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At last, Obama is getting serious about America’s jobs crisis, proposing a $50-billion effort to put Americans to work repairing our national infrastructure. Of course, congressional Republicans have responded as they always do: petulantly shouting “no” and plopping their fat butts down in the middle of the legislative path to block progress.
But Obama could take one symbolic step on his own that would create jobs for about a dozen American workers. It involves the construction of a memorial and statue of Martin Luther King, Jr. on our National Mall. After all, King’s historic 1963 march on Washington was about jobs and poverty – so why not have some of our highly-skilled bricklayers and stone masons who’re now unemployed build this monument in honor of King’s legacy?
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Seems sensible, but guess what? The quasi-governmental foundation overseeing the King memorial project doesn’t seem to have much sense. It is importing eight to 12 workers from – believe it or not – China to do this job!
Why don’t they just poke every out-of-work American in the eye with a sharp stick? As the Bricklayers union said in exasperation, this is “wrong, wrong, wrong.”
Well, sniffed a spokeswoman for the foundation, only the centerpiece of the memorial is outsourced to Chinese craftworkers, so stop your griping. Ironically, that centerpiece is named the “Stone of Hope,” but apparently no one at the foundation has any grasp of irony, so they are proceeding to obtain work visas to bring the Chinese into our nation’s capital and construct King’s monument. Presumably, America’s vast pool of jobless workers will be allowed to watch them.
To join the Bricklayers’ protest of this insult, call the Martin Luther King Memorial Foundation and tell them to put Americans back to work: 202-737-5420.
“Dream Job: Martin Luther King Statue With Made in China Label?” www.abcnews.com, September 7, 2010.