1. Legalize Gay Marriage- It boggles my mind that in the year 2009 this is still an issue. What is wrong with people? I've never heard a good argument against gay marriage. Pretty much all of what I hear involves either the bible or "tradition", which is lame and stupid reasoning. It is obvious to me that we can't just sit back and let the states decide for themselves because the churchie types will always do their best to sabotage things (I'm looking at you, Asshole Mormons. (Prop 8 in California ring a bell?)
It is also obvious to me that Americans will have to be dragged forward by force - kicking and screaming - into accepting same sex marriage, but I have no doubt that they will eventually once it becomes the law of the land. After all, interracial marriage was banned until 1967 and now no one blinks an eye about it - well, that is, they might, but others tell them to shut their racists mouths, thank goodness.
So, how would legalizing gay marriage help the economy? Simple. It would help get money flowing again. I mean, look, even the smallest wedding needs a cake. Buying a cake means a job for the baker. Then, of course, there's flowers (making jobs for florists), music (DJs or musicians), food(catering), booze(liquor stores, bartenders), new outfits(retail), a photographer, renting a place to hold the reception, etc. Wedding guests will buy presents, new outfits for themselves, get their hair and nails done, etc. Honeymoons would mean money spent on travel, hotels, restaurants, and eventually....well, you know the divorce lawyers would make some money too. If everyone is making money then they aren't laying off workers and closing businesses.
It surprises me that the wedding industry is not screaming for this. It surprises me that everyone is not screaming for this! Why are we letting poo-pooing, loud mouth, right wing religious zealots take this sorely needed money out of our economy? Screw them! They can take their bible and stuff it! If there really is a god do you think he really gives a rat's ass who you marry or have sex with? He's obviously very busy intervening in the outcomes of basketball games. (Sorry to stray from the topic, but it always bugs me when players thank God for helping them win. Puhleaze!)
Speaking of religion....that brings me to my next recommendation.
2. Tax the Churches- Why are churches given a tax exemption? It is my understanding that it's because of the First Amendment call for a separation between church and state. That is, freedom of religion in return for religion staying out of the government. Fair enough, I could get behind it if that was the way things actually worked but they don't. Religion is all over politics.
Today's churches have become active political campaigners, sticking their nose in every issue from abortion rights to gay marriage to stem cell research. They are using their money to influence votes (again Prop 8 in California immediately springs to mind) and that is not acceptable! It should not be allowed. The separation of church and state is NOT being followed in this country, and therefore I feel it's only fair for churches to lose their tax exempt status.
At the very least, I think churches should have to pay property taxes. A church is using up valuable land that other people could pay taxes on fairly. Damn, in Tennessee alone this could generate millions of dollars in revenue because there is literally a church on every corner here. That money could then be pumped back into the community.
Churches as a whole take in considerable money, pay nothing in taxes, and always want more. And where does that money go, exactly? If I actually gave money to a church I'd sure be very interested in finding that out. Traditionally churches are supposed to fund charity, which I imagine that most do to varying degrees. But hey, the Target corporation gave three million dollars to charity last year and it still had to pay taxes.
It's time for churches to pay their fair share. After all, if they really believed in charity for all then they'd have no problem with their tax money being used to fund universal health care.
Either pony up, or shut up and get the hell out of politics.
3. Legalize Marijuana- Come on, you know this needs to happen. You've doubtless already heard all the arguments in favor of it. If you haven't just click
here and here for quite a few logical reasons.
How long has this whole War on Drugs been going on anyway? How much money has it cost and how much have we gotten out of it? Is pot any less available because of it?
Prohibition has never worked. Not for alcohol, not for drugs. In fact, it makes things worse. Every time I turn on CNN lately I hear about the drug cartel wars in Mexico and Lou Dobbs whining for the government to send troops to protect the borders. Damn Lou, why don't we just legalize weed and put the drug cartels out of business? Let the government tax it and watch the money flow in.
It would, you know. Plenty of people would happily pick up a bag to smoke after work, the same way they pick up a six pack of beer. The arguments that say that Americans wouldn't buy taxed pot because they'd grow their own is silly. The beer industry certainly hasn't suffered from home brewing being allowed. It takes effort to grow qood quality weed and most people are too lazy. In addition, think of all the money to be made from the merchandise that goes with pot. Bongs, papers, pipes, grow lights, tie dyed tee shirts, salty snacks. (If it gets legalized, I swear I'm buying stock in Frito Lay!) And hemp itself has loads of uses, everything from paper, to cloth, to biofuels.
It's already the number one cash crop of California. Why aren't we making money off of it?
You know, I remember watching that "very special episode" of the show Different Strokes as a small child. Do you remember the one? Where Nancy Reagan gave a talk to Arnold's school and pitched her "Just Say No" campaign to the kiddies? Even way back then I was skeptical. I remember thinking, "what a bunch of crap. That's never going to work. That old biddy should mind her own business and get a new hairdo, because that one looks like a helmet."
I guess I wasn't the only one who scorned her message. Willis and Kimberly certainly didn't listen to Mrs. Reagan either.
Look, humans like to alter their brains. We have since time began. We will till time ends. You've used drugs. Everyone has. Caffeine, alcohol, chocolate, tobacco, all of them used daily by people across the country, all of them change our brain chemistry. Marijuana is no different. It's not a gateway drug anymore than cigarettes or coffee are. We won't suddenly become a nation of stoners. Pot is not evil. I'd argue that alcohol is much, much worse. Alcohol is legal. Are we a nation of falling down drunks?
Legalize it, tax it(fairly), and set aside a portion to pay for drug and alcohol rehabilitation.
Well there you go. There are my three ideas to help mend the economy. I really think those three things would do a lot more good then what is currently being offered by the Dems (throw money at everything) and the Republicans (do nothing, let the markets and Jesus fix everything). Too bad none of these will even be considered.