The Obama administration announced a new wave of stimulus spending that will pay Americans to do what they do best in these trying times: complain.
“Americans of all backgrounds, black, white, rich, poor, Republican and Democrat, love to complain about everything,” Obama said in announcing the program. “What better way to put citizens to work than by paying them for their whining?”
Nobel Prize winning economist Paul Krugman, writing for the New York Times, called the plan a bold and innovative step forward in putting people back to work. “This is the role of government, to step in where the free market is unwilling or unable to step in and tap into this obvious demand for massive and insufferable complaining,” he said. “This will employ tens, maybe hundreds of millions of people overnight.”
White House economic advisers are projecting a steep decline in the unemployment rate, which is hovering somewhere around 9%. There is hope that complete industries relating to complaints – such as customer service, human resources, and consulting – will see a boost as well.
“The more people complain, the more demand there will be for people to deal with their complaints,” said Eric Hurt, a professor of public relations and economics at Williams College.
The stimulus program is designed to offer direct cash payments as well as tax credits for Americans to complain by blogging, rallying, or protesting. Special incentives are offered to citizens who participate in extreme forms of complaining like rioting or calling in bomb threats.
“Riots create jobs in construction, renovation and clean up,” said former Obama economic adviser Peter Orszag. “And threatening people creates jobs for private security and municipal police departments. In these ways we innovate the sort of market demand for which we traditionally rely on the private sector.”
The announcement comes amid Department of Defense plans to carpet bomb Standard & Poor’s, which recently downgraded the U.S. credit rating. It’s a move which the Obama administration said will simultaneously raise the rating and create new construction and defense contractor jobs.