Sunday, September 25, 2005
PUBLIC WORKS: REBUILDING NEW ORLEANS
Bush can kill two birds with one stone if he put the New Orleans' unemployed, poor and homeless to work in a massive public works project rebuilding that city. Such projects were used during the Depression to sustain many families who suddenly lost everything and to build vital infrastructure and National Parks. Since the President has promised to rebuild the city and address the poverty conditions that existed prior to Katrina, using this approach seems like a no-brainer. Rather than lining the pockets of the already wealthy major contractors who would ordinarily get the job, pursuing the task as a Federal public works project would save us taxpayers considerable money, minimize the inevitable corruption and rebuild lives as well as the city. It is a unique and awesome opportunity to do something that has great meaning as well as value. Those New Orleanians would have a special interest in the work since they would be making a tremendous contribution to their town and may even have valuable insights and ideas to add. It would provide lifelong skills to the participants and make them more employable once the project was completed. It would also eliminate the need to expand the existing welfare bureacracy or create a new one to service the displaced New Orleans poor.