I know there’s a palpable fear out there about government getting too large, particularly in light of how the Bush administration has grown it since 9/11, but is there a possibility that we could be on the verge of another New Deal? This op-ed piece in Salon.com mentions the possibility, while talking about the “Crash of Republican Economics.” It’s pretty clear that the “hands-off” approach hasn’t worked, and the right-wing conservatives have given it several tries now. Voodoo Economics, indeed.
As I have come to understand (thanks to my fellow blogger here), what initially looks like a corporate bailout to Bear Stearns by the government is actually an attempt to stop a chain reaction, and could eventually make money for the Treasury in the long run.
With more and more US citizens seeing that trickle-down economics and runaway capitalism hasn’t worked, could there actually be a change of attitudes brewing where people start to realize that government can possibly have a positive impact on people’s lives? If corporations can have a safety blanket, why can’t people? But that’s not really what the article was about. As I’ve been mentioning for a long time now, it might be the time for a massive government investment in infrastructure revitalization that would create jobs and perform some much needed work across America. We have quickly forgotten about our crumbling bridges, and the rebuilding of our schools takes a back seat to declining home values, a credit crunch, and possible recession. When is the last time you heard about the percentage of bridges that are unsafe in this country? Perhaps two weeks after the Minneapolis bridge collapse back in 2007? At most? Just today, a huge section of I-95 going through Philadelphia is closed due to a massive crack in a key pillar. Another article I read noted that it was fortuitous that a bridge inspector noticed a small crack had expanded recently, and the bridge was closed off for repairs immediately. Now, take a look at that column. Is there any DOUBT that the bridge should be closed off??
Another bridge is bound to fall. Will that be the time for another New Deal? If the government is investing in business, why can’t it invest in its people? Now might be the time. The climate is changing. I’m not buying into all this “worst time since the Great Depression” talk, but that doesn’t mean we can’t take some drastic preemptive action before it gets here. To those of us in the middle class, it certainly is starting to seem like the walls are closing around us financially. Government in debt, dollar at an all time low resulting in higher prices on imported goods (and what isn’t imported these days?)… Fuel prices at an all time high, home values plummeting, infrastructure crumbling, banks reluctant to loan money in light of recent losses, causing an even greater housing slump… It just goes on and on. It’s time for something new, and if America will ever be ready for a New Deal II, if not now, when?