and You Delivered!
by Nate Jackson
The economy is working for CEOs and greedy corporations. They got bailouts and tax breaks, but for the rest of us, the officials who voted for tax cuts for the rich just don’t seem to realize that we need good jobs.
Since these “leaders” are too busy to look for answers to the jobs crisis, we asked you to give us your ideas about how to get this economy back on track. As expected, the ongoing results are fantastic, and we are still looking for more.
We asked you: “If you had a billion dollars, what jobs would you create?”
The results are pouring in and the vast majority of us have great ideas on how to get this economy moving again with practical, simple to implement ideas. In no particular order, let’s look at some of the ideas.
1. Marita G. suggests creating and funding art-based educational programs for children.
The impact on a community would be twofold: the positive influences of art in children’s lives and the good rewarding jobs created by the program itself. According to the Policy and Advocacy group ArtsUSA, some of the most impressive benefits are: equalizing the playing field for socio-economic differences, strengthening critical thinking skills and providing motivation for children to be continual learners.
Teaching is a highly rewarding career, and having specific programs to focus solely on art is very much needed when school district budgets are being cut. Often times, the arts are first on the chopping block during a budget crisis.
2. Harriet W. suggests building and running pet care centers.
Pet ownership is huge in the United States. According to The Humane Society 39% of US households own a dog, while 33 percent of households own a cat. If you broaden out to any pet the number of households in the USA that have a companion animal of some sort jumps to a majority 62 percent of households.
That is a huge market for business, and the pet industry is a multibillion dollar enterprise. Harriet’s idea of building and running pet centers is good because of the sheer potential number of customers. The pet care industry would create many jobs both in direct care and in support. Veterinarians and Vet Technicians would be needed to fill these positions and they are highly skilled professionals.
3. Quenea P. suggests: building and running low income area grocery stores.
Many people in low income areas do not have readily available nutritious foods to eat. Some of these areas do not have a grocery store, which is called the “food desert” phenomenon. Fast food restaurants and gas stations stock greasy, salty and fatty foods that negatively impact the community’s health and longevity.
Stores in low income areas would not only alleviate the “food desert” syndrome, but would activate a job creation center. Grocery stores may not have the largest profit margins, but they are steady and reliable. Grocery jobs, under the proper conditions, are good work that is stable. Stable employment is one of the best ways to get this economy moving again.
4. Chris W. suggests: Construct mixed income housing near job centers.
Construction jobs are good jobs for families. If you follow some of the examples that have already occurred in the Seattle area, these jobs can be quite stable.
Constructing homes that are near job centers creates walkable communities. Dependence on car-based transportation, a major social justice issue and sometimes impediment to gainful employment, would be lessened.
5. Sibyl J. suggests: Bringing back the Works Progress Administration (WPA) and the Citizen’s Conservation Core (CCC).
These two organizations are “New Deal” programs that put young people to work during and after the Great Depression. The “New Deal” created infrastructure, parks, and other major public works projects. Some of our country’s greatest projects, like the Federal Writer’s Project that employed writers and artists.
A similar type of program might look something like an expanded AmeriCorps program. AmeriCorps is the domestic, or United States based, version of Peace Corps. Participants choose from varying work from teaching, home building, environmental protection or various other community needs.
A version of rebuilding roads, bridges, parks and retrofitting buildings would create many good jobs with the potential to transfer those skills learned into the private sector upon completion of the program. Some estimates have the amount of crumbling roads and bridges in the thousands.