Obama Pledges Public Works on a Vast Scale

Discussion in 'Multinational HQ' started by KevinB, Dec 7, 2008.

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  1. Obama Pledges Public Works on a Vast Scale

    By PETER BAKER and JOHN M. BRODER
    Published: December 6, 2008

    "WASHINGTON — President-elect Barack Obama committed Saturday to the largest public works construction program since the creation of the interstate highway system a half-century ago as he seeks to put together a plan to resuscitate the reeling economy."

    Sounds like he is proposing something like what FDR did in his New Deal. It could cost up to 700 million and W. Bush is of course opposed, as it would 'raise the budget deficit.' Guess he wasn't thinking what the Iraq war has done...
     
  2. The main problem with large public construction projects as I understand it from a friend of mine who's a civil engineer is the lead in time. Even if you've already done a lot of the work beforehand it can still take up to a couple of years to go from original idea to things physically happening on the ground. Although according to ASCE spending on infrastructure is massively underfunded so even if it takes a few years to get started the extra cash will be good, if spent wisely of course.
     
  3. Well some highway maintaince would be a good start.
     
  4. Not being an engineer, I don't know much about the subject - so what must be done before road construction can begin? With bridges, tressels, overpasses and such, I could see much planning would be needed, but with repairing highways, and secondary roads, not sure why that would be.
     
  5. I was under the impression the New Deal prolonged the Great Depression?

    Interesting article here:
    http://newsroom.ucla.edu/portal/ucla/FDR-s-Policies-Prolonged-Depression-5409.aspx?RelNum=5409
     
  6. It did, there is a good book that came out by Amity Shlaes "The forgotten man" as well as that recent study from UCLA. The side-effect of prolonging the great depression by implementing the "New Deal", was that the Democrats entrenched themselves in the Congress.
     
  7. Well then, what do you both suggest be done then? Will the amoral force of unregulated capitalism get us out of this one? Will it help working and middle class people who are losing their homes because they are being laid off and can find no other work. In Florida already there are tent cities springing up due to this. Let the market take its course? Have the rich and poor only in US?
     
  8. I am not convinced the US government can stablise demand. The US Senate struggles to run its restaurants (WaPo Link.
    It comes across as a 'catchall' kind of solution,akin to using a driver for the entire round of golf.

    (edited because I forgot some words)
     
  9. No doubt it is not the perfect solution - but something needs to be done to restart the economy, as it is now, I think, nearing the stage of a depression.
     
  10. Seems to me that the bail out funds would have been put to better use by providing them to the assorted businesses directly rather than feeding all that cash to the banks who now are sitting on it and not providing lines of credit. Can tell you right now that there will be some violence before this is all over. You cannot evict people from their homes, lock them out of the livelyhoods, and assorted other nasty things without some of them looking for payback.
     
  11. I agree that the bail out for the banks and financial institutions should have had much more conditions and controls on it. I hope that if money is given to the auto makers, stringent conditions will apply - such as retooling their factories to make petrol efficient cars. On a side note, US house and senate did not want to pay for national healthcare - would cost too much - but they seem to have no problem with the bailouts for big corporations.

    If something is not done about the economy, perhaps the American people will finally revolt against the greedy multinational interests that rule them. Tent cities are cropping up everywhere, and the shelter I sometimes work at has seen influx of families who have lost their homes because of the ARM mortgages but also because they have lost their jobs. Is a downward spiral.
     
  12. You mean (for example) having the government pay for equipment (say for manufacturing purposes) instead of just handing over a cheque?
     
  13. No... that would be too much like Chinese capitalism. What I mean is an extremely low interest loan with a ten years or so to pay back. That way the companies survive, keep their workers employed, and the nation eventually sees a small return. Basically a boost to keep things running over the rough patch.