Striking a Blow for Freedom

Within a few months, most all of us will be receiving our “economic stimulus payment”. What are you planning to do with yours?

In the immediate aftermath of the September 11th attacks, we were encouraged to “fight terrorism” by spending money; my local shopping center played a continuous loop recording from President Bush telling me to shop, shop, shop. I was forced to make a hasty exit from said shopping center, fearing I’d stumbled into the old Soviet Union or George Orwell’s 1984. But I digress. . .

For this go-around, the message is more subtle but the presumption and hope is that we’ll spend it, rather than invest it or use it to pay off debt.

Given the poor performance of the economy, compounded by swiftly rising prices for necessities, many people will have little choice how to spend the money they receive. But many of us do have the luxury of deciding what we want to do with the money.

At the risk of sounding like we have an incredibly dull marriage, my husband and I have discussed some options regarding what we could do with the money that would best and most directly benefit the country. We have considered:

  1. Donating it to the ACLU, a local food pantry, or some other nonprofit that is fighting the good fight against the damage caused by the Bush Administration. This would strike a blow for Democratic values and send a message that we can’t be bought (or at least not that cheaply).
  2. Investing it in a retirement fund. This would help stimulate the economy, but at least we would be the direct beneficiaries of it.
  3. Donating it to the campaigns of good progressive candidates we support, both for President and down-ticket races. This would certainly put the money to excellent use: taking back our country.

What would you do, or what would you advise us to do?

It’s easy to say that our $1200 will be a drop in the bucket compared to the $168 billion included in the package. But if there’s one thing I’ve learned through my immersion into the netroots, it’s that small actions get multiplied pretty quickly when other people are taking similar actions. One letter to the editor, or a $5 donation to a candidate, doesn’t mean much on its own. When thousands of people do the same thing, though, we’ve shown we can move mountains.

So I ask again: What would be the best use for the economic stimulus payment?

9 Responses to “Striking a Blow for Freedom”

  1. I am going to pay my mortgage payment for one month.

    woo flipping hoo!

  2. DrGail says:

    I know what you mean. Until very recently we wouldn’t have had any real wiggle room either.

    So, if you had flexibility here, what would you do with it? I’m really interested in your thoughts.

  3. Gail,

    I am heading out of the office now but will comment further when I get home.

  4. Sigh… I would have to ask my wife. To be honest, I tuck the surplus from my paycheck into a savings account, though, I would kind of like to use the money to pay down my car payment a little bit.

  5. Dynamic says:

    A tidal wave is nothing more than rain drops working together.

    All those small actions definitely add up.

  6. Ok Gail, to answer your question I think your best bet is to donate the money to an organization like the ACLU or any other such needy group fighting the good fight. I personally like idea of choosing an independent media outlet, my choices in order of preference would be:

    http://democracynow.org
    http://www.freespeech.org/
    http://www.linktv.org/
    http://www.fair.org/

  7. Or she can save up for our In Honor fundraiser later this year.

  8. True, true. Or – she can use it for Comments from Left Field ad-buys!

    Just kidding… no I am not kidding… LOL

  9. DrGail says:

    Ads? Ads? (Poking head up and sniffing around)

    In essence, I look at it that the govt is entrusting us with $1200 to spend in whatever way we feel would best benefit the country. We could spend it on stuff, but I’m kind of anti-stuff-for-the-sake-of-stuff these days. Plus, I’m not sure I trust WalMart or whoever to employ more people, or offer much needed healthcare, or anything else that would have an effect beyond lining the executives’ already fat pockets.

    I like Michael’s idea of funding independent media, to help counteract the effect of the corporate media.

    Then there’s the idea of using it in direct support of people who need it — local shelters and food pantries always need help.

    Sorry to go off into the weeds on this one. I’m just really curious about what other people think would give the biggest bang for the buck in terms of helping right the wrongs of the Bush admin.

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