Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Jobs Now!

"We can't put our people to work. We can't educate the young. We can't keep the infrastructure in good repair. It's hard to believe that this nation could be so dysfunctional at the end of the first decade of the 21st century. It's tragic."

Bob Herbert, "Our Crumbling Foundation," The New York Times, May 26, 2009.

An Infrastructure Bank may certainly be part of the answer -- but let's be real about when bank investments are likely to produce jobs. Not real soon. At what point to do we just create a jobs program like a CCC or WPA. Start with the jobs first,not as a potential, some time outcome of a lot of complicated planning. Create real jobs now, not more ARRA advocates.

Is urban agriculture a part of the answer? It could be.

"In Baltimore, Smallwood calls his garden program City Fresh - borrowed from a similar program in Cleveland...He wants to involve church and community center kitchens for cooking lessons and food pantries. And he plans to open a cannery for preserving and teaching local teens to sell to groceries such as Whole Foods, restaurants, and the public."

Meredith Cohn, "How a greener city gets growing," Baltimore Sun, May 26, 2009.

A green jobs corp could make a lot of progress in helping build sustainable cities while creating jobs and educational opportunities -- with community gardens, healthy homes, white roofs, etc. Make our cities laboratories for green living and self sufficiency. Maybe we could even use a Sustainability Bank.

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