Robert Reich, who is a member of the Frances Perkins Center’s advisory committee, suggested on Sunday on his blog that something good could potentially come out of the awful catastrophe of the oil spill in the Gulf — jobs. Here’s a quote:
Friday’s job report was awful. For most new high school and college grads finding a job is harder than ever. Meanwhile, states are cutting summer jobs for disadvantaged young people. What to do with this army of young unemployed? Send them to the Gulf to clean up beaches and wetlands, and send the bill to BP.
…we’ve got hundreds of thousands of young people sitting on their hands right now because they can’t find jobs. Many are from affected coastal areas, where the tourist and fishing industries have been decimated by the spill.
The President should order BP to establish a $5 billion clean-up fund, and immediately put America’s army of unemployed young people to work saving the Gulf coast. Call it the new Civilian Conservation Corps.
Today, Laura Flanders, in her blog The Notion on The Nation’s website, takes it one step further. In her diary, Learning from Roosevelt(s), she says:
Obama could don the mantle of two Roosevelts at once. … Channel Teddy Roosevelt and stick it to the polluters and channel FDR and put people back to work — and create programs that create goodwill for generations.
President Franklin Roosevelt created the Civilian Conservation Corps and asked Frances Perkins to administer it, eventually putting three million young men and women to work from 1933 to 1942 building enduring landmarks that are cherished today. I hope President Obama will be inspired to think BIG like a Roosevelt. It’s the only way to tackle these two HUGE problems–the oil spill and pernicious unemployment.