It’s now considered a joke but back in the nineteen seventies, the Ford administration asked the public to "Whip Inflation Now” by, among other gimmicks, wearing "WIN" buttons. Inflation was roaring along at seven percent but the public was asked to believe that war-driven spending and an inflated money supply were not the cause of economic troubles. Instead it was magic or something, and little pins could make it go away. That didn’t work out, and it wasn’t until Paul Volker took control of the Fed and raised interest rates that inflation actually got whipped.
It looks like we’re heading back into the era of magical thinking. Plans from our nation’s capital promise to rescue the economy by sending out redistributive “tax rebates.” But the latest economic proposal, dubbed The Atlas Solution, takes wishful thinking to absurd new heights (or should that be lows?). The plan is from a New York shopping center, which is planning on giving away money to stimulate retail shopping. Of course, nothing is added or taken away from the economy by this plan—it is simply redistributed.
“Giving away $20,000 will not solve a thing. Nor would giving away $342.8 billion dollars, if every shopping center in the country was silly enough to do the same thing,” Michael Shedlock writes. (Hat tip: FT Alphaville.)
By far the best is the return of WIN pins in the form of stickers reading “I support the Economy!” The brilliant minds behind the Atlas Solution propose wearing the stickers as their number one solution to our declining economy.