Saturday, December 06, 2008

Public Works

I love Obama's public works package.

I love it because it shows that the new government actually cares about the American people, a nice change from the last 8 years.

I love it because we really need work on our infrastructure. The Republicans were never going achieve Grover Norquist's dream of drowning government in a bathtub, but they were happy to do so for the parts of government that make life better for Americans. Our infrastructure is in dire straits, as seen in the Minneapolis bridge collapse.

I love it because it is going to put people back to work. It's a return to New Deal style programs where the federal government steps in during economic crisis to give people jobs and get the economy going again.

And I probably love it because, like a lot of other liberals, I romanticize the New Deal a bit. I can't even say how many times I've heard people wish for a new Civilian Conservation Corps. There's something about that agency that really sticks in the heart of liberals, especially male liberals. I guess it has something to do with being outside, doing tough masculine work, but for a good cause rather than hunting or logging or something like that. This is obviously psychoanalytical speculation, but I think it not without merit. People don't romanticize the other New Deal agencies quite so much, but the idea of the government putting people to work in really productive, nation-building ways, is a liberal fantasy that I'm happy to share.