If the folks in Washington are looking for new ways to combat joblessness and boost local economies, they need to look no farther than the San Gabriel Valley.
It is there that Ed Roski has come up with a one-man, sure-fire stimulus package. And it's beautiful in its simplicity.
First, announce you are going to build a 70,000-seat stadium and bring NFL football back to Southern California.
Nobody asked for it but, what the heck, Roski, a billionaire businessman, controls the land necessary to build the stadium in the city of Industry and already has a certified environmental impact report for the site.
The price tag: $800 million or so.
So far so good. Building a stadium would certainly create jobs as would having a fully functioning pro football team working there.
But even if a spadeful of dirt is never turned in pursuit of this project, it will directly and indirectly engage many dozens of architects, engineers, public relations people, bankers, bartenders and bureaucrats.
Never mind that the chances of this stadium getting built are about the same as me setting the pole vault record. The NFL isn't interested. Neither are the people of Los Angeles. It doesn't matter. Those working on the project get paid just the same.
Next, alienate people living in the surrounding communities.The city of Walnut has already filed a lawsuit to stop the proposed construction of the stadium. People in Diamond Bar are mad.
The Walnut suit filed in Los Angeles County Superior Court accuses the city of Industry of approving the stadium without sufficiently reviewing its environmental impact. Neighboring cities "would realize significant traffic impact, noise, air and light pollution and other impacts that would jeopardize the health, safety and welfare of its residents," officials in Walnut claim.
The city of Industry and Roski's people disagree.
I think you see where I'm going here.
The suit immediately initiates the Lawyers Full Employment Act. Hordes of attorneys from both sides descend upon the issue to argue the merits of the case.
Motions are filed. Depositions are taken.
The attorneys in turn hire clerks, researchers, limo drivers, messenger services and pizza delivery boys to fuel their efforts.
Talk about trickle down economics.
But wait, there's more!
The citizens of Walnut are not happy that their elected representatives were late to the party in opposing the stadium. So they are filing recall papers against three city council members.
Help wanted: campaign managers, petition circulators, poll takers, vote counters, printers to grind out political signage. The possibilities are endless.
Of course, there are a lot of people in Walnut who support a stadium. When they get organized, they'll also be looking to employ a few good men, metaphorically speaking, to represent their interests.
And even more: According to the Los Angeles Times, the Walnut suit also claims that the developer's campaign failed to reach the city's large Asian population.
The suit claims that the city of Industry did not properly inform Walnut residents in their native language about the potential impact of the $800-million stadium. Although Industry knew that the stadium-entertainment complex would impact large Chinese, Korean, Tagalog and Spanish-speaking populations in Walnut, it failed to provide notices for the project in any language other than English, according to the suit.
This, of course, opens the door to reams of paperwork necessary to notify the aggrieved populace in at least four different and diverse languages about the project. That requires a veritable United Nations to translate and communicate the appropriate information. Another job creation opportunity.
For the Roski plan to work, he must convince a current NFL owner to pull up stakes and move to Southern California.
Think that would result in a few bigtime lawsuits and the attendant employment opportunities? Is the Pope German?
So notify the Obama Administration. Ed's on to something. Our economic salvation lies in proposing outlandish stadia smack dab in the middle of communities that don't want them. It could cut the unemployment figures in half.
And what happens when the Roski NFL stadium plan falls through? Why, he'll build a giant retail center complete with office space, stores, theaters and restaurants.
Get your resume ready.