There is a solution with a place for the unemployed to work
There is actually a simple and practical answer if we support it.
The world is demanding a green energy revolution. There are millions of manufacturing employees, some nice large vacant factories and a lot of managers available for duty. There'd be even more resources and less opposition too if the US auto industry has got what is deserved from its (lack of) efforts in this area.
With millions of talented employees going cheap and demand for a truely green future at an all time high and rising fast, the green revolution could only move in one direction. Wages would rise and increases in stock prices could quickly see everyone earning more than they did in the auto and banking sectors. Something like the .com bonanza. This money would radiate to other industries and so those that got us into this mess would have got us out of it.
Even if another bubble is created, at least we'd be left with massively improved energy and transport infrastructure when it bursts. The great irony being that it was those working for comps that tore that infrastructure apart or prevented any progress on energy policy that would be the ones that rebuilt it and changed it whilst fixing the economy (at least temporarily) in the process.
Best of all, this energy revolution would precipitate a green transport revolution which would tightly nail shut the coffins of auto makers that continued to obstruct progress and would reward those that moved in the right direction. Just good old market forces.
Entrepreneurs would indeed be the ones to take these unusued resourced and combine them. So capitalism would be doing just great. Or would it?
So, this is pretty straightforward. Why weren't the auto makers allowed to go bust and the employees reassigned to great new green energy comps in retooled auto factories?
Well, perhaps it's because green = ethical = idealistic = COMMUNIST (said in a loud, deep, booming, echoy voice that seems to add an exclamation mark and a disgusted tone to the word). In the eyes of the west any ethical thinking is seen as anti-capitalist and therefore anti-american and therefore out of the question. Who cares about anything other than profits right? If you're an investor, all you care about is returns. Right?
So, with enormous irony, we bail out the bastards that destroyed the transport infrastructure and replaced it with an unsustainable transport infrastructure twinned with an unsustainable energy infrastructure whilst leaving the managers from the banking industy twiddling their thumbs as the economy tanks when they could all be dragging it out of the malaise by building a better future.
If we don't want to reassign the people working for companies that are making things worse (via creation of a major new competitive industry to mop them up - thus they have been 'reassigned') to a new industry to make things better, then we cannot be surprised when the world finds somewhere else to do the work that is being demanded. That probably means the far east also dominating the next great boom. RENEWABLE energy and transport. Capitalism is exactly what's driving money to other economies. Some in the west are so keen to pretend to have the perfect model, that doing something that would actually benefit the country or wider world cannot be allowed to happen if it throws the model into doubt. The model broke. It's sad that a fear of what ethics will do to the already discredited model prevents action that would solve most of the problems that brought about the model's failure. Unsustainable practices in a disposable world.
Get those bankers and SUV/Pickup builders working on a total infrastructure revolution and something very good will have come from this in a rather poetic fashion. Something that leaves a lasting positive legacy with a paradigm shift in consumer and business ethics. The future looks brighter already doesn't it? -Unless you run an oil comp or an SUV parts plant, etc etc etc or associated business!!! Oh shit. That's everyone against that idea then!
Except perhaps those that see an opportunity. Someone mentioned entrepreneurs. Let's hope they're not too patriotic as that would conflict with capitalism right now. If they were real capitalists, they wouldn't be investing in the west after all. And besides, if all they care about is returns, then that means adopting an unthinkable tactic of the enemy. Ethics. A green revolution and a change in infrastructure that seems to be against the national interests any country whose largest comp is an oil comp! Lol.
You don't need much tarmac for railways. Or any fuel oil once there are plenty of solar, wind-farms, tidal energy, etc. With a mass transit infrastructure like that torn down in the mid 20th century by a recently bailed out auto maker , we won't need much oil for cars either as there'll be less of those and those there are will be both smaller and more efficient with a corresponding decrease in the need for plastics, fuel, tyres, road repairs......... Less cars means less jams means less wasted energy...less emissions...slowed global warming... The cycle of things getting worse could be reversed just by letting the auto comps fail and putting the unemployed to work on a green energy revolution which would result in US energy independance which apparently IS in the national interest. A stronger economy from domination of a new great industry. Ditto.
Perhaps dubya already allowed the opportunity to pass. Someone will take it and collect the returns. The west will have passed up the greatest investment in a long time just to protect an unsustainable past and the delusion that capitalism was perfect. How ironic.