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The Long View

Stimulus II

by Rob Long

In anticipation of the Obama administration’s plan for a second stimulus package, some ideas to restore and rebuild our nation’s crumbling and outdated infrastructure.

Please add your own in the space provided.

1. The New Jersey–New York Meatball-Sub Delivery Canal

An Erie Canal–sized sluiceway will be constructed from western and northwestern New York and New Jersey, allowing the quick and efficient delivery of meatballs, sauce, and submarine-sandwich-appropriate breadstuffs to the urban areas of New York and New Jersey. The canal itself will require 100,000 construction jobs of the low-skill variety, several hundred high-skilled engineers and construction-supervisory personnel, as well as meatball-sub-manufacturing tax-free zones at the sluice-head nodes.

2. The D.C.-Beltway Lobby Dome

A series of triple-stadium-sized, air-tight, crystalline domes will be constructed over large portions of downtown Washington, D.C., and the adjacent “Beltway” area. Will require at least 10,000 construction and engineering jobs, as well as 300 medium-grade technical employees for the operation and maintenance of the domes. In addition, several dozen managerial and executive positions will be required upon completion of these domes to regulate and monitor air flow, interior climate conditions, and the options available for both. Air flow can be increased or eliminated as political conditions change. Note: PENDING REGULATORY APPROVAL.

3. The High-Speed Florida Tunnel

A submerged multi-lane express tunnel, built for passenger cars, to be used exclusively by drivers older than 80. Requiring 200,000 skilled construction workers and engineers, along with supervisory and procurement personnel (estimated: 5,000), the tunnel will span the Eastern Seaboard, connecting nodes along the northern corridor, channeling them into a speed-controlled chain-operated passenger-car trackway, terminating in the outskirts of Boca Raton, Fla. Estimated savings: $5.6 billion in averted highway deaths.

4. The Los Angeles Metroplex Expander

A large-scale urban moving project, requiring several hundred thousand unskilled laborers and hundreds of urban-planning experts. Systematically, over the course of the project (estimated: two years), every object in the Los Angeles Basin — including homes, buildings, trees, individuals, and Starbucks Coffee locations — will be lifted up and replaced again at least twelve inches farther apart. The result of this project will be to expand the Los Angeles metro area into western Nevada, and to annex parts of Baja California, now a part of Mexico, into the Long Beach metroplex.

5. The Brooklyn Hipster Collider

An enormous concrete ring will be constructed around the borough of Brooklyn (10,000 construction jobs created), and hipster residents will be thrust into a high-speed centrifuge (estimated: 250 technical and expert jobs created) and forced to collide together, to measure the impact and velocity of the resulting energy-releasing events. Will additionally reduce the number of jobless hipsters in the region. If the pilot program is successful, additional Colliders can be constructed in suitable areas, such as the San Francisco Bay Area, the Pacific Northwest, and Cambridge, Mass.

6. The Metro-Detroit Closer

A major job creator, entailing the hiring of 100,000 low-skilled workers. The project should require twelve months of labor-intensive effort on the part of the work force, as they systematically move throughout the Detroit metro area, turning out the lights and preparing the city for permanent closure. Job training will be available in such areas as turning off ovens, locking doors, making sure the sprinklers are off, disconnecting car batteries, and covering all moving parts with a grease-based preservative. Pending completion of this project, the city can be “re-opened” in the future by another major project undertaking.

7. The Southern Multi-State Deep-Fat-Fryer-Generated Power Grid

A Green Jobs initiative encompassing a multistate footprint. Utilizing smart-grid technology, the estimated 17 million deep-fat fryers in simultaneous use within the region will be networked together. As food products are immersed within the cooking fat, the energy thrown off by this action will be collected by the network and transferred to the energy hub in the region. Estimated job creation: 75,000 in its first year. Will require high-skilled engineering and energy-construction experts, as well as fry cooks.

8. The Keith Olbermann Viewer Connector

A high-speed, high-tech e-link requiring several hundred skilled technical workers, along with maintenance and cell-tower construction experts, to create an instantaneous and always-on fiber-optic connection for each viewer of the Keith Olbermann television show now appearing on Current TV. Will create 5,000 new jobs for the benefit of the 2,000 viewers of the Keith Olbermann television show. NOTE: PENDING REGULATORY APPROVAL.

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