Newsday printed the following piece I submitted along with my photo. (No photo appears on the on-line version but if you're interested they used my 'Facebook' shot.) It represents my first 'By-Line' and is entitled "Stimulus Plan Breeds IMBYism." You may view the original on-line or read it here:
With the economy in the dumps, even the dumps become desirable.
People are scrounging around for whatever they can get their hands on without laying out too much money - or any for that matter. Discarded items aren't even making it to the local sanitation plant. They're being picked up by opportunistic individuals looking to recycle your castaways into their layaways.
It's a sad win-win scenario that's becoming all-too-common everywhere. But there's an upside, I guess: I no longer have to call for "special pickup."
Washington has attempted to come up with a plan to stimulate job and business growth, but they've been stymied by special interest groups who naturally want a piece of any pie being baked - even if only half so.
In the past, when there was a plan to build an alternative energy plant, or even just an upgrade to a currently used energy plant, the cry from every neighborhood was "Not in My Back Yard!"
This NIMBY mentality was loudly voiced by the public, but only quietly echoed by the elected officials of the complaining districts. The representatives realized that new plants could bring in revenue, and possibly even a bit of prosperity.
But the playing field has been altered now. The new cry is IMBY!
The debate in D.C. over the stimulus package has garnered more lobbyists trying to tack on an IMBY clause or two. And their local public is coming on board. That's better than seeing the taxpayers' money go to the same group of CEOs that caused the meltdown in the first place. And to make matters worse, some of the companies that are slated to receive the TARP funds are multinational ones, and most certainly not IMBY.
While no one plan can please everyone, it's clear that the entire country is in need of assistance. Everyone's back yard could use a leg up, and if Washington could stop bickering publicly and get down to the job at hand privately, maybe we will finally see some help.
One area talked about a lot is the alternative energy sector. Every neighborhood in America, and especially here on Long Island, would benefit from the emergence of a new homegrown industry that isn't under the control and whim of the OPEC nations and their ilk.
A reduced dependence on foreign oil would also have the added long-term benefit of reversing carbon emissions - cleaning the air we breathe and slowing global warming.
So I hereby offer to have solar panels placed on my property, although I would want them on my roof rather than in my back yard.
Intelligent leaders should embrace a new mantra: "Industry must be ecologically constructive in lean economy."
Unfortunately the acronym for this new initiative would be IMBECILE, but then, what's in a name?