Feed the artists

Back to Detroit: the July/August Atlantic featured a modest article entitled ‘Fifteen ways to Fix the World’. One that seems so ridiculous it might actually make sense is to turn Detroit into the capital of the newly proposed high-speed rail network. The factories which spewed GM’s mechanical jalopies could be reconfigured for train production, and no doubt Michigan’s many skilled engineers would like to stay in their homes if jobs will come back. With twelve percent of energy consumption in the US coming from new building projects, refitting existing structures makes as much sense getting vaccinated before going abroad. (I really hope I don’t get Dengue fever. I’ve had enough plague this summer.)
Other ideas from the article:

  • License kids to drink before they turn 21, provided they have gone through a course in alcohol awareness: ‘Clearly, state laws mandating a minimum drinking age of 21 haven’t eliminated drinking by young adults – they’ve simply driven it underground, where life and health are at greater risk.’
  • Amp up federal arts funding: ‘For every $30,000 or so spent on the arts, one more person gets a job, compared with about $1 million if you’re building a road or a hospital.’ This clearly isn’t sustainable in the extreme, but maybe there’s a happy medium?
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