(9AM EST – promoted by Nightprowlkitty)
When are we going to “nation build” in our own nation?
What are we waiting for?
Each bridge to fall down,
Every road to turn back to gravel,
Water mains to burst,
Grids to burn out?
To say nothing about the Investments in
Schools, and Computers, and Networks.
Small Businesses, Parks, EcoSystems, and Science?
and another thing, if “9-11 changed the world”,
when are we going to change our “soft targets”
to prevent the next 9-11?
All these Projects spell JOBS.
All these Projects are an Investment in OUR Future.
They are NOT a Hand Out.
They are Protecting Our OWN.
Another Labor Day has arrived, with FAR TOO MANY Citizens,
having FAR TOO LITTLE to Celebrate …
Those who do not learn the Lessons of History —
are doomed to repeat the mistakes of History.
Here is one Lesson, we might need a refresher course on …
When America was facing record unemployment in the 30’s a unique solution was put in place. A Works Progress Administration (WPA) program was started by FDR, who’s primary goal was to match up “People who needed a Job”, with the “Jobs that America needed to get done”.
If 10% of workers are going to collect an Unemployment Check anyways, Why not pair up our Routine Maintenance with the Dignity of Meaningful Work:
Why We Need A New Works Progress Administration [WPA]
Joel Kotkin, Forbes — Mar 24, 2009
To really revive the economy, learn from New Deal programs that worked.
Unemployment today may not be as extreme as in the 1930s, but for whole segments of the population–notably young workers under 25–it is on the rise. Already young workers with college educations suffer a 7.7% jobless rate, while employment is nearly twice that among young workers overall. Hardest hit, in fact, are young people without college educations, whose real earnings already have dropped by almost 30% over the past 30 years, according to one study.
Tapping the energies of this new “millennial” generation–those now entering their teens and early 20s–would make enormous sense both for economic and social reasons.
In the 30’s the WPA have many, many concrete accomplishments, not least among them was giving idle hands an opportunity to build something of lasting value:
The Works Progress Administration (WPA).
This government office hired unemployed Americans to work on various government projects. Many of these projects were similar to ones sponsored by the Public Works Administration.
During its existence, the WPA constructed:
more than 600,000 miles of roads and
built or repaired more than 124,000 bridges,
125,000 public buildings,
8,000 parks, and
850 airport runways.
In addition to hiring people from traditionally working-class backgrounds, the WPA also created programs for academics, actors, and artists.
The Works Progress Administration (WPA) was instituted by presidential executive order under the Emergency Relief Appropriation Act of April 1935, to generate public jobs for the unemployed. The WPA was restructured in 1939 when it was reassigned to the Federal Works Agency.
By 1936 over 3.4 million people were employed on various WPA programs. Administered by Harry Hopkins and furnished with an original congressional allocation of $4.8 billion, the WPA made work accessible to the unemployed on an unparalleled scale by disbursing funds for an extensive array of programs.
Hopkins argued that although the work relief program was more costly than direct relief payments, it was worth it. He averred, “Give a man a dole, and you save his body and destroy his spirit. Give him a job and you save both body and spirit.“
The Need for investing in America:
It’s not like there’s no shortage of things that need to be fixed, or built in this country. For instance most Bridges have an expected life time around 50 years. Guess how old most of them are? … over 50 years!
It’s like your roof was leaking, and everyone, just keeps rotating buckets under the leak — instead of doing the hard work of actually fixing the roof!
Sooner or later SOMEONE needs to do the Routine Maintenance! It only costs more to put it off, and fix it later.
Structure in 10% of U.S. bridges is deemed faulty
August 3, 2007
MINNEAPOLIS – More than 70,000 bridges in the United States are rated structurally deficient, as was the one that collapsed in Minneapolis on Wednesday, even though such bridges carry more than 300 million vehicles a day. But fixing all of them, which amount to about 10 percent of all bridges in the country, would take at least a generation and cost more than $188 billion, transportation specialists and engineers said.
“A failure like this is a real wake-up call,” he said. “It reminds us that we can’t take our infrastructure for granted. We need to consistently invest new money into what we’ve already built.”
So why is it so hard, for America to invest in those things that NEED to be done?
Why is it so hard, for America to invest in Ourselves?
Here is a Video summarizing the many “civilized” problems, America needs to face as a “civilized” nation: CNN Video Poor infrastructure fails America, civil engineers report – Jan 29, 2009
The Reporter in that clip summarized the Infrastructure need:
$2.2 Trillion needed is roughly 3X the size of the entire Obama Stimulus Package.
As I recall only about a 1/3 of the total Stimulus Package Bill ($800 Billion) was actually targeting “Infrastructure” projects. Much of it went to more Tax Cuts (funny how those Cuts, didn’t trickle down into MORE Jobs!)
A recent American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) Report says actually $2.2 Trillion is needed, to “fix our Infrastructure”:
So you can see there IS NO “Shortage of Work”
Only a shortage of the Proactive attitude to Fix what needs to be Fixed — to invest in OUR collective futures! … and if you factor in the long run need for a Green Infrastructure, this “meaningful work” could last a lifetime!
As the Status Quo continues to be the rule … our restless “Natives” will continue to wonder:
“Why can’t Govt can’t get anything Right?”
“Is Govt part of the Problem, OR part of the Solution?”
These are questions that we should all ponder …
If Govt can’t even fix its own roof — If America refuses to invest in Ourselves, even when so many of our People go begging for a Job
and if your one of the 1 in 5 out of work for a over year, I’m sure you’ll be itching for SOMEONE to blame!
Sooner or Later America needs to take the long run perspective, and realize “we’re all in this together” — Enough of the Mentality of “Every person for themselves” — this isn’t an episode of Survivor — this is REAL Life!
Real Life, where the issues of ‘Survival’ play out …for REAL, everyday, for millions.
We Need a New 21st Century WPA,
one that builds a “Bridge of Hope” to Workers who have none.
We need to invest in Building up our own Nation —
If YOUR home’s roof had a leak — would you Fix it?
Or simply walk away?
That is what we are doing to our Nation-Home, now …
walking away, from all those “legacy leaks” …
while so many go wanting, looking for a “good leak to fix” …
When are we going to start to “Nation Build” in our OWN Nation?
Happy Labor Day to those lucky enough to still have a Job.
Godspeed to those who don’t — may your plight become a National Priority.
Fellow unemployed citizens, YOU are NOT just a Statistic.
You deserve dignity. You deserve hope. You deserve a Paycheck.