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Patriotic RetirementPosted Thursday, November 19, 2009, at 2:13 PM
I remember that when I was about ten years old, I heard people talk about a fellow by the name of John D. Rockefeller, who had a wealth of over a million dollars. This didn't mean very much to me, because the extent of my wealth was the $1.00 allowance my father gave me on the 4th of July, so I could go to the picnic and really have a ball.
Things have changed some since then, as the current administration we have managing our economy tosses the figures of million, billion, and even trillions of dollars around like it was Sunday school money.
Early this year, when Mr. Obama and his cohorts started doling out huge sums of money to large companies and banks, I felt obligated to pitch in my two-cents worth of advice. In an article that I had published on February 11, 2009, I mentioned that I thought Mr. Obama was feeding the "wrong end of the horse."
It now seems that, in many cases, the bail-out money was squandered on lavish parties and unearned bonuses. Despite this bail-out effort, there were 106 bank failures in the United States the first ten months of this year. It was reported that 416 other banks were at risk of failing, since they could not safely lend money to an unemployed society. This would indicate that unemployment is now our number one problem.
Since the bail-out and other stimulus plans do not seem to be working very well, why don't we try feeding the right end of the horse by spending a few million dollars to create a "Patriotic Retirement Plan"?
At the present time, there are about 40 million people 55 years of age or older in our work force, many of them earning less than $40,000.00 per year. So, we can start with these people, by offering them the opportunity to become a part of this "Patriotic Retirement Plan." We can guarantee them a monthly income for the next ten years, equal to the wage they are now receiving, with any and all Social Security Benefits at age 65 becoming part of the guaranteed monthly income.
This retirement plan will create forty million job openings, which will immediately solve the unemployment problem.
To make the offer more enticing, give the retiree a one-time bonus of $250,000.00 with the stipulation that they must immediately buy a new American-made automobile. This move will create orders for 40 million new cars, and the auto industry is soon working full force.
At this point, Mr. or Mrs. Retiree should still have about $175,000.00 of his/her bonus money. Our next stipulation is that they be required to spend this money within six months toward the purchase of a new home, paying off a mortgage on their present home or paying for improvements and energy-saving appliances to their present home.
Presto, the housing crisis is fixed!
To enforce the stipulations of this Patriotic Retirement Plan, there could be a clause agreeing that the monthly income payments will be discontinued, if or when the stipulations of this agreement are not followed.
If this one-page bail-out plan seems too simple to be effective, we may have to send it to our bonus-bouncing buddies in Washington and let them demolish it in a 500-page version of their own plan - or they may just want to file the whole thing in that little round basket at the end of their desk.
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Paul Corbin is a 100-year-old historian, humorist, and amateur archaeologist from Advance, Mo. He grew up in the Greenbrier area west of Advance, where he attended Stepp School on the banks of Cato Slough and the Castor River, important waterways throughout his life. In an age when many area residents did not go to high school, the young Corbin made the decision to walk the five miles to Zalma, graduating in 1933. Throughout his life, he was an enterprising businessman, selling Watkins products from house to house throughout a large area - and later opening a variety store in Advance. He and his wife Geneva traveled throughout the United States, even following the route that the Lewis and Clark expedition traveled. His knowledge of Native American culture is extensive, and he has donated a sizeable collection of his artifacts to the Cape Girardeau Conservation Nature Center and the Bollinger County Museum of Natural History in Marble Hill. Throughout the years, he has submitted articles to TBY, the North Stoddard Countian, the Ozark Mountaineer, and several other Missouri publications. He has also written two books - "Reflections in Missouri Mud," and "Fragments of my Feeble Mind." The first one is out of print.