Dear President Obama:
Though she denies it now, my wife suggested that I write to you about how to boast the economy. I know that you are very busy working on really important things such as renewable energy initiatives, the middle east and domestic political consensus. But please have one of your finest aids read this letter.
The Meat of It
A great way to boost the local economy in communities around the country would be for the US government to sponsor the installation of hat racks in every full service restaurant via a youth jobs corps initiative.
Currently, when you — that is, an average person — go to a restaurant, you don’t expect a place to put your hat. If you wear a hat that can’t be stuffed into your pocket, you may have to awkwardly place it on an empty chair. A woman might keep it on, but that could feel pretentious. A man will probably also want to take it off. As a result few people wear hats that they can’t just push into a handbag or pocket.
The United States has hundreds or perhaps thousands of small entrepreneurs making beautiful hats. Yet because of the constraints of where to put them, the hats are not worn as often as they would otherwise be.
Young people are having trouble finding their first jobs. The unemployment rate for young adults is higher than other age groups. The rate for 16 to 24 year olds recently reached over 19%.
How Hat Racks Would Help
Putting a hat rack into each restaurant would drive the economy in the following ways:
1. Employment would be created as part of the jobs corps. Youth around the country would learn skills and earn money for their work installing the hat racks. According to the census, there are over 200,000 full service restaurants in America. If a youths program cost $20 per install, that would be $4,000,000 of invaluable youth job skills training. The carpentry and organizational skills learned would be useful to many potential employers. And youth are notorious for spending money as soon as they receive it. So the multiplier effect would be large.
2. Businesses making hat racks would have a boost and new hat rack companies would be started. A rack may cost about $25 on average. That would come to about $5 million of rack sales. The government should encourage the use of racks that securely hold hats so they do not fall off.
3. Hat retailers would see an increase in sales. Some of the increase in hat sales would be gradual as hats in the closet that are rarely used will be put back onto heads. After a while, they will need to be replaced. The hat racks will stay in the restaurants for years and have a immense benefit over time.
4. Milliners who make hats would find business is better. Customs will change. Hats were once a necessity to look well dressed and they may again become that popular. Hat wearers will be emboldened by having a place to securely hang their hats. A slogan should be added below each rack such as, “Wear a Hat: Be Happy!”
Thank you, Mr. President,
That Way Hat