Sunday, March 16, 2008

An idea who's time has come

With the US getting more and more dependent on foreign oil, its time to think outside the box. As a country, we need to consider ways to increase conservation, and therefore reduce our need for foreign oil.

Here is a solution that would help lead us in that direction.

Most states have education lotteries where there is only one tremendous prize. It is not unusual for this prize to be many millions of dollars. The prize is taxable to the winner.
Currently the Federal Government does not have a lottery. Now its time they did - but a different kind of lottery, one that would benefit many residents instead of just one.
The Federal Government could run the lottery - and instead of having one big winner, have 10.000 (or more) monthly winners who each win a tax-free solar power installation!
A lottery of this type would have the following immediate affects.

It would be beneficial for the environment.
It would increase construction jobs.
It would decrease the present and future consumption of oil.
It would help the economy, since the money would be put directly to work to build the solar installations.
It should decrease the cost of solar installations, based on the volume of work being contracted out. The decreased costs should also increase the installation of solar power by individuals who have wanted to do this, but have been waiting since the price has been too high.

The lottery proceeds would be used to pay for the prizes, there would be no cost to the taxpayers. To help increase the incentive to buy tickets, non-homeowners could transfer their winning tickets to homeowners.
With 10,000 monthly tax-free prizes, instead of one taxable prize, there would be a greater incentive to buy lottery tickets, since there would be a greater chance of winning. And, since there would be no cost to the consumer (not even taxes) for the solar installation, every installation would benefit him - and everyone else - in future years.
All in all, it would be a win, win situation.

Now, its possible you might think 10,000 solar powered homes would not make much of a dent, but it would be a start. Then again, imagine having this lottery every month - then we might be talking about 120,000 homes in a year. Now maybe we have your attention.

Again, this is an unusual idea - but it is time to start thinking outside the box.