Monday, February 16, 2009

What I would do with the stimulus package

Let's make it clear: I do not support the idea of a government cash handout.

Debt-ridden citizens will buy more plasma screens and things they don't need. They will not create one single job by blowing their $900 within a week. The only people scoring from this would be the shareholders of the large retail companies – Harvey Norman, Dick Smith, and so on.

This has been confirmed by the previous $10 billion give-away. Apparently Christmas shopping increased slightly - so what? Who's going to get a job because of that? Christmas is long gone, and nothing has changed, except the government telling us we need to blow more money to save the country. This logic amazes me.

I am no expert. I just look at things and wonder. So here is my idea:

Australia's economy is supported heavily by the mining sector. This is where the boom started, and this is what ended the boom. Ravensthorpe mine closed the other day. Where were the billions from government? Couldn't they save the mine with some of this money, by investing into it?

Now, here's what I would do:

Resource prices are low at the moment. The government can spend $30 billion buying minerals from mines in Australia at fixed prices. These fixed prices should be slightly higher than the current market price, and should be calculated in such a way as to keep mines alive, without them having to fire people, but also without them making excessive profits.

The government can then stockpile these resources. This alone would create many jobs.

Once the global market recovers, or as soon as metal prices rise above the fixed price level, the government can sell off these stockpiled resources and actually make a profit from their investment.

No mine would be forced to close down, no jobs lost in the mining sector, and the government would sit with a heap of wealth that no other country in the world would have.

This would be an INVESTMENT, in stead of a cash handout that has a 5% chance of creating wealth and an even smaller chance of creating jobs.

Now that's what I would do.

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