I’m still undecided on the bailout (though I’m 98% opposed to it), but I do like Jeff Jarvis’ perspective on the $700 billion. Among a list of national initiatives which would cost less than $700 billion, he highlights:

  • We could be spending a lot less to get a lot more. A national wi-max buildout would cost between $5 billion and $14.5 billion.
  • We could provide broadband access to every one of those homes for about $300 a year.
  • We could buy 3.5 billion One Laptop Per Child machines.
  • Or we could give 4.4 million Americans free college educations at private institutions.
  • we could more than triple total annual R&D spending in the U.S. I can’t find total R&D on alternative energy but with this money we could multiply what Google.org is spending by a factor of 35,000.

Of course, I’d be almost sure to oppose any kind of government-based distribution of $700 billion (especially assuming that’s taxpayer funded), but Jarvis’ ideas definitely pique my continuing interest in large-scale private, action-based wealth distribution plans and how they might shape our world.