Unemployment in America
© 2011 Alan Abel
The White House is scratching its collective head and appealing to the public for ideas on solving unemployment. Something dramatic must be done before a few million people…. bankrupt and homeless….march on Washington and pitch tents in Lafayette Park.
Here’s my idea. Why not establish a 24-hour television channel that highlights available jobs throughout America? All kinds in fifty states. Including working for the government. And Uncle Sam pays for relocating while the employer arranges affordable housing.
Certainly this plan would create a national migration of individuals and families.
But if you’re married with two kids, lost your job and health insurance, no more unemployment insurance and depleted all savings, your only alternative is bankruptcy, and possibly a homeless shelter. So why not move to another city and get a new life?
This may sound like a fantasy, but it’s a viable solution because the unemployment figures will go higher. No question about it. Ask any economist. If our government can bail out the banks, why not people? The cost would be a pittance compared to the billions handed out to bankers. And action is needed today, not tomorrow.
For starters, President Obama should appropriate funds for an Office of Employment Opportunities (OEO) and a director with the intelligence and resolve of a Bill Clinton or Madeline Albright. He or she will direct the entire operation as a bipartisan enterprise beginning immediately.
Employers can email their requirements to a central office with full details. Staff workers then post the openings on line and the TV channel simultaneously. Thousands will apply for each job and the most desperate advised to send their resumes and photos. The others are urged to seek another employment opportunity on the government web site or its TV channel.
Meantime, the governor of each state and the mayors of cities, will be asked to locate and list the vacant and abandoned factories or buildings in their communities that could be converted into low cost housing. This “extreme makeover” process is going to involve skilled electricians, carpenters, painters and other compassionate citizens to volunteer their services. Is this an impossible dream? No. Just listen to Susan Boyle sing “I Dreamed a Dream” and get inspired..
Our country is not great. It’s the greatest. During World War II army engineers could build bridges across the rivers overnight. By morning tanks, trucks and troops were crossing a river to engage and defeat the enemy. We need that sort of ingenuity during these catastrophic times now. Let’s build bridges over the troubled waters in America!