Welcome to "The Gods Are Bored!" Should be grading papers. Blogging instead. I'll just give all my students A's, and everyone will be happy!
See how easy it is to be a teacher?
Today's sermon: Improving the economy of West Virginia and Kentucky
Why do men (and a few women) go deep into mountains and labor under dangerous working conditions that could get them killed at any time? Emm, I dunno ... maybe for the money? If coal mining was the only decent job where you lived, and you were hired to do it, would you say, "Oh, no, I think I'll work at Wal-Mart instead," and then go toil at pennies on the dollar? Not me. I'd strap on the helmet and spend my days in the dark.
You might say, "Anne, coal miners could move somewhere else and work in another occupation." To which I would reply, "Yes, many West Virginians emigrated to Detroit and Akron and such places to be auto manufacturers. But gosh. Hard as it is to imagine, people who live in the mountains love the mountains and want to stay there."
Cutting to the quick, here's my handy solution to the unemployment problems in two of our nation's most beautiful and scenic states.
First, you pass a law legalizing marijuana growth and use in West Virginia and Kentucky. All marijuana must be grown, processed, and used within those two states. Voila! An instant and ongoing economic stimulus! You'd have farming, processing, and that perennial moneymaker, tourism. You'd need border guards and extra law enforcement. Jobs, jobs, and more jobs. And none of them underground!
I suggest this sensible solution because it has worked in The Netherlands. The tourist industry there has boomed with the legalization of weed. Turns out that very few natives smoke the stuff. It's sold primarily to tourists.
So we fire up the farms and the processing plants (jobs), we designate some fine resort areas for pot cafes (The Greenbriar springs to mind -- you reading this, Al Gore?), and we step up border vigilance (jobs). All of this would lead to an influx of tourists spending money on food (jobs), pot (jobs, as above), lodging (jobs), and souvenirs (jobs, but probably in China).
The only downside I can see to this is that some people in the western states might say it's not fair that they would have to fly to Charleston or Louisville to visit a pot cafe. Oh well. You have Yellowstone. Deal with it.
To those who would object to pot use on moral grounds, here is my response:
1. Which makes a person meaner, a doobie or a fifth of Jack?
2. Marijuana use was legal until the 1930s, was supported by the pharmaceutical industry, and was only vilified by William Randolph Hearst because hemp was used to make paper, and Hearst had bought scads of forest to cull for paperwood.
Hemp! Oh, for the love of fruit flies, I forgot all about hemp! Fabric! Paper! And the manufacture thereof. More jobs!
Yes, I know this will never happen. But a lot of sensible things never happen. Doesn't mean they aren't sensible.
This advice is offered to the citizens and lawmakers of West Virginia and Kentucky free of charge as a courtesy of "The Gods Are Bored." But, folks in those parts ... if you decide to do it, can I get some comps?