A Modest Proposal
I just returned from Phily. I was there for work but was able to take a half day of vacation Friday morning and get on board USS Olympia. I’d like to thank Jesse and Bill for their excellent reception and the behind the scenes tour. Olympia is currently in very tough financial troubles and will close in a few weeks, possibly forever if funding isn’t located. Across the River USS New Jersey is also having fiscal issues and just up river is SS United States, the fastest ocean liner ever built and she too needs millions to save her from the scrappers torch.
Here is my rather simple idea. The United States should establish a national lotter. The lottery will fund conservation, cultural, scientific or historical programs. These could include anything from habitat restoration, an art museum, a dance company, historical ships, perhaps assist funding for a space mission (the private money that kept data flowing from Viking would be a model for the last).
Money would be allocated in the following fashion. Each year half the money would go to projects selected by individual States on a rotational basis. The first year ten States would be allowed access to the funds. The second year the next ten and so on. This would also include the District of Columbia.
The other half of the money would be allocated by vote to projects selected by national vote from a pool of projects presented by a commission that would be part of the lottery organization.