Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Unwilling to create a new CCC for our unemployed youth, the government is about to start begging Corporate America for cash for our National Park System

(CCC workers at Sequoia National Park, 1933. Photo courtesy of the FDR Presidential Library and Museum.)

According to a recent article on Alternet, the National Park Service is about to beg for corporate cash to address its multi-billion dollar maintenance backlog. In return for the money, Corporate America will be allowed to advertise in the parks. So, bridges built by the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) might soon have Goldman Sachs logos plastered on them. Or, perhaps a rustic CCC-built pavilion will be renamed "Bank of America Pavilion."

Instead of creating a work program for our nation's chronically unemployed and underemployed youth (see, e.g., here and here), as FDR did with the CCC--to create or improve state and national parks across the country--America is preparing to crawl to Wall Street, head bowed in submission, holding out a tin cup.

So, if this happens, it will only be a matter of time before Corporate America begins calling all the shots in our park system, demanding that we allow wide-scale fracking and strip mining, casinos, strip malls, amusement parks, suburban development, and also demanding that we not bother them about their pollution. "After all," they'll say, "you want continued funding, don't you??" 

And why is corporate funding even needed? Because (a) we've handed out gargantuan tax breaks to millionaires and billionaires over the past many decades, (b) we spend gargantuan amounts of money on military adventures, every single year, and (c) Republican politicians don't give a crap about our national parks (even though millions of citizens do).

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