And while cutting bricks for our driveway this Veteran’s Day it occurred to me that the problem with the universe is that the Republicans, having thought it a good idea to get on the wrong side of the Civil Rights movement, reconsidered and opened their arms to … the neocons, who promptly launched us into a ruinous and misguided invasion and occupation of the one country in all the world that was willing and able to keep the Iranian mullahs in check. Now, as the
Because Iraq worked out so well, I guess.
And everybody on both sides of the aisle seems to think we might as well arm the Syrian Islamic militants while we’re at it.
Because building up Bin Ladin to fight against the Soviets worked out so well.
And while walking with Rusko the Wonder Dog past all the great WPA stone work along the Mighty St. Joseph River, it occurred to me that the problem with the universe is that too many modern Democrats think ideological technocrats like Christina Romer should be allowed anywhere near stimulus spending decisions.
With Senate Democrats complaining that Barack Obama didn’t put enough bricks and mortar into his stimulus package, one of Obama’s top economists on Sunday said why — to create jobs for women and not just “burly men.”
Christina Romer, chair of the Council of Economic Advisers, says in a new video that investments in education and health care, along with direct state aid and tax cuts, will help spread the benefits of the stimulus beyond merely road and bridge projects.
“All of those kinds of pieces are creating jobs in some of the sectors like health care and education and retail trade, where women are sort of a disproportionally large fraction,” Romer says.
What Prof. Romer doesn’t seem to acknowledge is that construction and public works jobs help more than the “burly men” who traditionally do the dirty and dangerous work that makes the country run. They help women and minorities and minority contractors too, and they help the families who are fed by the burly men’s paychecks, and they help the communities where they spend their money. And most importantly when 100 percent of the stimulus spending is borrowed money that our children will have to repay because we can’t, construction work earns public support because it produces tangible stuff – roads, bridges, sewers – that we can all agree we need and that we all can use for years to come.
“It was a very wide-ranging program, but the basic theme was to put as many people as possible to work doing something that was plausibly defined as useful,” Patrick Furlong, a professor emeritus of history at Indiana University South Bend, said of the New Deal.
That was the ticket then and that should be the ticket today. When you borrow 787 BILLION dollars from China and other foreign investors, you should be able to hire a godzillion burly men to to do a whole truckload of work that will benefit our kids as much as us. Instead, much of the “health care and education and retail trade” stimulus money spent with such exquisite political sensitivity is already long gone, disappeared, kaput, vanished without a trace except for the big honking IOU we signed in our kids’ names.