In 1933, when Franklin Roosevelt took office with the promise of government action to relieve destitution, unemployment had reached nearly 25 percent. As part of that commitment, his administration created the WPA, a permanent jobs program that put 8.5 million Americans to work between 1935 and 1943. The WPA was a massive public undertaking that changed the face of a growing nation. In addition to providing jobs to millions, it brought the nation's transportation system into the 20th century and brought art to people of all classes, leaving the U.S. with a rich legacy of oral history and artistic masterpieces.
Many organizations are calling for a modern incarnation of the WPA both to assist the nation’s 6.5 million long-term unemployed and to advance national priorities, from transitioning to clean energy to modernizing infrastructure to supporting the arts. A new WPA could help support:
This article says that many organizations are calling for a new WPA . This is the first I heard of it and I like to think of myself well informed.
I’d be all for a new WPA. There is a lot of crumbling infrastructure in this country that could use rebuilding. And I don’t know about the schools in your town, but the schools in my town are almost 60 years old.
The WPA did a lot of good. It’s most important contribution was keeping the peace. There were an awful lot of very unhappy unemployed people during the Great Depression. A lot of these people were question the idea of democracy and capitalism.
Franklin Roosevelt didn’t pony up and create the WPA because he was a good guy, he did it to keep the masses of unemployed people from taking over the country and turning it into the USSR.
Our problem today is that we have been dumbed down and conditioned to believe that thee is no other way to live. We worry about keep the lights on but not about keeping our intellectual fires burning. It is sort of a badge of honor to be a dumb ass these days.
We let ourselves get ruined by a financial elite that turns around and pretends it was our fault that economy was ruined. If only we have lived within our means they tell us and not taken out a mortgage we could afford, the economy wouldn’t have collapsed.
And rest assured that if the idea of a new WPA ever makes it to the mainstream media there will be people from the financial elite fighting it tooth and nail. They will say that there is no money left and the deficit is too large. They’ll say we need to lower taxes on business and high net worth individuals to create jobs. They’ll say the government shouldn’t make jobs the private sector should.
What they won’t say is that the defense budget helps fund a huge number of private jobs and that by creating one job in government which in turn could create two jobs in the private sector we could actually stimulate the economy out of this depression.
The financial elite are happy with the way things are going. They have spent 40 years dismantling the Middle Class to enrich and empower themselves. They are not going to want to rebuild the very people they are working to enslave.