Saturday, May 29, 2010

WPA Style Gulf-Cleanup Army

It's just an idea, but it's got real possibilities. Why not create a WPA-style army to clean up the Gulf of Mexico beaches and marshlands? There are millions of able-bodied folks crying for work, and here's a hell of a lot of work that will basically need to get done by hand, with shovels, bags, wheelbarrows et cetera. This is work that can't be outsourced to Inda. It'll be hot, hard, buggy, smelly work so even if we pay a real wage, (like, say $20 an hour) nobody will be said to be getting a handout. I envision a real corps, with barracks or trailer camp bases being thrown up quickly. Recruits, should be by quota drawn from all over (with some allowance for relief of those directly affected, fishermen etc) to maiximize support for the program.

If we can keep griftshops like Halliburton and Blackwater away from the trough, there might be many real benefits from such a program: cash in the pockets of people who need it most and who are most likely to return it quickly to the economy (putting more cash in pockets of people who need it badly); a restored sense, for those who serve and are served by the project, of what government for the people, by the people, can and ought to do; hands-on experience for additional tens or hundreds of thousands of people from all over, of what the real cost of drill-baby-drill has been and will be.

The one thing we must not do here is entrust this to the free-enterprise system, or the wisdom of the market. The sociopaths of private industry, and the regulators' capture by them, got us into this mess; they must not be allowed to profit from its remediation.


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