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Viewpoint: One-armed economic advice to fix the economic downturn

There can be little doubt that America is experiencing one of the greatest economic downturns in generations. I want to offer my humble advice on how to fix the current situation.

If you are parking a car in a parking lot, and you pull too far ahead and bump into another car, the first thing you need to do is to put your car in reverse and back up.

I suggest that if we are to recover from the current economic struggle, we have to reverse the things that have gotten us where we are. I offer four solutions that would go a long way in restoring America's economic vitality.

Solution 1. Terminate or renegotiate America's involvement in various unfair trade agreements (NAFTA, GATT, WTO etc).

It is simply a fact that these trade agreements have resulted in the loss of millions of American jobs.

Essentially these treaties have made it easier for large transnational corporations to lay off their workforce in America, and replace them with overseas workers making far lower wages.

Millions of good paying jobs have been eliminated state side contributing to the rise in unemployment.

Further, when whole industries ship their jobs overseas, there is a ripple effect in the economy. Those millions of workers who have lost their jobs either have to get government assistance or take lower paying jobs or both. Since these workers have far less money, related industries are hurt as well.

Companies that want to be loyal to America and American workers are placed at a severe disadvantage.

While their competitors are exploiting foreign workers with extremely low wages and benefits and not held to environmental and governmental regulations, American-based companies have to fulfill them all.

Solution 2. Put an end to illegal immigration.

Millions of workers have flooded America from the south. They have taken millions of jobs from American workers. The effect has been to drive up the unemployment rate among American workers.

Businesses exploit the cheap labor while making huge profits. Since the illegal immigrants are willing to work for such low wages, they drive the salaries of American workers down.

Millions of American workers are unemployed because illegal immigrants have taken their jobs.

Solution 3. Let free market capitalism work.

A basic premise of our economic system is that it is self-correcting, rewarding good decisions and punishing bad ones. Rather that having government bureaucrats centrally managing the economy, things like the law of supply and demand drive the economy.

If companies are mismanaged, they must be allowed to suffer the consequences. But we are currently told that many of our companies are too big to fail.

Well then, learn from Teddy Roosevelt and split them up before they get too big to fail and demand billions and even trillions of dollars of taxpayer's dollars.

Further, if people aren't buying the cars your making, make a better car or go out of business.

If credit card companies and banks are extending loans to people who are simply not qualified for them, they should not come running to the government to bail them out. When you roll the dice, sometimes you lose.

Solution 4. Better decisions by government.

America has been running a budget deficit throughout the past eight years to the shame of the Bush administration.

This has had the effect of lowering the value of the dollar. We keep adding to the debt by spending huge amounts of money in various schemes to save the economy.

It is infuriating that these bailout schemes involve giving billions of dollars of average citizen's money to irresponsible billion dollar corporations.

By rewarding failure and propping up mismanagement, our government is not allowing needed corrections to do their job and therefore are prolonging the economic crisis.

Democrats and Republicans alike are ignoring the lessons of history and leading us on a primrose trail to even further economic woes.

It is time for courageous leaders with common sense to step forward and challenge the thoughtless consensus being mistaken for leadership today.

Lagoon is a resident of Woodbury.