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Make America Great Again with New New Deal

Governor Kristi Noem says we “should” think innovatively and entrepreneurially; I’m happy to oblige.

The Republican-controlled Senate is having trouble getting its poop in a group on tackling the current public health and economic crisis.

This shouldn’t be hard: millions of Americans are going to lose their jobs. America needs lots of different work to be done. Draft those millions of Americans to do the work that needs to be done:

The government could train America’s newly unemployed to sanitize hospital equipment or to deliver food to the elderly and the immune-compromised. Child care for hospital workers on the front lines is desperately needed. Through a new public works program, corps of people could carry out infection control in nursing homes and other high-risk facilities — or workers of all kinds could be taught how best to protect themselves. There could even be a network of individuals tasked with making phone calls to combat loneliness for people in nursing homes and prisons while they’re unable to receive visitors [editorial, “Stop Saying That Everything Is Under Control. It Isn’t,” New York Times, 2020.03.17].

A new Works Progress Administration and Civilian Conservation Corps could respond to the current public health crisis; it could also invest its sweat and toil in longer-term action for the health of the entire country and planet:

In cities, the formerly jobless could get to work making coastlines more resilient against future storms and floods. Tending community gardens in dense city areas could help alleviate the urban heat-island effect. And federally hired workers in the South could plant mangrove trees along the water, protecting against erosion as they suck up carbon dioxide, as part of a broader push to plant those Trillion Trees the Trump administration seems so keen on. Workers in the Permian Basin could clean up and reclaim decommissioned rig sites as nature preserves. There’s a multitude of ways we could employ workers to make agriculture more resilient to increasing temperature fluctuations—while simultaneously making it emit less, or even turning it into a carbon sink [Kate Aronoff, “Green Jobs Are the Answer to the Coronavirus Recession,” The New Republic, 2020.03.18].

We may need to mail everyone making under six figures a coronavirus check for immediate economic support. But for long-term economic stability, we need to keep people working. Come on, Senators Thune and Rounds: act like Republicans! Quit haggling over your current insufficient recession-response package, pass it to the White House, and get to work on the real deal, the New New Deal, in which you invest our precious resources in paying Americans to do more than buy price-gouging toilet paper, to instead learn, work, and build a better America.


  1. mike from iowa 2020-03-24 08:27

    Wingnuts want everyone to have a government check or two except those of us on disability and Social Security who don’t earn enough to pay income taxes. That was one of the problems with wingnuts bailout bill.

    I notice that virtually every penny of SS is spent in the month I receive it. It all goes back into the economy.

  2. Jason 2020-03-24 08:28

    Yes yes yes! New Deal 2.0. Instead of bailing out the airlines we should transition to high speed rail. Instead of bailing out the cruise industry we should preserve our state and national parks. Instead of bailing out the stock market we should expand social security.
    Instead of bailing out dirty energy corporations we should develop Green Energy.

  3. Donald Pay 2020-03-24 10:04

    Assuming we can sweep away Moscow Mitch and the Republican Party majority in the Senate, it might be possible to take on some “New New Deal” efforts, even if it does not approach the New Deal of FDR. The Aronoff article certainly points to ways to put people to work on futurizing the economy, rather than just dropping people back into our dead end economy.

  4. Loren 2020-03-24 11:10

    Yes, Donald, I would love to see Mitch hit the road, but perhaps SD could do our part by getting rid of Senator Smiley. Charity starts at home, right? ;-)

  5. Donald Pay 2020-03-24 13:29

    MFI, Usually the GOP volunteers others to die for them, so this might be an improvement in their morality. I doubt, however, that he really “will take one for the team.” If he’s suggesting voluntary suicide, he’s welcome to have at it. If he’s suggesting something like policies like mandated death panels and FEMA death camps, two of the right’s favorite bugaboos, I think he’s gone off the deep end.

    I always have said that if I have something that is likely to kill me, I’m refusing heroic measures. My Dad did that when he had cancer, and I always respected his courage. I’ve lived a good life, and I’d rather have medical resources used to save someone who has young kids or is a young kid. I’d hate to leave the people I love, but we are all going to have to face that at some point. But I ain’t going to make that decision to save the economy so Dear Leader can be re-elected. This is an individual decision, not something that a society or cult-leader should contemplate, even if we have devolved into a “Walking Dead” dystopia. I think we are far, far away from that. We have to face more than a little economic pain for two to three months. Then we will have, probably, a few more rounds of this.

  6. mike from iowa 2020-03-24 17:41

    drumpf says he won’t sign new green deal bill.

  7. Cory Allen Heidelberger Post author | 2020-03-24 18:28

    Funny: I heard Trump in one his clips yesterday winging some Archie Bunkerism about how we used to pay people to work and now we’re talking about paying them not to work. A New New Deal, Green or otherwise, would address that complaint: we give people money to keep the economy on life support, and they do vital work for our country. Why not a new WPA, a new CCC, a whole new alphabet soup of recovery programs that give people sustenance now and invest in America‘s future?

  8. John 2020-03-24 19:30

    South Dakota needs to proactively plan that its “tourism industry” is dead for the summer of 2020, pending the widespread application of COVID-19 vaccinations. Do not expect the do-nothing legislature to proactively address the likely budget shortfall. Typhoid Mary will become COVID-19 Kristi this summer.

  9. Debbo 2020-03-24 20:29

    I’ve seen some incredibly bizarre crap on the web about the Democratic virus bill. The opinion pieces, masquerading as news, are just vile, full of blatant lies and vicious name calling. It’s really shocking to me.

    The GOP will let people die before they will fail their corporate sugar daddies. Moscow Mitch and the GOP noise machine are going full on crazy over this.

  10. grudznick 2020-03-24 23:16

    Why won’t the libbies pass the bill? They are killing people and the hate welling out the noses of libbies around the land is like a plague that will be the death of us all. Do you remember Ol’Bubbleguts, he of the magic slaw? He had the answers, and the hate from the libbies ran him off.

  11. mike from iowa 2020-03-25 07:54

    One moar thing, while people are dying by the dozens all over America, the wingnuts in Tex ass and Ohio are stealthily attacking abortion rights. Idaho wingnuts concentrate on making sure trans athletes can’t compete.

    Priorities, people!

  12. o 2020-03-25 08:57

    grudznick, why didn’t the righties pass the House bill that came to the Senate first? That would have been the fastest pathway to safety, stimulus and relief — as long as we are talking about taking fast action.

  13. McCloud 2020-03-25 09:12

    Innovative thinking??????? That has never been the Hallmark of republicans and particularly republicans occupying the SD State Capitol and the White House. Even thinking is a problem for most of them. The only thing they do is repeat history and it’s mistakes while at the same time trying to give their theories new identities.

  14. Donald Pay 2020-03-25 10:04

    Grudz, If Dear Leader thinks this is not a big enough deal to protect human life beyond Easter, I’m not sure why Republicans care whether this bill passes or not. If Dear Leader thinks this pandemic is just an excuse for a two week vacation, why bail out anybody? Republicans should be for killing this bill, but, of course, Dear Leader and they themselves want the graft, so they are all for it. And, of course, they wanted the bill clear of oversight. Why should we care about Trump forking over billions in small denominations to his many money laundering LLCs?

  15. Eve Fisher 2020-03-25 10:26

    Republicans: Making disasters worse since 1929.

  16. Debbo 2020-03-25 14:39

    Times of disaster bring out the best or worst of people. For GOP federal and state leadership, it’s apparently the latter.

  17. jerry 2020-03-25 19:13

    Dakota Access to be reviewed!! This is huge for the tribes and for all of the states

    ” Nearly three years after crude oil started to flow through the controversial Dakota Access Pipeline, a federal judge has ordered the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to conduct a full environmental review.

    It’s a major victory for the Native American tribes and environmental groups who have been fighting against the project for years.

    U.S. District Judge James Boasberg has not decided whether oil can still flow in the meantime. But his opinion Wednesday requests that the two sides submit briefings next month for and against keeping the oil moving, potentially opening the door for the judge to shut it down.”

  18. grudznick 2020-03-25 19:44

    Mr. o, I think the Conservatives wouldn’t pass the first bill because that old hag libbie leader, who dresses quite nice, put a bunch of unrelated pig-barrel greenie stuff in it.

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