In August of this year, 139,010 persons were officially unemployed in the state of Oregon, making the unemployment rate© 7.2%, which is more than 18% above the national average unemployment rate of 6.1%. This is of great concern to someone in the state government. Furthermore, it just so happens that Oregon has exactly 105,763.2 traffic lights.1 As a temporary solution, Senator Robyn G. Murphy has proposed a new law, which, if passed, will require all traffic lights to be operated manually:
Oregon State Traffic Regulation D24.B.kw4a6ckk.w14ack.δ.q will have a number of important benefits for The State of Oregon.2 First, it will reduce unemployment by creating jobs. Second, it will save electricity, thus reducing our use of natural resources. Third, it will allow traffic light operators to better judge when a signal needs to be changed to move traffic as efficiently as possible, while saving the state the $20,000 to $40,000 per intersection required to install ‘smart’ electronic traffic lights.
Senator Sara R. Day opposes this legislation on the following grounds:
Imagine spending eight hours, or even one hour, sitting there and operating a traffic light! It would be impossibly tedious, but at the same time it would be a fairly important responsibility. The temptation to foul things up and cause havoc with traffic would be too much for even the most responsible adult. Manual traffic lights would disrupt The Economy of The State of Oregon3 more than a foreign invasion.
Tyler J. Calabrese, a Salem resident, notes that “this description sounds a lot like being a state legislator. Boring, and a lot of potential to mess things up. I bet that the senators would make good traffic light operators.”