The economy is in shambles. If only the people in power would listen to the third-party experts screaming from the sidelines, right? There's no way expert economists are full of shit, right? Wrong. Dead wrong.
#3. Just Give Out Jobs for Free
If the recession is a hangover from the hardest (and most expensive) party that jerk bank manager threw, unemployment is the mother of all headaches that we're having now. It's the most pertinent side effect of the sluggish economy and the primary factor used to measure any growth. So, what if we could end it altogether? That's what the World Economic Forum, a yearly gathering of spunky international experts working to fix the world, set out to do. Using their collective expertise, business leaders put forth a resolution that would solve the problem of creating jobs without actually paying employees.
How would you pull this off? By not paying them, that's how. The resolution stated that in order for teenagers to receive necessary work experience, they should be given a job for two years with no pay. What the resolution didn't account for was that using teens for cheap slave labor does nothing to actually create jobs.
According to MIT economics professor Peter Diamond, even if these teenagers had the ability to land a job more easily in the future, that's still assuming that there will be jobs for them to land. Finally, someone with brains ... there's no way an economics professor at a prestigious school could be wrong.
#2. Yale Professor Suggests That We Mint Trillion-Dollar Coins
The national debt problem always comes hand-in-hand with the economy when the discussion comes up at terrible office parties. The U.S. is trillions of dollars in debt to China. It's not like we can just print that money. Doing so would activate an ancient curse called "inflation" and dig us an even bigger hole that we'd probably try to fill with all the printed money. But that's exactly what Yale professor Jack Balkin wants to do.
"Trust me" is what you will be certain not to do after looking at this man.
He says that there are limits to how much paper money the government can print, but not necessarily how much coinage it can mint. So if the Secretary of the Treasury were to theoretically mint two $1 trillion coins and then just deposit them in the Federal Reserve, the U.S. could write checks on them. Apparently, "modern central banks don't have to print bills or float debt to create new money; they just add money to their customers' checking accounts." Yup, it's that easy. And of course, the government won't do it, because politics.
#1. Staging an Alien Invasion
Anyone with a high school education will cleverly notice that the last time we were in a slump this bad, alcohol was illegal and movies with sound were basically witchcraft. And while FDR gets a lot of credit for fixing everything, the real mastermind behind the upturn was this guy named World War II. So how can we replicate that success? Our wars today haven't done us any good, and it's not like another war will do us any better. Or will it? According to Nobel laureate Paul Krugman, war is exactly what a proverbial doctor should prescribe, proverbially speaking. The catch is that we wouldn't be at war with Australia or something; we'd be at war with an invading alien species.
The reason World War II helped was because the public was all cool with massive government spending. But today, the public is sick of spending, what with Iraq and Afghanistan on our credit card. Krugman insists that if the government were to stage an alien invasion, it would give them the public support needed for that kind of massive spending; in this case, not on arms, but on maintaining the facade.
Naturally, we support this plan wholeheartedly.
Mohammed Shariff is a certified expert in everything. You should totally follow him on Twitter before he goes mainstream.