Saturday, December 6, 2008

Obama wants public works

I am very excited about this. Obama wants to create public works jobs to boost the economy, according to a New York Times article today. I think this is a great idea! There are some criticisms in the article (i.e. the Federal debt is already so high!), but I think history has proven that this kind of plan works.

In the 1930s, Franklin D. Roosevelt's answer to the Great Depression was the Conservation Civilian Corps and other groups like it which essentially built our National and State Park systems. Groups like these gave my great-grandfathers jobs and put food on my family's table.

My great-grandpa, James Lyman Shearrer, was actually born on the land that became Sam A. Baker State Park in South East Missouri. He worked for the park, managing Corps members, in the 1930s. He helped reintroduce the wild turkey into that area-which my uncles now hunt.

I love the idea of a public works campaign because the long term effects are wonderful. I still enjoy the state park my great-grandpa helped build almost a century ago. My grandparents actually bought land adjacent to the park and we spend our Thanksgivings up there now.

The cabin my grandparents helped to build on land near Sam A. Baker State Park

It will be a burden to get the program started, but if we chose public works that will lead to steady jobs in the future, I think it is a great plan. Think of all the jobs the highway system has created!

What would I like to see?
1. Better mass transit. High speed trains, metro systems in every major city & commuter trains.
2. Better infrastructure for green energy projects. Make a system where it is simple for the family consumer to choose to go "off the grid" for their municipally supplied electricity.
3. Anything we can do for public education.

Lastly, I don't think I'll ever stop being surprised at the interest other countries take in mine. Check out the El País version of this article.

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