Dear President-Elect Obama:
Please allow me to nominate my son-in-law Steve Norman, Director of the Belfast, Maine, public library, for Secretary of Commerce. Steve has come up with an inspired idea for boosting the recessive economy of the United States — it is a better idea than I have heard from anyone else.
You will, I am sure, recall those checks we all received in the spring from the Government that “hoped” we, the consumers, would spend on consumer goods. That did not happen. Speaking for myself, most of that money resides in my bank account to this day. If the money wasn’t saved, it was used to pay off debt mostly, not to buy goods.
However — and this is Steve’s wonderful idea — what would have happened if the Government had provided us, not with checks, but with gift certificates good at any mercantile establishment, but not good for depositing or paying off debt?
That, Senator Obama, would have worked!
It is this kind of innovative thinking that I believe your impending Administration is looking for. Steve doesn’t have an MBA from anywhere, nor has he taken a single entrepreneurial course, but if he can come up with, say, just one idea like this in each of the next four years, he will be the greatest success any member of a cabinet has had in the last eight years (which, I admit, isn’t saying much). I’m not sure how soon Steve will be available to serve in your Cabinet because at the moment he is serving on jury duty in Augusta, Maine. However, it shouldn’t be too long.
So, if you’re looking to stimulate the American economy any time soon, I’ll be looking for my Universal Mercantile Gift Certificate within the next year or so.
What a great idea to have given out gift certificates instead. I hope President-Elect Obama will seriously consider Steve Norman as Secretary of Commerce.
Bravo - it's one of those "gee why didn't I think of that" ideas. Congratulations, Steve, for thinking outside the box.... Now, can you think of something to help the Big 3 in Detroit?
Did ya mail it? You want me to send you a stamp?
I think it is a great idea. Nice picture of Steve and Melora, too.
Paul A. Austin
What a wonderful idea! That's one that would work, and Government has been short of those for about eight years--? Thanks for sharing the photo, too -- Melora has often been in my thoughts, because of your poems, but a photo is grounded in more reality than an imagined picture.
Looking forward to my certificate!
This idea may not be as smart as you think. Current industry stats show that some 30% of gift certificates are either lost or never claimed. Thus, to whom would this 'windfall' be beneficial?
I like an earlier idea, instead of giving $700 Billion to banks and insurance companies, send that to the approx 128 Million taxpayers directly as a check. That will pay off a lot of consumer debts and shore up mortgages from the bottom.
I am not a fan of the 'trickle down' economics that Reagan pushed. Sure, shit flows downhill, but money — not so much.
That's what they tried last spring, don't you remember? It didn't work. People just salted it away. That's what I said at the beginning of this post.