After the jump, SMU professor of economics and prophet Ravi Batra's five-point plan for fixing the U.S.'s busted economy. No doubt, the sixth point of that plan involves writing books about the busted economy, then sending out press releases promoting one of those books exactly two years after its publication. (Kidding, just kidding.) But, look, he's not screwing around: "Without the proposed measures," he says of his proposed measures, "2009 will be a lot worse than 2008." You've been warned. --Robert Wilonsky
· Raise the hourly minimum wage by $1 every year until it reaches $10.
· Raise the salaries of government employees by 10%, which China did in November.
· Bailout the harried homeowner and not Wall Street and big banks, because if the homeowner can make mortgage payments, banks will be in good shape.
· The government should buy the shares of GM and Ford for $5 billion and give them to their workers, whose representatives will then run the companies. It will then be up to them to save their jobs. The government may also spend another $10 billion to lighten the burden of pension and healthcare costs in the auto industry.
· Trim the trade deficit sharply by fixing the dollar exchange rate with the currencies of China, Japan and the Eurozone. Without this measure all others will have limited success.