Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Renew The W.P.A.

Every time that there are riots and looting in the inner cities of America, regardless of what triggers this mayhem, local leaders are asked, "why did this happen?" These leaders always have the same answers. "There are no jobs so people do what they must to survive" is a prevalent excuse. 

Of course, the problem is much more complicated than that. It involves drugs, gangs, lack of strong males in a household. The list goes on. The biggest problem is that everyone is waiting for government to be the solution. They may as well wait for Godot. Same results.

But there is something that government can do. Something that they have done before and it actually worked. I am referring to the WPA. I'll bet that not too many young people today can tell you what WPA means. It refers to the Work Progress Administration. It was formed in 1935 to relieve unemployment due to the Depression.

So my modest suggestion is that the federal government start a WPA office in those most troubled inner cities. People can show up there and get work and earn a pay as soon as they walk in the door. 

If the person has skills or training, work would be found to utilize existing skills. Unskilled workers could do basic maintenance in public buildings and, over time, be taught a skill. No person willing to put forth the effort should be refused. This is something only government can do.

There are many other things that need to be done. Not the least of these is school choice. If kids want an education they must not be forced into the worst schools just to appease a union. If teachers and politicians really care about the future of underprivileged kids, they will get this done.

Leaders flap their jaws and make sounds but show little actual leadership. They must put aside self interest unless they want those cities to become the next Detroit. Our cities have become modern dinosaurs. This may be the last chance to save them before they all die off.  

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