Saturday, May 5, 2012

WPA, CCC...........why not?

You all know I'm a Conservative and I am not an admirer of FDR because I have read enough to know that whatever he did during the Depression might have helped for a while but was not at all a long term solution. As a matter of fact, it probably opened the door for welfare in this country none of our Founders would have agreed with, and which has put us in the hole (financially and morally) we're in today, if I may be so bold to say so.  BUT,  while you all should know by now that I'm no fan of an FDR-type of big government, COULD we have been better off this time, since Obama came into office, if he'd followed through with his "shovel ready" promises of putting millions of Americans to work building or repairing infrastructure, etc., with the STIMULUS MONEY, that ENORMOUS amount of money most experts can't, today, even truly account for in total?

COULD we have put millions to work, had a stronger infrastructure and then backed out of that whole situation (projects DO end, after all...a bridge gets built and that's that) as small businesses grew and started hiring instead of our Congress and President having concentrated so hard on a health care situation which, after so much time, expense, and vitriol in opinions, which might now be thrown out for possible unconstitutionality?

Had we started thousands of projects across this country, those projects (bridges, railways, roads, buildings, dams, freeways, schools, etc.) would have needed so many things small businesses could have provided and which would have 'grown them', like:

uniforms, hard hats, etc.
food services and all that entails
cement, iron, steel, and all other building materials would have boomed
vehicles..trucks, cars, etc.
insurance companies
printing
security people
janitorial people
...probably MANY more types of businesses could have grown, no?

What do you think?  Are you SO against big government taking over projects such as the ones I suggest, or do you think it MIGHT have worked had we the foresight to have eased out of the big government-created jobs after it helped build small businesses ... or could we have?

What do you think?

z

42 comments:

Joe Conservative said...

:P

Joe Conservative said...

Starting Nov 7, you'll be put to work, alright. ;)

Speedy G said...

Hmmmm, BIGGER government OR BIGGER BIG business... What are we going to do? It's a two party system. We don't want to throw our votes away!

-FJ said...

btw- We had all those "shovel ready" recovery programs underway in 2008, when the bottom fell out of the economy. When Obama questions whether people want to go back to the "old Republican way" of doing things, do you think he's speaking to an empty room?

-FJ said...

The answer doesn't lie in BIG CORPORATE business... but in small owner-operator ones... America writ "small" business. W/O special "rights" for unaccountability (read limited liability) and "immortally deep" corporate money pits that never pay stock-HOLDER dividends.

The Absolute Marxist said...

Corporate cash on hand is better than money in the bank, right?

Stanley Kowalski said...

Hesiod, "Works and Days"

Perses, lay up these things in your heart, and do not let that Strife who delights in mischief hold your heart back from work, while you peep and peer and listen to the wrangles of the court-house. Little concern has he with quarrels and courts who has not a year's victuals laid up betimes, even that which the earth bears, Demeter's grain. When you have got plenty of that, you can raise disputes and strive to get another's goods. But you shall have no second chance to deal so again: nay, let us settle our dispute here with true judgement which is of Zeus and is perfect. For we had already divided our inheritance, but you seized the greater share and carried it off, greatly swelling the glory of our bribe-swallowing lords who love to judge such a cause as this. Fools! They know not how much more the half is than the whole, nor what great advantage there is in mallow and asphodel.

Which Lords and Judges do YOU prefer to labour FOR.... now VOTE!

Fredd said...

Nope, Z. Government doesn't do much of anything right, except for building interstates and bombing bad guys.

The gubmint does those things exceptionally well, but they spend a TON of money doing either. And we've got all the interstate highways we need, so that leaves the bombing thing as the only thing that Uncle Sam would be capable of doing correctly.

Thersites said...

The stimulus preserved jobs for 3.3 million useless bureaucrats. Congtatulate Obama for us, liberalman.

Thersites said...

Obama may be in a position to decree that all bulls have tits, but he'll never be able to decree that those tits actually produce milk.

Thersites said...

...with the result being that it actually happens.

Saving 3.3 million unpaid for bureaucratic positions by borrowing a trillion dollars isn't quite the same thing as creating 3.3 million self-sustaining private sector jobs. Not even is a few of those temporary "construction" jobs ARE in the private sector. Once the gov't money is spent... what becomes of those jobs? And who PAYS for them?

Thersites said...

btw - Not all infrastructure improvement projects are equal. Else those "bridges to nowhere" would have us all "swimming" in cash.

Brooke said...

Where I live, we saw one patch of roadway redone. It is a bypass, rather a short one, and the whole thing wasn't redone, just about 3/4.

Those jobs went to gov't employees and subcontractors, and they were gone within a year.

Plus, they made the bypass a complete cluster-you-know-what instead of simply enlarging it, where you can't make left turns or go straight through intersections. You have to go right to get into a special turn lane to go left. It's so bad that most of the locals avoid it whenever possible.

Ticker said...

One of "obama's shovel ready jobs" has been taking place near where I live. It is a relative short stretch of road, 2.5 miles or less and is being paved. The first coat went down in February. It was so thin that you could read the newspaper through it and rippled so it felt as if you were driving on a wash board. The second layer or a fourth of it went down in mid March. The rest was finished last week. They are waiting to see what the numbers on employment are before doing the striping on the road. It will require stipes to indicate three lanes, a center lane in some areas for turning. I am betting it will be July before it is finished, again depending on the job numbers.

As to CCC and WPA, Obama's base would scream bloody murder because none of them actally want a job that requires work, real work, the kind that breaks a sweat. De all wants a poosition so de kin sat at a desk all day, or walk up and down the halls shuffling and BSing for 7.5 hours and lunch hour has to come out of that as well. My, my, so busy.

Bob said...

Z:

Infrastructure spending, almost by definition, will produce few jobs and almost no new economic benefit for the nation. Let me explain.

Pretty much all the proposed, and imagined, infrastructure projects deal with repairing, updating, or just expanding existing structures and roads. These roads, dams, bridges, and buildings are producing economic benefits now, and just re-paving a road, or rebuilding a bridge does not sell more goods and services. Nothing improves except the roads are smoother.

Sure. Some people will be hired to make and spread concrete, haul the foreign steel for the bridge replacement, etc., but that's about it.

Politically connected contractors will get the lion's share of the work, making the so-called stimulus spending a spectacular political payoff scheme.

All this infrastructure spending talk sounds good until you look under the rocks and find the maggots. If you even try to examine the definition of a "shovel ready project", you discover inherent conflicts just in the wording.

For a project to literally be shovel ready, it has to have gone through the planning, designing, approval, and contracting phases. This means that the project is funded, and the contracts are awarded.

All the feds can do, in this case, is change the source of the funds. Just messing with the system causes delays in the projects, and maybe some people loose their jobs because of the delay.

So you see, infrastructure spending for the sake of stimulating the economy is very inefficient. The shovel ready stuff doesn't exist.

It is all a fool's game, and we are the fools.

Bob said...

"some people loose their jobs"

OOPS! I suppose there are loose jobs, and they may be easy to lose. My fingers don't know the difference.

Z said...

FJ, Joe, Speedy,et al, do you still have your blogs??

Bob, I like to think it could have been better handled than that, but you're probably right.

Ticker and Brooke, it's puny little projects I see around here, I mean REALLY insignificant projects, with big STIMULUS signs on them...a joke, really.

-FJ said...

You tell me, Z, and then perhaps nicrap could tell you....

Z said...

FJ, perhaps....you mean the nicrap who's the only other commenter at Sue's blog? The one who stopped commenting here as soon as I said it's you? what a coincidence!

:-)

-FJ said...

Exactly! Only naive suckers beieve in coincidences. The cynical money is ALWAYS on a conspiracy!

-FJ said...

wisdom trumps justice every time... else what would we need bribe swallowing lords for?

Z said...

FJ...whatever. calm down.

-FJ said...

I'll calm down the day Mittens withdraws his candidacy and Republicans stop supporting corporate overlords for high office.

Z said...

FJ, JC, SG, Thersites, etc.:

Let me get this straight...

SO, you want us all to vote for Gary Johnson because you think he's the most conservative guy.

And we're supposed to do that because our consciences shouldn't let us vote for someone who's not as conservative as you'd like, or WE'D like (by the way).

And you think that at least our consciences will be clear, right?....though we had a chance of getting Obama out....

You think Romney's for high taxes, free everything (school, healthcare, etc.), for restricting how we raise our kids, for mind-bending, country-ruining and unproven environmental laws, appeasing enemies, letting the world push us around because then they'll "like us"...etc, etc..etc...right? You think Romney's the same as Obama, is that it?

Mustang said...

Obama is a liar and a fraud. Why? Because in New York there is a $400 million renovation project on the Alexander Hamilton Bridge. California has a Bay Bridge project budgeted for $7.2 billion project to rebuild the Bay Bridge connecting San Francisco and Oakland. In Alaska, there is a proposal for a $190 million bridge project. At the National Mall in Washington a thirty- foot statue, the centerpiece of a $120 million four-acre memorial to Dr. King --and China benefitted from all of these projects, not Americans.

Who ended up with these taxpayer funded jobs? In New York, it was the China Construction America, a subsidiary of the China State Construction Engineering Corporation. While U.S. workers were employed, high-end jobs in engineering and design all went to China—along with the profits. In Alaska, tens of millions of taxpayer money will be allocated in the purchase of foreign materials for the Tanana River Bridge; most of the bridge will be constructed in China, with final assembly in Alaska.

US law requires that major infrastructure projects provide preferential treatment to American companies under the so-called Buy America provisions, but firms opt out when there is a major cost differential. The Alaska project favors the Chinese.

California flatly rejected federal funding for the Bay Bridge in order to go with a Chinese company that came in with the lowest bid. This cost Americans 3,000 jobs —it leaves me scratching my head. I keep wondering how anyone can favor a union that drives up the cost of construction, forcing decision makers to consider foreign (non-union workers), and I wonder why anyone would vote for a politician who (a) supports union corruption, (b) uses ever increasing taxpayer funds to pay foreign workers for shovel-ready projects, and (c) is proven and again to be a damn liar.

-FJ said...

No, I want you to vote FOR the best candidate becaue YOU actually believe him to be best, and NOT because some stupid "party" has endorsed him and convinced you that ONLY a "party man" can win.

To NOT vote for the best candidate... just seems a bit MORE than cynical...it's seems positively un-American.

And NO, I don't think Romney and Obama are the same... one wants big government control of the economy, one wants big corporate control of the economy. I don't like EITHER.

Rita said...

Thankfully Sybil doesn't get 30 votes, only one.

-FJ said...

Whether the government or some corporate board controls the economy makes no difference to me. I want average Americans to be in control of the economy. I want government and corporations to serve the needs of people, and NOT the other way around.

-FJ said...

...and what makes you believe that one person, one vote is the actual case, Rita? Because Chicago Mayor Richard Daley says so?

Big Fat Tio Mike said...

I think the point is to create wealth (i.e. whatever it is that people want) not create jobs. People don't like jobs. They spend their lives saving money so they can retire and not have a job. They tolerate jobs because they like the wealth more than they dislike the job.

So I think a better question is does government spending do a better job of producing things that people want than does the free market. I suppose it's metaphysically possible that the elected officials know what the people want better than the people themselves do, but that seems to fly in the face of conservatism.

And if we create a bunch of temporary jobs in these various fields, doesn't that encourage more people to go into (or stay in) those fields so that the next time there is a downturn in those industries, more people are affected?

bftm

Big Fat Tio Mike said...

FJ
I think it is worth drawing a distinction between big business and big government. Big business gets its money by producing goods that compel people to voluntarily give their money to the business in exchange for the goods. Big government gets its money by demanding it from the people via taxes and threatening imprisonment. If you want to bring big business lobbyist into the conversation, it is worth noting that they are trying to influence government, so big government is more the underlying cause. No?

bftm

-FJ said...

Really? And do you see any "distincttion" between people and corporations? Because...

In 1955, sales of the Fortune 500 accounted for one-third of U.S. gross domestic product. By 2004 they commanded two-thirds. This means that a few hundred corporations enveloped not only the commons but also millions of smaller firms organized as partnerships or proprietorships.

I do. Coorporations are "immortal". People are not. And over the course of time, as Jonathan Swift remarked in Gullivers Travels...

I could not but agree, that the laws of this kingdom relative to the STRULDBRUGS were founded upon the strongest reasons, and such as any other country would be under the necessity of enacting, in the like circumstances. Otherwise, as avarice is the necessary consequence of old age, those immortals would in time become proprietors of the whole nation, and engross the civil power, which, for want of abilities to manage, must end in the ruin of the public.

-FJ said...

Now don't get me wrong, Mike, I don't think corporations are necessarily a bad thing. They do some incredible work. But I DO think that you can have too much of a good thing. When there are less and less owners of businesses, and lmore and more workers in corporations.... you create a dependency that never previously existed. So I favour limitting what corporations are allowed to do, and favor that they be forced to reward stockholders with dividends... instead of simply amassing huge capital reserves to buy out smaller business with. in my opinion, small businesses trump too big to failbusinesses eight days a week.

Get it?

-FJ said...

Now Mitt Romney's dad ran a car company. Mitt bought and sold small companies for a larger company. Gary Johnson founded his own mechanical contracting company and built a company that grew to over a thousand employees.

Which guy do YOU think would make a better president for the American people, and which would make a better president for the OWS 1%? I'm just saying...

-FJ said...

Perhaps its' time to see what the FOunders saw... not a land built by 13 corporations run by the "proprietors" withRoyal Charters. but a land full of small owner-operators... with a library corporation, a hospital corporation, a lighthouse corporation,

-FJ said...

...a water workscorporation... a fire department corporation...

corporations designed and chartered to fill specific social needs.

-FJ said...

The Story of the Creation of the Nation's First Hospital

Pennsylvania Hospital was founded in 1751 by Dr. Thomas Bond and Benjamin Franklin "to care for the sick-poor and insane who were wandering the streets of Philadelphia." At the time, Philadelphia was the fastest growing city in the 13 colonies. In 1730, the population numbered 11,500 and had grown to 15,000 by 1750 (the city continued to grow and by 1776, its 40,000 residents made Philadelphia the second largest English-speaking city in the British Empire).

-FJ said...

Modern historians such as H.L. Osgood reduce the three forms of colonial government to two: corporate and provincial governments. The modern interpretation holds that the charter governments of Rhode Island, Connecticut and Massachusetts were provincial colonies. The others, the "corporate" colonies, were there to perform as companies on behalf of individuals, groups or the Crown, and were not mandated to be colonies. In other words, the colonies were there to serve the individual or group interests, without a requirement that they be a colony or long-term settlement.

-FJ said...

Now the British merchantilists Loved big corporations, like the British East India Company, but the founders were NOT so enamoured... in fact, they didn't like having to buy the "company tea"... and so the switched to coffee.

You getting this, yet?

-FJ said...

Wanna know another reason why the colonists hated tea?

The Bengal famine of 1770 (Bengali: ৭৬-এর মন্বন্তর, Chhiattōrer monnōntór; lit The Famine of '76) was a catastrophic famine between 1769 and 1773 (1176 to 1180 in the Bengali calendar) that affected the lower Gangetic plain of India. The famine is estimated to have caused the deaths of 10 million people (one out of three, reducing the population to thirty million in Bengal, which included Bihar and parts of Orissa).

The famine occurred in the territory which was called Bengal, then ruled by the British East India Company. This territory included modern West Bengal, Bangladesh, and parts of Assam, Orissa, Bihar, and Jharkhand. It was earlier a province of the Mughal empire from the 16th century and was ruled by a Nawab, or governor. In early 18th century, as the Mughal empire started collapsing, The Nawab became effectively independent of the Mughal rule. Following the Maratha Expeditions in Bengal, they became a tributary of the Marathas in Pune.[5]

In the 17th century the then-English East India Company had been given a grant of the town of Calcutta by the Mughal Prince Shah Shuja. At this time the Company was effectively another tributary power of the Mughal. During the following century, the company obtained sole trading rights for the province and went on to become the dominant power in Bengal. In 1757, at the Battle of Plassey, the British defeated the then-Nawab Siraj Ud Daulah and plundered the Bengali treasury. In 1764 their military control was reaffirmed at Buxar. The subsequent treaty gained them the Diwani, that is, taxation rights; the Company thereby became the de facto ruler of Bengal.

-FJ said...

Big corporations like the British East India Company were NOT very socially responsible (10 million deaths). The colonists demanded something better. So should we.

Law and Order Teacher said...

Z,
In class I stress that FDR's economic plan was ridiculous as far as results. He said coming in that he would emphasize "doing something" even if it didn't work. He wanted to appear to be doing something even if it was the wrong thing. And most of the time it was. Listen to his inaugural address in 1933. Chilling.

His AAA programs were particularly destructive. When is it good to kill thousands of piglets to artificially inflate prices in a country where people are starving. FDR, don't get me started.