Sunday, November 9, 2008

Extension of Unemployment Insurance versus Public Works--Subsidies Should Be Sent to Me, at PO Box 130, W. Shokan, NY

A friend of mine suggested that if the unemployment rate continues to rise a good plan might be public works projects to employ the unemployed. Herbert Hoover did this during 1930-1932. He put through the Hoover Dam in '32 but lost the election, so it was implemented during Roosevelt's administration. In short, Hoover's public works programs did nothing to stop the Great Depression. Roosevelt continued this policy with the Works Projects Administration but again, this was not an effective strategy.

Part of the problem with public construction is excessive waste and regulation, which leads to cost overruns and mismanagement. This is especially true in New York State, which happened to be the leading recipient of the WPA money. I suspect that a public works project would lead to considerable thievery, especially in places like New York, Chicago and Los Angeles, where it is most needed. I have lived in rural places like Potsdam, New York, and there are plenty of crooked construction people there too.

However, the training of inner city unemployed to become plumbers, masons, carpenters and electricians would be potentially productive. These newly trained individuals might be employed by experienced firms. Hence, road and bridge repair work could be done by newly trained people who have previously been excluded from construction trades because of discriminatory union policies and closed shops.

Barring the training of new construction help, I suspect any works projects money would be stolen.

Many people may have lost their jobs due to excessively stimulative Federal Reserve policy that has led to the real estate bubble and the recent collapse. Easy money leads to inept corporate behavior, and the banks' problems are no exception. It is outrageous that not only is the government bailing them out, but now the Democrats want to use bailout money to subsidize the auto industry.

According to the Wall Street Journal Online:

"House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid sent to send a letter to Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson urging him to assist the Big Three auto makers by considering broadening the $700 billion Troubled Asset Relief Program to help the troubled industry."

I think they have the wrong idea. I need the subsidy, not auto executives. I can run automobile companies as badly as they do. Moreover, I can run investment banks as badly as the guys at Bear Stearns. Most of all, I can run commercial banks almost as badly as the guys at Citigroup. I should get the bailout, and run the banks, the investment banks and the automobile companies. After all, I too want a new car and a trip to Italy. Why should I suffer? I deserve the bailout money. Ms. Pelosi, please send me the subsidy, not the auto industry. I'm deprived. And I want public works subsidies. And banking subsidies. I want it all, baby. Life is short.

Seriously, though, unemployment insurance for those in serious need is a good plan. I don't mind paying 2% of my income to help the unemployed. That would be conditional upon abolishing the departments of education and energy, and cutting waste, that is, government spending by 40%.


Joe Bubel said...

Ah yes, but then the influx of Plumbers, Electricians, Yomens, and Construction workers could severely effect 'prevailing' wages, negatively. Who controls these professions? Unions.

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