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Our world is in a state of panic... Afraid to make financial commitments beyond the "sell by" date of milk. Workers are being laid off in almost every industry partly because other workers fear they'll be laid off next and won't buy stuff and keep other workers working. What we have here is a vicious cycle!

Let's sit down and think for a minute- people are always going to need food, housing, transportation, etc.. But as long as panic plagues our economy, we're headed for a depression. That depression doesn't have to happen, and we Kossacks can help bring back prosperity. Over a million Kossacks visit this site every day, giving us billions of dollars in spending power... If we use it wisely. Those of you that are losing jobs have valid reasons for holding on to your purse strings and wallets. But many of us are retired and get a check every month, have safe jobs in stable industries, or are otherwise economicly secure... So with our $$$ we can help revive this economy. And for those of you not so fortunate, hang around- we need your input too!

I'm retired, and every month a Teamster pension fund and the federal government make modest deposits in my savings account. While I'm tempted to join in the financial panic, truth is those pension funds will probably live longer than me, and I'm only 58. So I'm looking for ways to creatively spend my money to stimulate our economy and put folks back to work, and I'm sure many other Kossacks would like to do likewise. So how do we do revive an economy?

Let's start with housing. I spend my summers in the 'hood in Minneapolis and half the homes in my block are vacant and foreclosed. The prices are almost hilarious if it wasn't for the tragedy- little houses asking only $10,000 and huge duplexes for $30,000. Granted, some are trashed and beyond repair, but some are bargains, especially if you're handy. To sweeten the deal, in some neighborhoods there are triple incentives available- the federal tax incentives as well as the Minneapolis' and the neighborhood's incentives. To sweeten the deal even further, you'll get more tax deductions for rehabbing your new home with energy efficent windows, doors, heating units, etc.... If you're a renter or need something bigger for the family and can afford it, it's time for you to buy and help stabilize neighborhoods, put tradespeople back to work, and save energy and the environment. For example, I'm buying my siblings share of my deceased mom's modest winter home in Florida, keeping it in the family and helping stabilize the neighborhood.

Our next biggest expenditure is usually transportation, unless you have expensive tastes (we'll deal with that next). GM has 750,000 cars (6 months supply) in inventory, that's around $15,000,000,000 tied up that GM needs to pay wages, provide health care, and put the Volt into production. My VW TDI is only 6 years old and has yet to pass it's first hundred thousand mile mark, but if your nursing along a full size SUV with 200,000+ on the odometer, it's time to replace it with something more efficent and earth friendly if you can swing it. I'm due for a new motorcycle though, and the dealer who's faithfully provided parts for my quarter century old ones is having trouble getting operating capital... I get $1500 off for buying a new bike now and he cuts his debt by $10,000- that's a win-win!

Back to food. If you buy one of our inner city homes, you may notice a few vacant lots alongside your new home. Many of those lots are tax forfeit and can be bought very cheaply. I bought two vacant lots adjoining mine from the county for $100 each and gained enough space for a garage and a garden... See, I didn't forget food. So buy up some of that vacant land, put in a garden, and help stabilize the neighborhood while growing good and cheap eats. Or if you can afford it, buy more land- I'm considering buying a few rural acres with my share of the inheritance. Sustainable farming is a lot easier if you own your land free and clear... Land prices are moderating as the recession is reaching into farm country, and by investing in rural land you conserve it, stabilize rural economies, and maybe make it financially possible for an elderly farmer to sell out and enjoy a well deserved retirement.

The other "stuff"... Look around your house- what needs repair or replacing? Does your bicycle/car/work truck/motorcycle need new tires? Plants have closed and thousands of workers are laid off in the rubber industry. Back to those incentives for energy saving home improvements- they're available for your current home too. Need a new sleeping bag- check out the only american made ones at wiggys.com .

I'll throw it open for your wise comments now- Any more ideas? And you folks that are laid off or facing unemployment- how can we use our dollars to get or keep you working?  

Originally posted to MobilityGeek on Sat Mar 07, 2009 at 05:33 PM PST.

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