Monday, June 3, 2013
Fire burns the country to the ground, as 26 million Americans look for work and trillions of dollars are lost to tax evasion
(The aftermath of a fire in the American west. Image courtesy of Wikipedia.)
Several wildfires burning right now have forced the evacuation of thousands, destroyed homes, knocked power lines out of commission, and closed campgrounds which provide recreation for Americans and economic support for area businesses (see here for example).
During the Great Depression, New Deal work & construction programs hired the unemployed to fight fires and create thousands of miles of firebreaks.
Today, 26 million Americans would like a full-time job but can't find one, 6.5 million teens and young adults are neither in the workforce nor in school, and over 4 million Americans are considered long-term unemployed.
Meanwhile, in September of 2012 Senate Republicans blocked a bill that would have created a CCC-type program for unemployed veterans because of cost concerns, even as tax evasion has cost America over $3 trillion in revenue since the turn of the century. As if that were not bad enough, the U.S. Forest service is having its budget cut during a possible record-setting wildfire season.