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The Fix is it genius ... or insane?

Published November 06. 2010 09:00AM

People across America are talking about The Fix, or its official name, the Patriotic Retirement Plan.

It's not something I've heard much about in our area, but it's a hot topic of discussion in other places.

The Fix is a proposed answer to the big question of how to fix the American economy.

The answer didn't come from one of Obama's high priced economic advisors. And it didn't come from a professor of economics.

Instead, the answer came from a newspaper reader in Florida. I'm not sure, but he's probably a Baby Boomer.

It all began when the business section of the St. Petersburg Times asked readers the simple question, "How would you fix the economy?'

They received all kinds of answers. But one in particular stood out, and has since gone viral.

Here's The Fix:

"Dear Mr. President, please find below my suggestion for fixing America's economy.

"Instead of giving billions of dollars to companies that will squander the money on lavish parties and unearned bonuses, use the following plan. You can call it the Patriotic Retirement Plan:

"There are about 40 million people over age 50 in the work force. Pay them $1 million apiece severance for early retirement with the following stipulations:

1) They MUST retire. Forty million job openings - Unemployment fixed.

2) They MUST buy a new American car. Forty million cars ordered - Auto industry fixed.

3) They MUST either buy a house or pay off their mortgage - Housing crisis fixed.

"It can't get any easier than that!

"P.S. If more money is needed, have all members of Congress pay their taxes. Mr. President, while you're at it, make Congress retire on Social Security and Medicare. I'll bet both programs would be fixed pronto!"

So there you have it.

When I first read it, two things came to mind. First, many say there is a fine line between genius and insanity. Secondly, the answer to the most confounding questions is sometimes right in front of our noses.

In a way, I agree with many who are saying the solution is pure genius.

After all, the U. S. government already has invested our tax dollars in banks, the auto industry, foreign wars, Wall Street and all kinds of things, some questionable.

Why not finally invest in the American worker, especially those workers over 50 who've spent the past decades paying into the system?

But critics are saying The Fix is insane.

They say it's too expensive. Giving one million dollars to 40 million near-retirees would end up costing 40 trillion dollars. That's higher than the national debt, which is somewhere around 13 trillion.

On the other hand, what would it cost us if the entire economy fails? And hasn't that already happened? There are many questions.

Is The Fix ingenious? Is it the correct solution right in front of our noses?

Or is it insane?

What are your thoughts?

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