The Federal Reserve today decided not to increase interest rates, saying they’re trying to help ease unemployment and stimulate the economy, which has stagnated. However, they seem to be upbeat that unemployment didn’t get worse, which I guess is a mixed blessing at best.

That standards for how “well” the economy is going are so low that it’s scary to think about. Saying “unemployment didn’t go up” when it’s already high doesn’t inspire confidence in anyone. Saying “foreclosures are coming down” still says there are way too many foreclosures for the housing industry to deal with. Saying “all the banks that got government money have paid it back” doesn’t mean anything since some of those banks are actually on shakier ground because they paid the money back instead of shoring up how they did business so that they could return to some kind of profitable respectability once more.

I keep thinking I’m missing something overall. Whereas I came up with my own five ways to spur the economy, I’m not seeing anything coming from either Washington or the states. It seems that overall everyone else is more interested in politics than actually trying to do something. Well, I have three more things that could be tried that might help stimulate the economy; check these out:

1. Malls across the country are having a hard time getting stores, especially anchor stores. So, my thought is to recruit large retailers with an offer of opening a new location in major malls at half the normal rental rate for 5 years, and no federal or state tax on those locations only for 3 years. If there are any county taxes they’d still pay those, since the counties probably need the money. Those stores literally hire hundreds of people, and they tend to draw other stores to the mall because they know shoppers will come because of the larger stores.

2. Work with community training centers to provide actual skills training, and set up paid apprenticeships with companies that do that type of work. Sure, the government might have to help supplement those employers a little bit, but is that any worse than unemployment? All of us would benefit from more plumbers and electricians, and there are plenty of other trades that need skilled workers as well.

3. Set up more small business centers. The reality of today’s world is that a lot of high paying unskilled jobs have left the country and aren’t coming back. Yet, you’re left with a lot of people that have skills they can offer as consultants, or businesses they can open on their own in some fashion that can sustain themselves. What they lack is any real support for things such as how to market and advertise, how to gain capital, how to work with others, how to figure out what to let someone else do for them so they can concentrate on their own businesses, etc. Sure, even locally we have something called the Small Business Development Center, but it’s not anything close to what I needed when I first went into business for myself. Entrepreneurship not only gives people a chance to work for themselves, but some of those businesses will hire others, and it gets people off the tolls of unemployment and the like.

There you are; that’s six from me. Anyone else want to try to help the economy out? Don’t make me go health care!