Dean Clough

October 6, 2023

Portico Darwin: A Jobs Program for SOPTOC


<2 Minute Read
Flag of Ukraine.jpg

On Monday, I'll be wrapping up my ginormous Soft on People, Tough on Crime program proposal.

It's a big post, so today's is short(er), and mostly a summary of SOPTOC.  

First, the belief that underpins the entire thing:
People are most definitely not born with a gene that makes them want to steal and/or sleep outside, and all but the most dysfunctional among us will choose dignity when given the option.

Next, the precursor policies that are the foundation of SOPTOC, and meant to offer dignity:

  • A $25/hour minimum wage, indexed as is rational
  • Free fundamental physical and mental healthcare
  • A 40-hour per week job available with a state or the Federal government, for anyone needing one
  • A pleasing place to stay for everybody, regardless of their condition

Next, what I've written previously on this subject.  There was the Introduction, The Front Desk, and Short Stays

On Monday, I'll cover Longer Stays within the Hotel SOPTOC paradigm, and how to pay for it all.

Until then and in answer to a question that many have asked (actually, no one has asked):  "Portico, you mention the guarantee of a job with a state or the Federal government.  What would these people do?"

My answer is at first obtuse, but then obvious.

10 Seconds of Seriousness:  you can go look up the train track passenger capacity thing.  It's a fact.

Yet, in 1956, the Federal government bankrolled the left side, and destroyed the right.  It was also a massive jobs program, for the construction and automotive industries, to name two.  And it was a Republican administration (that crazy socialist Dwight Eisenhower) that made it happen, and I'll go further:  the Interstate Highway System is largely responsible for the environmental, esthetic, and quality-of-life cluster-f we're in now.

This is America's "first" suburb, the hideous Levittown, outside of New York City on Long Island.

In 2023 dollars, the Interstate Highway System cost approximately $650 billion.

And now again, a great set of jobs - ranging from labor to manufacturing to engineering to management - is right there for us, if we faced the fact that cars are an awful approach for many transportation needs, and changed course.   

Am I crazy to ask:  If we could do highways in the 1950s, why can't we do world-class rail - local, intercity, and high-speed - now, in the 2020s?  It would go a long way towards fixing the built-environment fiasco that exists now, while at the same time creating a shit-ton of jobs.

Good paying, American jobs.  OMFG and yes, I said that. 

Have a great weekend. 

And oh, by the way, after Monday this whole blog thing will be shut down until Wednesday, October 18.  While I luxuriate, and I mean completely mother-f'ing luxuriate, for 7 nights, here.

Travel Guide?  Probably, but it will be boring.  Because here's what I looked like the last time we visited, in September of 2018.  As you can see, there's not a lot of time for writing.  Or going anywhere.


The very progressive Andy Jones took time away from diapering his new baby boy Cosmic to lament gas prices.  From his suburban coastal paradise in San Diego County.  From his giant SUV.  A giant Mercedes SUV.  

I paid the near-seven dollar per gallon price the other day at the pump, so ridiculous.  My current obsession for the Benz replacement: 

Cool, so you're dumping the Duke, too?  

I kid my dear friend Andy, and that Kia kicks ass. 

Thank you for reading this newsletter.  


Here's a fairly great yet still somehow repulsive album.  But it does feature "Just a Job to Do" and also one of my all-time faves, the Diamond Certified "Silver Rainbow."  This is Genesis with their eponymous album from 1983.  Kids, they were huge then.

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