Taxes and Government Spending.
Tax the wealthy. For one thing, they have money. They are the only people with money. And for another, it’s not as if they don’t reap any benefits from living in society. Wealthy people get sick – and can afford health care.
During the Depression, Roosevelt and Keynes saw that while business owners could hire people they wouldn’t risk capital making widgets they were not optimistic that people would buy. In economic times such as these it is only the government that is both able and also willing to hire. That’s why the austerity programs in Europe are backfiring. We need government programs.
But they must make sense.
For example, what if the government – the US DOE – or the NJ BPU – developed a plan for a 40 kw solar array on every public school in the US?
There are about 2500 K-12 schools in NJ and 92,000 K-12 schools in the US. A 40 kw array, at $160,000 each – $4.00 per watt – which will be the price in 2012 or 2013 – would be 3.68 GW at $14.72 billion. But it would be money well spent because these would generate power without pollution – no mines, no mills, no spills, no toxic wastes. And electric bills for public schools are paid out of tax revenues.
They would be installed here – by American workers. The modules could be manufactured here – by American workers. In West Virginia by former coal miners; in Texas Louisiana by former oil industry workers.
If disconnectable from the grid during emergencies they would provide local emergency shelters with power during daylight hours.
This might not make sense for the Pacific Northwest – too much rain, too much cloud cover – but the Pacific Northwest is great for tidal energy systems.