I previously mentioned this advice on how to spend your money in the most efficient and civic-minded way possible, and lo and behold the WSJ has finally caught up with Mr. Tweet just two months later. They asked a bunch of economists just that, and the answers were all over the place, mostly creative and often funny—even the more ridiculous ones like this:
Tyler Cowen, George Mason University: In my view, fixing the banking sector is more important than getting the stimulus right. So if you can afford to lose the money, go to a large bank (more likely to be insolvent), find their most overpriced service, and buy as much of it as you can. That way you are doing your part to recapitalize our banking system.
If you’re stuck for ideas, just keep on using ATM machines, owned by other banks, so you can pay large fees to take out small sums of money from your checking account. When you need to, take all of your withdrawals and deposit them back in the account once again and start all over with the process.
The last one is my favorite:
Robert Shiller, Yale University: I suggest using it to give an extra-generous tip to taxi drivers. They talk to lots of people, especially active business-oriented people, and they will be feeling more upbeat, sensing that some people are feeling flush, and they will communicate this feeling to numerous people, thereby helping restore confidence. If you don’t take taxis, give it to your barber or hairdresser. They talk to a lot of people too. This will also help people feel that Americans care about each other, not just about rich people.