Consider the way the government is trying to stimulate the economy. With one hand they lower interest rates practically to zero to encourage borrowing and at the same time tell banks across the world they need to be more prudent in their lending and that they should maintain larger reserves. And governments are surprised banks aren’t lending all the money? Hellooooooooo…
|Morgan le Fay looking puzzled by government actions|
During the Great Depression the Federal Government through the Work Projects Administration (the WPA) paid a number of writers to collect oral histories and forklore. This work resulted in a few paychecks and 2900 documents in the Library of Congress. This may have made a few people feel good, but it certainly didn’t put a dent in unemployment.
I suggest something a bit grander for the government to provide needed stimulus to our economy. Give a couple of billion dollars to aspiring writers from sea to shining sea. For example, $2,000,000,000 divvied up at $500 a pop will cover 4 million would-be-writers, which is only a small fraction of the 300 million or so people who claim to have written, be writing or plan to write the next Great American novel, but have yet to be published.
You would have to apply for the money, of course. To win a grant you need to (1) demonstrate you have paid more for your writing career than you have taken in, and (2) promise to spend the $500 attending a writers’ conference outside of your region, and (3) promise all the money will be spent in the next three months. I would certainly qualify; however preference points should be awarded to those just starting on their first fiction writing endeavors. Why them and not me? Read on.
What with conference registration, travel expenses, hotels, restaurants, bar bills (trying to get to talk to agents somewhere other than the restroom or tossing down a few drinks to ease the pain after an agent looks at you as though you have two heads when you try to wow them with your hook), paying for extra critiques and one-on-one agent interviews, your would-be-writer will easily go through the $500 and probably spend twice the amount, or more—and that’s just going to the conference.
But like gamblers having won early in the evening and lost three times as much because they continued to play with “house” money long after the money was gone, these would-be-writers will come home all charged up bearing tons of information about how-to books they need to buy, editors they should employ, online classes to polish their first five pages, their hook, their query, their synopsis, the sex scenes, the suspense, pacing – well my fingers tire at the run on sentence, but you can see the needs are endless. That’s why new writers are so precious; they have all that knowledge to accumulate—and all of it will cost hard dollars. So, for a mere $2 billion investment, the government will create multiple billions of additional spending (those who took Economics will recognize we have not even talked about the additional benefits brought on by the multiplier effect.)
Gosh, by the time these enthusiastic writers fill their shelves and their minds, the economy will have expanded by at least ten times the $2 billion investment –enough to generate taxes to pay for all the original $2 billion and probably more.
Well that’s how I envision it working, but you should keep in mind that unlike politicians, I admit to writing fiction.