I’m taking this opportunity, and probably abusing this forum, to propose my own stimulus package. Of course, we all know it won’t happen for a number of reasons (too focused on the long-term, could be seen as encroaching as people’s individual liberties, I’m an not now–nor will i ever be–a public figure). Still, knowing full well this is going to fly in the face of an awesome–but terrifying–article I just read in Slate, here ’tis:
Step 1: Revamp public transportation.
I know this is part and parcel of virtually any (sane) person’s stimulus plan, but my proposal is further reaching than revamping what we have. Make it accessible to everyone everywhere, suburbs and rural places alike.
Step 2: Tax The Holy Hell Out Of Cars.
I was going to propose just taking them, but this way people can still have their cars, so long as they pay for them. Specifically, I’m thinking of the Dutch model, in which people are taxed on the cars according to their weight. Want a Hummer? Fine. Just pay the government what it will cost them to maintain the roads you’re going to savage. (This tax could be built in to the corporate tax companies reliant on the trucking industry already pay.)
Step 3: Watch What Happens.
As I said, this plan just occurred to me the other day, when, while riding the train to work, I noticed that I have somehow or other gotten really defined arms. While not amazing in and of itself, it is worth noting a few things as background:
a) While living in the States, I taught fitness classes. Like, a lot of fitness classes. About 15 per week. Meaning, I was at the gym at least twice daily, doing step, kickboxing, pilates, spinning, and weight training for the masses.
b) As such, I was in pretty goddamned good shape.
c) I have not been back into a gym since moving from the States almost two years ago.
d) In that time, I’ve had a baby.
Given all this, it was a shock to realize that my arms were suddenly much more toned than they had ever been. And the reason why became clear the next day, as I was taking the train home from a brief jaunt to an Indian market, heavy bag and big baby in tow. Walking, carrying my own groceries, clinging to my child like a mama chimp, etc., has made me the incredible shrinking woman, while building up some seriously good musculature.
Why would national weight loss be stimulus?
1. It would stimulate the poor farming industry, since junk food is not so appealing to the chronically active. (I say this as someone who routinely consumes at least 90% of her calories as junk food, if I’m allowed.)
2. It would save literally an assload of money in health costs, thereby helping people pay lower premiums. Extra change in pockets = extra spending.
3. The jobs created by the infrastructure part alone would employ a ton of people (doing manual labor, which would also aid the eventual goal of de-fatting our nation’s populous).
4. Public maintenance would go hand-in-hand with this. It’s not so bad to drive by a urine-and-shit-stained sidewalk, but walking in it is unacceptable to all but the brave few who live in Times Square.
5. Why’s it got to be about dollars and cents with you people? The quality and quantity of life would be improved. What do you have against old people anyhow? They’re not all Strom Thurmond, fer cryin’ out loud.
And now I’m going to finish my cookie before I take my 20-minute walk to pick up my daughter at daycare :-P