Even though I am not totally into socialism, I have some leanings that way.
Seems like government spending, like the stimulus bill, is a better way to boost the economy than low interest rates. Low interest rates would favor private enterprise while government spending is government.
Seems like low interest rates mostly just push up existing asset values rather than create new wealth and jobs. Seems to shift savings away from banks and toward home values which, in turn, make people more protective of their neighborhoods. This can put a chill on new development.
I remember the 1960s when interest rates were higher. Modestly higher, at least. Maybe around 5% on money in a regular bank.
Back then, people tended to use banks more to save money. I think retirement savings was more based on banks.
These days, a lot of savings is based, instead, on real estate investments. People use owning a home as their savings. Savings for retirement goes into real estate and / or the stock market.
One of the problems is that folks become very protective of their real estate investments. This makes it harder for communities to plan changes and growth as folks worry that changes will harm their investments.
Back in the 1960s, growth was easier to come by. Probably for several reasons. One reason was, of course, less worry about the environment, but also there was less worry about one's real estate investments.
There's less worry if money is invested in the bank as the bank is more distant and diversified in it's investments. Also, back in the 1960s, at least, bank investments were protected by FDIC as they still are today.
Not in earlier decades like the 1920s, but that's a different era. In the 1960s, money in the bank brought peace of mind. FDIC still backs bank investment today, but few people use banks for investment purposes anymore with interest rates so low.
Interest rates have been brought down since the 1980s to stimulate the economy and fight unemployment. Problem is, there might be better ways to stimulate the economy.
Seems like low interest rates are made possible by the Federal Reserve creating money. Creating liquidity.
I say that if they are creating this money anyway, might as well give it to the government to spend, rather than having low interest rates. The government is a consumer that props up the rest of the economy. It can be used to build needed infrastructure and so forth.
Then bank interest rates can gradually be brought back up again without causing a deep recession. Real estate can become less important in people's portfolios and cities can, again, more easily adjust to growth if people become less concerned about loosing their property values.
We are kind of gridlocked the way it is now. As we adjust to a greener economy, we will need to see lots of changes. Windfarms in the neighborhood, for instance. Tiny home communities. Density, new power lines, the smart grid and so forth.
In the 1960s, people seemed less afraid of change for several reasons.
I think low interest rates that have tended to shift investment strategies more toward real estate have made it harder for businesses and communities to make changes. Harder to accommodate the growth that's needed to keep up with population growth.
Yes, population growth should be slowed down, but people are too worried about change effecting the value of their real estate. This creates a collision course of fate.