Greg Mankiw pointed this press release from Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA). I had mentioned this in assorted links for today, but on readng the press release in detail, it deserves a separate post.
(AZA) today called for shovel-ready zoo and aquarium infrastructure projects to be eligible for Federal stimulus funding.
According to a 2008 national public opinion survey 79 percent of Americans believe that zoos and aquariums are good for their local economy, and an impressive 80 percent believe that zoos and aquariums are important enough to local communities to be supported by government funding.
Well, well. All they are saying is that they should be made a part of Obama’s fiscal stimuls plan. They should also be given government finances under the plan to build zoos and aquariums around US. And they have some strong support to back their arguments:
Many zoos have their roots in the Great Depression, when the Federal Work Projects Administration (WPA) helped build many zoos across America. In more recent times, aquariums have been successful anchors of waterfront renewal and development.
“Zoos and aquariums will deliver incredible value for the Federal government,” added Maddy. “Investment in these institutions will pay-off twice, first in immediate job creation, and second, in the environmental education of our children for years to come.”
It may sound funny to most but looks quite practical and do-able. It might not get that much opposition as well. There is always a debate on whether we should have zoos/aquariums at all in the first place but let us leave that to experts. I am only thinking from the fiscal stimuls perspective.
The initial draft of Obama’s plan shows he is pretty keen to make public buildings more energy efficient. Now, apart from zoos and aquariums he could also build facilities/exhibitions that teach future children the virtues of energy efficiency.
Paul Krugman in his blog remarked:
Seriously, we are in very deep trouble. Getting out of this will require a lot of creativity, and maybe some luck too.
Some creativity is beginning to show. It is also much better to read these proposals than all the tough papers on fiscal stimulus being pointed these days.