weather icon Clear

Choice to help others is ours to make

People in this country suffer and die every day because we have made choices ignoring their very existence and well-being. Whether you care about it or not, whether you think about it or not, this is cruel, sightless and insensitive on our part.

I’d use more descriptive words, but I think you get the picture.

I’m astounded, saddened and disgusted that we care more about any number of fleeting preoccupations in our daily lives and dismiss the very existence of millions of Americans. Consider how our very bad choices in policies and elected officials have brought us to ignoring millions.

Think about work and jobs. Bet good money there aren’t many who think it’s just fine to enter into adulthood and not have a job of some kind. Everybody should work. Be productive. Make something of themselves. That’s the American way.

Yet, funding is spent on keeping people unemployed. The longer a person is unemployed, the less desirable he or she becomes to business. So people are paid meager unemployment benefits for a short amount of time, lose skills and become part of a permanent pool of the unemployable. I don’t want to see a permanent pool of unemployed folks, do you? I want solutions.

Maybe Congress should appropriate the funding for a federal job guarantee where people could earn an appropriate, livable wage at positions benefiting their communities. This wage would become a price anchor affecting all wages. Automation and new technologies could replace workers, who no longer would have to do dangerous or menial work. Real people could work at improving their communities with skills only humans could perform.

This is not a new or radical idea. The Civilian Conservation Corps was established and funded by the federal government beginning in 1933.

The CCC put hundreds of thousands of young men to work on environmental conservation projects. These employees also “fought forest fires, planted trees, cleared and maintained access roads, reseeded grazing lands and implemented soil-erosion controls.”

I don’t know about you, but these types of endeavors seem like exactly what could be used today on a much larger scale.

The country had different priorities at that time and so did President Franklin Roosevelt. Congress appropriated funding for many programs of FDR’s New Deal, just as Congress could do today, if we had our priorities straight and if we thought about the welfare of the individuals of this country.

What did FDR think? Here are a few words from him in 1936, as he ran for a second term: “The forces of ‘organized money’ are unanimous in their hate for me — and I welcome their hatred.”

He told a crowd that would overwhelmingly vote for him: “I should like to have it said of my first administration that in it the forces of selfishness and of lust for power met their match, (and) I should like to have it said of my second administration that in it these forces have met their master.”

People complain about the condition of our crumbling infrastructure, rundown schools, deteriorating neighborhoods, abandoned factories, kids going hungry and countless families and individuals living on the streets and in cars. Yet, megastructures are built for entertainment, individuals purchase islands, the masses spend hundreds of dollars on cellphones, and we allow our government to spend billions on destruction but comparatively little on the health and well-being of our most precious resource, our citizens.

Perhaps we don’t want solutions. Perhaps we throw up our hands in exasperation and say nothing can be done because the politicians are corrupt and we don’t have the money to pay for what is needed.

Anyway, it’s the fault of “those people.” We can’t do anything anyway, so why try?

I don’t know what makes me angrier: people not caring or people not even trying to find solutions. All I know from my years of working and learning is that we do have solutions. The federal government works in a way that can solve problems, but we have to learn the reality of the economic system to demand what is needed and deserved.

Do you care? Give me a call, and we’ll talk.

Rose Ann Miele is a journalist and was public information officer for Boulder City for nine years. She is the national outreach director for Real Progressives. She can be reached at roseannrab@hotmail.com or at 702-339-9082.

Don't miss the big stories. Like us on Facebook.
City’s past, future tied to lake

Lake Mead, the gem in Boulder City’s backyard, is losing its gleam.

Set goals for community, as a community

As a not so closeted optimist, I like to think about those things I’ve succeeded in and, because I hate the word “failed,” those things that I haven’t succeeded in during the new year. This year I worked my butt off, I read a ton of books, I wrote a lot of stories, I had one published and few opinions posted here. I went to some cool places and met some incredible people and taught a few classes of amazing people.

Shift to even-year elections produces some oddities

Our newest City Council members, Sherri Jorgensen and Matt Fox, took office only six months ago. So, it might seem much too early to start talking about city elections again. But this year marks a major change in Boulder City’s election cycle: a shift from odd-year elections to even-year elections. In other words, past city elections were held in odd-numbered years (for example, 2017, 2019 and 2021), but beginning this year they’ll take place in even years (2022, 2024 and so on).

Stick it to me

I’m in heaven today. That’s because it’s National Sticker Day. It’s a day that I can happily pay tribute to one of my favorite obsessions: stickers.

Reid was true friend to city

Few people know of the genius of Sen. Harry Reid. I was fortunate to get to know him from my position as mayor and council member of Boulder City. He was available to Boulder City residents and the citizens of Nevada regardless of which party they were affiliated with. I consider him to have been a friend.

Resolve to avoid resolutions

A new year. A new you. Making New Year’s resolutions to improve yourself or your life is a tradition that dates back thousands of years.

Path to move forward clear

I want to wish all the residents of Boulder City a new year that brings better times and allows us to move beyond the challenges and struggles we have had in the past year and more. We are tired and frustrated from the pandemic that has caused hardship and, for many, personal loss.

Memories made as time flies by

There are only a few hours left in 2021 and I don’t know how the others passed so quickly. It seems the older I get, the faster days fly by.

‘Twas the baking before Christmas

A few years ago, many readers commented how much they enjoyed my column about holiday baking and requested that I make this an annual tradition. Though my holiday baking has since expanded into the entire month of December so that more family and friends can enjoy the fruits of my labor, the true spirit of the message remains. I promise to stay knee-deep in flour, sugar and spices, and wish all a sweet holiday season and new year.

Diversity more systemic than racism

We live in the greatest country in the entire world. It has many inequalities and a number of negative attributes, but these are an exception, not the norm.