FDR tried and failed to fix the 1930s recession..... it ultimately took a world war to bring-back full employment. Without the war, FDR would have been voted out of office in 1940, and the recession would have stretched through most of the 1940s.
Obama faces what FDR faced, and Obama's not going to be any more successful. (Unless a war saves him.)
Why is it we always praise wars for bringing full employment? I hate to use the cheesedick "war on x" phrases but seriously, what if we were literally do pull out all the stops and mobilize the population on the scale of total war but make the enemy be shoddy infrastructure or crappy housing or something. Instead of marshaling the entire industrial might of the nation towards turning out bombers and tanks, why not treat the whole war as a massive public works project? Make the government the employer of last resort. "If private industry cannot provide work for our good citizens, the government will employ them in something as close to their profession as possible, working towards the public good." It's unemployment benefits that don't keep you out of work and gives the government a tangible return for the money. When the economy picks up, the private sector can start hiring the workers back.
We've been cutting back on investing in infrastructure for decades, it'd be good to put some money back into our country again. Set a goal of getting us off fossil fuels over the next two decades, put government labs to work on seriously making a go of fusion power, green living, reshape our cities to be less energy intensive.
Monday, September 29, 2008
A Slashdot post I saw by "jollyreaper", replying to another post.