Contest For Idea To Grow U.S. $$$

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Underwhelmed by both Democratic and Republican ideas on how to give the economy the boost it needs?

You could give the problem your own spin and win money in the process.

The nation's largest union, the Service Employees International Union – representing government workers, health care workers, building cleaners and others – is offering $100,000 for a winning suggestion on how to preserve the American dream when faced by the challenge of competition from countries like India and China.

The contest sponsored by the Service Employees International Union is seeking ideas on how to help the economy grow, encourage existing companies to expand and create well-paying jobs. The winning idea will be worth $100,000 and two runners-up will claim prizes of $50,000 each.

The United States needs new ideas for how to strengthen its economy and compete in the fast-changing international marketplace, said SEIU President Andrew Stern. And he thinks ordinary Americans are the best people to ask for those ideas.

"In Washington, D.C., we are still living in the last century in an industrial revolution," Stern said. "India and China are in overdrive and America is in neutral."

The contest entries should outline, in 175 words or less, a problem or issue, how it should be fixed, and how fixing it will benefit working men and women. A panel of two dozen judges includes Democrats, Republicans, economists, chief executives and interest group leaders.