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Federal Advertisement Policy Agency

Provides a powerful new lever for economic control
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We are in dire economic straits today, to the point where the American government is considering minting a trillion-dollar coin in order to relieve pressure. We are down to this because interest rates are already as low as they can go, and taxes also cannot be made lower without bankrupting more cities. The government has simply run out of "levers" that it can pull to effectively influence the economy.

I propose the creation of a new and powerful economic technique - governmental control of the quantity and percentage of advertising.

Here's how it would work. The content of ads would remain free to create and still be sold to whoever wishes to buy it, but the government would create a new federal agency that would dictate (a) the *required* number of minutes of TV ad time aired per day by every channel; (b) the *required* percentage of TV screen space per day that must be filled with pop-up promotion ads; (c) the *required* percentage of web sites that must be filled at all times with nonclosable ads; (d) similar statistics for movie previews, billboards in public spaces; etc.

I assume that by raising and lowering these percentages, the federal government could directly influence the public to buy more or less, as needed, to keep the economy healthy. This would allow the government to more directly encourage people to buy or not-buy things than the current indirect method of increasing/decreasing the money supply. A bonus would be that the more ad space is available, the less money companies would have to spend to compete for it, so the companies could earn higher profits exactly during these times of need.

Thank you.

phundug, Jan 13 2013


       heavily edited   

       We make our beds, we lie in it   

       When what your doing isn't working, then doing more of it, faster and harder, should give you even more of the same. In this case more debt. I think the Government has done about enough.
Brian the Painter, Jan 13 2013

       Where's your wife's idea?
rcarty, Jan 13 2013

       Wanna see it again?   

       "stupidest fuckin idea ever!"   

       that's what she said
Brian the Painter, Jan 13 2013

       I don't think it's nearly as bad as you say. It's'basically 'allow government to regulate advertising for better market performance'. Not a great idea, but not really that bad. It's more boring than anything. For all I know there's already a ser of advertising regulations in place. Likely not these exact ones, but similar ones regarding how much is possible and when and where.
rcarty, Jan 13 2013

       Your so level headed. Since you put it that way...   

       The idea is fantastic in and of its own. Its just painfully obvious to the rest of the world that Americans like to have more than they are able. I mean look at the size of them. We have some big dudes too but damn! Also with all their unions and high wages its no wonder China has been squirreling away all that american cash. How did you not see this coming?
Brian the Painter, Jan 13 2013

       As I understand it, the problem isn't that people are hoarding cash (and thus not spending) it's that the people haven't got any cash (and thus are not spending).
calum, Jan 13 2013

       So how exactly does this idea redistribute resources away from the 1% of people who currently control 99% of the money, back into the pockets of ordinary people?
pocmloc, Jan 13 2013

       //back into the pockets of ordinary people//   

       where does one even begin to address the breathtaking ignorance of this comment.   

       All the government has to do is to reduce the payroll tax (which they did in the past) or the gas tax for that kind of effect, [phundug] -- with provable results.   

       But in general repealing the business cycle is a bit harder than building noise cancellation headphones -- in theory you can do counter- cyclical things -- but in practice, it's hard, because the cycle is the result of many individual decisions that has tremendous inertia.
theircompetitor, Jan 13 2013

       This all presupposes that America's financial crisis is somehow an anomaly or error which can be corrected. It is not - it's a simple inevitability.   

       The world is now global (no, hang on, I mean yes, but...anyway, you know what I mean), which means there is bound to be a levelling toward the point where everyone enjoys the same standard of living. The fiscal landscape will continue to change _whatever_ you do, until everyone is at the same level and money stops flowing downhill. How is this not obvious?   

       The next 50 years will, therefore, be bad for the affluent West and good for the inaffluent rest of the world. The plus side is that the material wealth of the planet is not fixed but is increasing greatly year on year, so eventually everyone wins. The minus side is that people always judge their wealth relative to that of other people, and the West will never again be so much richer than the rest of the world.   

       There is almost certainly no way to dam the economic waters and prevent them from finding their own level. If there is a way, it is probably to start a major war (it doesn't really matter with whom), which tends to skew things quite a lot.
MaxwellBuchanan, Jan 13 2013

       You forgot the bit where you raise enough taxes to allow governments to build the necessary infrastructure to connect the people within your economy so they can make a go of it.   

Stop throwing away 50% of food produced.
Manage fresh water reserves more carefully.
Reduce birth rates to sustainable levels.
Develop sustainable energy resources.
UnaBubba, Jan 13 2013

       We don't have a shortage yet. We have a problem with the images used to sell us food. We've somehow convinced ourselves food will taste different, based upon how it looks.
UnaBubba, Jan 13 2013

       we'll have a food shortage right after we have peak oil.
theircompetitor, Jan 14 2013

       Possibly. However, we can still grow new food every year. Oil is a little harder to grow.
UnaBubba, Jan 14 2013


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