He’s All Forum

One of his campaign promises was to create or save some 600,000 jobs almost immediately. Well, “almost immediately” has just about run its course and President Obama is now asking for ideas from White House jobs forum participants to come up with some ideas – any ideas he could put into action quickly to help put Americans back to work – and he promised to take “every responsible step to accelerate job creation”.

In other words he’s asking 130 CEOs, small business owners and financial experts to do what he himself promised to do when he was on the campaign trail, and the far-fetched ideas he’s hearing are pretty much in line with the ones he was peddling just a few months ago.

“Digging ourselves out of the hole we have dug ourselves into is not going to be easy,” he said yesterday.

And speaking of digging, one of the far-fetched ideas that is being pushed by Philadelphia area interests is the dredging of the Delaware. This sophomoric proposal has been around for a few years and has been backed by some who have absolutely no idea of what such a useless endeavor would entail.

Numbers have been thrown around by “Dredging = Jobs” enthusiasts that have as much merit as those campaign promises we were hearing, and the job promises that have been guaranteed are nothing more than calculated prevarications.

So let’s calculate the digging costs and compare more realistic numbers to those we’ve been hearing and reading about in the media.

First of all, a 100-mile long 5-foot deep by 1,000-foot wide trench requires the digging and removal of approximately two billion six hundred 40 million cubic feet of whatever is down there – which is anybody’s guess. That’s almost 300,000,000 cubic yards – written in uncomplicated Arabic numerals.

As opposed to the millions of dollars in cost glossed over by the experts, realistic costs would be in the billions. What if the cost was close to, say, $ 50 per cubic yard– and it would be – what then? What then? Well, let’s hear what the proponents have to say. The silence would be deafening.

Philadelphia is an area that saw millions of people directly and indirectly employed in the Emergency Shipbuilding Programs before and during World War II. Now those were real jobs, not promised or imagined jobs. There are probably that many people living in the Philadelphia area today that are unemployed, underemployed – or even homeless – who would relish the opportunity that was given to Philadelphians a couple of generations ago.

Forget about digging the Delaware. We should be “digging ourselves out of the hole” by means of another Emergency Shipbuilding Program. Wouldn’t that be a “responsible step”, Mr. President?