I came up with an idea that could help with issues such as: growing welfare costs, abuse of the welfare system, obesity, and possibly even rising health-care costs all at once. You have said on numerous occasions that this nation’s greatest resource is our people, so please consider the following.
Much like FDR’s Civilian Conservation Corps of the 1930’s, I propose that we put the recipients of welfare and unemployment aid to work several hours per week to earn their check. There are stationary bicycles already fitted with technology that will harness the energy produced by the rider. What if you placed facilities throughout the country and gave people a time to ‘show up for work’. Giving them a 2-3 hour work day would allow plenty of time to let them continue to look for more gainful employment, perhaps discourage the continued abuse of the welfare system, give many people a much needed workout which could lead to decreased health-care costs – all while producing energy from a clean source.
I have read that by giving people a job, rather than a handout – FDR helped restore a sense of purpose and meaning to many lives during the great depression. Perhaps this could work again. Others would find the task undesirable, and may be incented to look for more gainful employment. The energy produced by these bicycles is not going to solve the global warming or foreign energy dependence issues, but it certainly couldn’t hurt. I’m sure if the initiative were taken seriously there could be further developments in the technology to produce a respectable amount of energy.
In areas where it would not make economic sense to build such facilities, you could put people to work doing other tasks that municipalities are in need of and are lacking the budget to pay for these days.
I know your time is limited, therefore I have not included too much detail in this note. If you would like me to expand upon my idea in further detail, please let me know. I have included a link below to give you an idea of how this technology is currently being utilized in gyms, prisons, etc.
Sincerely,Let's take it one step further. A few weeks ago I wrote a piece regarding cyclists that received mix reaction. Now I have a use for those cyclists that clog roadways! They can quit their day jobs, put on their tightest ensemble, and become government employees. Take these people on rides, or better yet, stick them all in a room together and pedal for power! These assholes could've been getting all of us through Hurricane Irene instead of Trivial Pursuit.