A Whitehouse Giftshop - A Suggestion for a Handmade Solution
Could Bring More Money Into Federal Budget and Provide Needed Income To Artists
After watching President Obama's speech today I just had to go to http://Whitehouse.gov and leave comments. In alot of ways the President has taken a complete 180 on his position. Although it was evident that he himself was not comfortable with the current solution, he is bending almost to the point of breaking when it comes down to administering cuts. He says he is using a scalpel rather than a machete, but if you're amputating needed body parts and removing needed organs that is no real consolation.
What I heard was quite disturbing, and it was as much what he didn't say as what he did; cutting of more medications through Medicare and trying to replace them with generics, protecting seniors and children with disabilities (what about adults with disabilities?), stating that everybody will be sacrificing "a little", which ignores the reality that despite the fact that there has been alot of inflation and the cost of living has increased, those on fixed incomes have sacrified alot already by having no cost of living increase at the first of the year and are living way below the poverty level!
I had been meaning to write and tell him my idea for a Whitehouse giftshop for a few months now but have been working so hard to make ends meet I literally hadn't gotten around to it.
I don't agree with privatization when it comes to health insurance or other government services that would have the effect of putting people's basic survival at the mercy of big industries with a profit motive, but I think there is a place for private enterprise as a means to supplement the federal budget, and it could privide badly needed income to citizens at the same time!
This is not a tax, but rather offering products that people would buy in other venues . When people get something in return they don't mind nearly as much spending money.
This idea could be a win/win all around, and I really hope the Whitehouse will take my suggestion. With all the wonderful products for sale on Etsy, at shows, etc. not to mention all the artists who are struggling to pay all of their expenses, if such a brick and mortar store were developed by the govenment and products bought outright and/or on consignment quite alot of money could be raised and put into government services! This would definitely work with handmade products, but the whitehouse could also start other businesses as well which provide things that people already buy at other venues such a clothing, food, etc.
Getting back to the hand-crafted items though; not only could the Whitehouse have a physical store location out of which to sell these things made by hundreds or thousands of artists nationwide, but they could also set up an e-commerce site to offer these items online! Believe me, I would do it in a heartbeat!
They could do just a standard consignment contract to carry the artists' work; nothing too intimidating nor red-tape filled, and handle it like other privately-owned shops do. For consignment they could do a standard 50/50 split (or 40/60 in favor of the artist), but I would love to see as much bought outright as possible. That could provide alot of added security to artists working in a whole range of mediums and at the same time address the federal deficit.
Just imagine walking into a giftshop filled with all kinds of wonderful handmade items, paintings, jewelry, fiberwork, ceramics, glass, sculpture, and other cool things and knowing that your purchase is also preventing important services from being cut.
With nearly every important and needed service currently sitting on the chopping block; education, transportation, Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security and others, we can't afford to throw out any viable alternative. Granted it's different from the way the government usually operates but I think it's time to re-define its role in society and be willing to update its operations to solve the unique problems we're facing now. There are just some things we should not have to compromise!
Food and gas prices are soaring right now (and those of you who use silver know how high that has gone up).
If you readers like this idea please go to the Whitehouse website link above, and click on the "contact us" link at the upper right side of the page and tell the President!
And President Obama, if you're reading this (or if one of your staff is reading); please try this idea rather than giving into political pressure to cut things we desperately need. Contact me and let's talk! The country's bold economic problems call for bold solutions. This is the language of hope and it can provide a means of economic stimulus instead of impoverishment.