Lynne and Phil Seymour: Make jobless clean up roadsides

April 6, 2014 

Regarding the March 31 letter “Littering plan”: The 13-year-old writer should be commended for his thoughtful suggestion to employ the state’s prisoners in cleaning the litter from North Carolina’s highways.

We might take his initiative one step further and suggest our legislature also consider using our able-bodied, unemployed men and women for this same purpose. I understand that not all of our unemployed will appreciate this suggestion. But, if the state is to provide an unemployment check without receiving anything in return, doesn’t it make sense to utilize the state’s resources to “employ” these individuals, especially the long-term unemployed? Such work could be “part-time” to allow them an opportunity to seek outside employment.

A program similar to this – the Works Progress Administration – worked for FDR back in the 1930s; there’s no reason it wouldn’t work today. Think about it; able-bodied, unemployed men and women could help pick up trash on our roadways, clear underbrush in our state forests, “volunteer” in hospitals, paint hydrants and curbs, etc., etc.

Yes, FDR was a Democrat and the General Assembly is Republican-controlled, but this should not be a partisan issue. It’s a “win-win” issue!

Lynne and Phil Seymour

River Bend

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