeorgiahistory.com/indians/cherokee/trail_of_tears.html.
Some freebies came without that particular direct cruelty. The land was already vacant or "vacated" earlier, other occupants earlier pushed back..
No difference. We still gave ourselves freebies. at others' expense. Look how we filled the land up, say with over two centuries of blacks giving us freebies, forced labor, blacks at work, whites building family fortunes.While their own cultures and families and sense of worth was shattered.
Go ahead. Look.
Part of those issues, are behind this proposal -- to give back to others as part of national policy ongoing. We ought to.We owe it. To these particular individuals? Tenuous, because this is now generations away, say some. So do it because we did other people in, whenever we did it, in order to get ourselves ahead, and we need to.
B. Freebies from us to us. FUTU.
More on our history - Colonies needed boosts when altruism failed, as it does. The hale and hearty in Plymouth got tired of working the common plots so the weaker could be fed - so the good governor (Bradford was it?) re-thought the economy going on/ Instead of just a household plot and an acre for one's own, he upped the ante. He gave 20 acres for each person in the household - people could barter, work for each other, work out their own way of addressing all their needs, and they did. Famine, farewell. The stimulus of something for nothing - but it took giving enough away that everyone could get out of the hole. See the Joy of Equivocating site above.
Look up General Sherman's short-lived but significant 40 acres and a mule on the coastal areas of Georgia after the Civil War - the rest of the slaves now free were free to flounder. Land rushes, the Oklahoma land allocation plan that let people line up in their buggies or whatever and take off - claim what you can, stake it out, and it's yours. Free. The "Sooners" they were called - whoever got there soonest won. Or was it those who jumped the gun? See discussion at Joy of Equivocating, Tax as Restitution? No. Funding and Productivity. The GI Bill? That was really earned, but the form it took - education rather than $10 more per week - looked to productivity in the future.