Monday, October 5, 2009

How can we create more jobs, faster?

The stimulus has helped to save and create jobs. The only problem is that the stimulus was too little and is being implemented on a timetable that is too slow to have short term impact. We need a second stimulus, perhaps larger that the first one. This time we need to go back to what worked with the New Deal. We need a new Civil Works Administration (CWA) and new Works Progress Administration (WPA). Created in November 1933, the CWA put over 4 million people to work making highway repairs, laying sewer lines, improving airports and schools, providing 50,000 new teachers to help keep rural schools open. The WPA helped some 9 million people through tough times and left behind buildings, bridges, roads, airports, schools and park facilities still in use today. Both of these programs were criticized but they were brought online quickly and put people back to work right away. Roosevelt’s programs didn't end the Depression but they cut the unemployment rate from nearly 25% in 1933 to about 10% in 1940 (counting the unemployed as a percentage of the total civilian labor force.) We could use something like that now.


Get busy Democrats. You are running out of time to start bringing unemployment down. Roosevelt cut unemployment by about 3% in a year and more than 5% in two years.

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