Thursday, October 9, 2008

The WPA and today

We heard the candidates talking about getting Americans back to work with public projects like roads and bridges. And various politicians have been pushing for more of them in an effort to stimulate the economy.

Such talk makes no sense to me. First, we already have a huge deficit.

Furthermore, this isn’t like Hoover Dam. Back in 1935 they fought hard to keep the unions out of that project.

I fear that a Hoover Dam today would collapse under the weight of prevailing wage regulations, not to mention lawsuits over everything imaginable from environmental impact to handicap access to racial discrimination to OSHA.

It would be full employment for union labor and lawyers, all at the expense of the rest of us.

I can’t imagine us gathering together a group of unemployed family men, paying them a modest wage, and putting them to work building a community center somewhere. That ship has sailed.

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