Put 15 Million Back to Work Fixing $2.2 Trillion in Infrastructure: the Works Progress Administration
Saturday 23 July 2011
by: Barbara G. Ellis Ph.D., Truthout | Op-Ed
(Full Article) http://www.truth-out.org/put-15-million-back-work/1311271379
[[Perhaps all is not lost for the republic's economic future, even as its leaders let this nation hurtle toward the abyss of the Great Depression II. An immensely successful, sensible and practical solution is being signaled by increasingly thunderous shout-outs from prominent people: pundits Paul Krugman, Bob Herbert, Rich Lowry, former Labor Secretary Robert Reich, filmmaker Michael Moore and two new web sites - not to mention millions of voters with long memories and the friends and families of the nation's 15,000,000 unemployed.
Their solution? Resurrect the phenomenally successful Works Progress Administration (WPA) of 1935-1943. It put food on the table, kept a roof overhead and put spending money in the pockets of nearly nine million jobless. They built everything from roads, bridges, dams and utility systems to schools and hospitals. They staffed libraries and taught more than a million adults and 90,000 draftees how to read.
Why not a WPA-II? We do have that civilian army of 15,000,000 unemployed, which could tackle the $2.2 trillion dollars of vital work needed by 2014 on our ramshackle infrastructure system.
Unlike the untold billions spent today - almost unquestioningly - on foreign wars and occupations and economic aid and infrastructure, the WPA's annual $2 billion budget was scrutinized by bitter enemies in Congress for every nickel it squeezed from the Treasury and for any whiff of abuse.]]