“If the Treasury were to fill old bottles with bank-notes, bury them at suitable depths in disused coal-mines which are then filled up to the surface with town rubbish, and leave it to private enterprise on well-tried principles of laissez-faire to dig the notes up again (the right to do so being obtained, of course, by tendering for leases of the note-bearing territory), there need be no more unemployment and, with the help of repercussions, the real income of the community, and its capital wealth, would probably become a good deal greater than it actually is.”
How long will it be before local officials start touting the tunnel option as a way of boosting the local economy by creating jobs? The trouble with Obama’s infrastructure plan is that it seems to significantly rely on projects like replacing the viaduct that we don’t need and shouldn’t build.
Now is the time for us to lean into the fact that automakers are facing a downturn in demand for their product. Why would we keep building infrastructure for single occupancy vehicles?
So my half-serious proposal is we go forward with the tunnel option to replace the viaduct. Once we’ve dug out the tunnel, we bury bottles with $100 bills, cover it back up and sell the rights to dig them up. That way, we get the benefits without the downside of more infrastructure for something we are trying to discourage. So grab a shovel, and let’s start digging!