Oil Spill/US Unemployment

Riddle me this, Batman… The US is battling a MASSIVE unemployment problem. Structurally, they are seeing a jobless recovery – something Canada experienced when the original FTA and then NAFTA were introduced in the late 80’s and early 90’s. I would expect that even under great conditions, US unemployment will get down to 7.0%, but never going below this figure again. This last recession has changed their economy.

Now we have this massive oil spill, an ecological tragedy going on down in the Gulf of Mexico and if reports are to be believed, the east coast should start seeing some black goo rolling up on their shores next week. When you read reports coming from parts of the deep south, you can’t help but shake your head.

How does the Obama administration look the people of America in the eye, having bailed out a bunch of greedy bankers to the tune of hundreds of billions, fought a war in Mesopotamia for a similar amount and has run up an unparalleled level f debt, but yet people in Louisiana and Alabama are wading out into thigh deep pools of tar to save pelicans without so much as a single government response work in sight? Obama can continue to make bold calls on TV that BP will cover the full cost of the clean up, but if the people down south are to be believed, that’s going to be a pretty lightweight bill.

I have a solution – take 50% of all of the profits from the banks that were bailed out in 2008/2009 as a special one-off tax so that they give something back to the country. Then get the national guard to deploy barracks and tent cities in a variety of key locations in the south. Use the banks’ money to hire unemployed people to go down south, pay them a good wage, live in the tent cities and barracks and help clean this mess up. Make BP triple everything the banks and federal government contribute to this effort – get boots on the ground down there and start the clean up now!

This oil isn’t going to clean itself up!


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