New Economic Perspectives has the article National Retirement Infrastructure.
First it describes a big chunk of what that infrastructure would be and talks about what it would cost.
The “Retirement Infrastructure” building effort we have in mind is not a “big government” program run by federal, state and local bureaucracies—it is exactly the opposite. It is a program that “big government” (except for one small piece of the puzzle) has no role in whatsoever. Instead, what we have in mind is this: the formation—on a national scale, all across the country—of small, cooperative groups of retirees who (a) plan and (b) manage the construction of modest, sustainable, cohousing projects which they subsequently will live in—for free—and then pass on to the following generations.
A very large part of the article talks about how we could afford such a project. It discusses how we managed to afford World War II as an example. The article concludes with:
Now: Let’s imagine a collective effort similar to World War Two, perhaps not on such an all-encompassing grand scale, but an effort nevertheless addressing an urgent collective need. Let’s further imagine the federal government issuing Dollars “out of thin air” to pay U.S. citizens to produce the work and build the things necessary to provide for that need. Finally, let’s imagine that the things created by that effort, instead of being things that would be destroyed, or things that citizens had no use for, were things they very much could use to their benefit every day—like, for example, a National Retirement Infrastructure of cohousing they could live in for free, generation after generation. Now that we understand we can actually “afford” to do something like that, why would we not seriously consider doing it?
The logic in the article is so well thought out and so clearly correct, that the only objection you could possibly have is that it couldn’t possibly be true. You can spend the next few years trying to come up with reasons why the logic is flawed, and it might be a worthwhile exercise. If you took as a given that for each reason why this couldn’t work, you would try to think of a way to overcome whatever roadblock appeared, you would find at the end of those years that you had come up with a workable plan to make it happen.
Then all you would have to do is decide to do it. What possible, logical reason would there be for you, the country as a whole, to decide not to do it?
The only possible reason the country would decide not to do this is that the country has decided that we can no longer do what our country has done before when it was weaker and less powerful. Or as President Franklin Delano Roosevelt said, “The only thing you have to fear is fear itself.”