I think the Cash for Clunkers idea is a good one (although I can’t wait to see the unintended consequences: “We're just parking these clunkers here for a little while, Mr. Mayor”). Having said that, I think we should extend the program into other areas.
How about Cash for:
Old servers. Many companies are limping along with outdated, slow, energy-draining servers that are, most likely, limiting their company’s growth.
Old product literature. In storerooms all over America, there are piles of old literature, brochures, and the like. Pay to pick it all up and burn in some big city incinerator for winter heating. (Note: You may need to build a city incinerator first.)
Government workforce centers. Just give the savings to every person who is unemployed, or, better yet, hand over a new computer. It would be a wash, money-wise.
Cassette players. I still jog with a Sony cassette player. Talk about a clunker. Besides, I want one of those new iPod things.
And speaking of music, my car has only FM/AM. Can I trade it in and get one of those satellite radios?
Old books. I'll hand over a lifetime of books if you'll give me a Kindle. Or better yet, Apple’s new tablet. That would make me a more modern citizen (decent justification).
Old appliances. Every house has a few outdated, energy-draining appliances. A no-brainer.
Venture capitalists. For each person who says he is a venture capitalist, ask how many separate investments he made over the last six months. If 3 or less, give $100k to each of the companies now “under review.”
What are your ideas for expanding Cash For Clunkers?
G.L. Hoffman is a serial entrepreneur and venture investor/operator/incubator/mentor. Two of his companies have traveled the entire success path from the garage to IPO. Currently, he is chairman of JobDig, and his blog can be found at WhatWouldDadSay.com or at JobDig.com.