Fixing the Country
Board: Macro Economics
I'm surprised no one has mentioned it before. It's obvious once you think about it, because it's already been going on for some years now. The idea is just to take it to a different dimension, a larger scale. A vastly larger scale.
There's no reason the Grand Canyon is called "The Grand Canyon" except that once upon a time somebody decided that was a decent name, and maybe it was. Well, somebody thought "The Chicago Stadium" was a good name too, until United Airlines offered to pay $10 million a year to call it "The United Center." I mean seriously, this is not heavy lifting. Change a few signs around, tell the media they have to call it "The United Center" from now on, and United Airlines takes some of its vast profits and spends it keeping its name in the public eye and maybe even getting a few perks like free tickets to a Bulls or Blackhawks game, or a backstage pass when Lady Gaga plays there or something. (OK, I understand that saying "profits" and "United Airlines" in the same sentence is sort of a bad example, but you see where I'm going here.)
I mean cripes, if one crummy stadium is worth that, what's the Grand Canyon worth? "Hey kids, want to take a trip to see the Exxon Exploratory Ditch today?" "Yayyy, Dad, let's go!"
Heck, the government owns a gazillion of these things. Naming rights for prisons could be sold to Schlage or Master Lock. Every overpass in America could be painted with McDonald's arches. And why call it I-5, anyway? Isn't "The Microsoft Highway" a better moniker? I'll bet Penthouse would jump at the chance to take naming rights on the Washington Monument.
The best thing about this is that it's not really a big deal. Everybody knows that America is in the pocket of the corporations already, this would just admit what's already true, and bring in a ton of cash to help with our current, uh, problem. Apple, alone, is sitting on $75 billion. They'd have to be nuts not to want to slap their cute little logo on every courthouse in America, don't you think? Steve Jobs is a control freak? Well, baby, this is serious control!
Post Office buildings are an obvious one, but it's even better. Why not have the USPS cancel envelopes with a canceler that says "Call Comcast for faster delivery." The Lincoln monument? With all those columns? Looks like a perfect set up for Bank of America, it even looks like a bank already! Smaller corporation and local companies could bid on other things, like street names, or maybe local parks or whatever. Who doesn't want to get their tap water from Johnny's Pizza House Reservoir?
It's been done before, so I won't belabor the point, but if NASA wants to increase its budget, I'd suggest they take a serious look at the moon. If they can't get a few cans of spray paint and a robot up there, why did we spend all that money in the first place?
OK, that's all I have time for, you can take it from here. I gotta go. I've got a meeting with a guy about turning that CD slot in your computer into a reverse ATM machine. You stuff bills in, and, well, I don't want to give too much away, but I'm sure it will work better than my last idea, kitty litter by 3-dimensional printer. That one should have taken off, but the "As Seen on TV" people are stupid and wouldn't pitch in. Dumb. They fund an aluminum wallet and the ah-bra, but not something that half-the-population could use! Idiots.
OK, save the country. Your turn.