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denem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-06-08 06:56 AM
Original message
Obama Pledges Massive Public Works Project
Source: The New York Times

WASHINGTON President-elect Barack Obama committed Saturday to the largest public works building program since the creation of the interstate highway system a half century ago as he seeks to put together a plan to resuscitate the reeling economy. We need action and action now, he said in an address taped for broadcast Saturday morning on radio and YouTube.

The address followed the latest grim economic report indicating the country lost 533,000 jobs in November alone, bringing the total job loss over the past year to nearly 2 million. Although Mr. Obama remains weeks away from taking office, the report ratcheted up the pressure on him to assert leadership during the interregnum before his inauguration.

Mr. Obama and his team are working with Congressional leaders to fashion a spending package that could invest hundreds of billions of dollars into the economy. A big part of that would be infrastructure projects such as building or repairing roads, bridges, schools, sewer systems and other public utilities. Democrats hope the new Congress that takes office in early January could pass such a measure in time for Mr. Obama to sign almost instantly after taking office Jan. 20.

Read more: http://www.nytimes.com/2008/12/07/us/politics/07radio.h...



Superb political smarts in summoning up "the spirit of Dwight D. Eisenhower".
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Captain Hilts Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-06-08 07:04 AM
Response to Original message
1. Let's do it


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denem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-06-08 07:06 AM
Response to Reply #1
2. The thing about public works - people can SEE something happening.
Bailouts are essentially invisible, other than their 'bad news' value.
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LiberalFighter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-06-08 07:18 AM
Response to Reply #2
8. You see what is happening and more importantly it ADDS value that will last years.
It also adds money to the pockets of working people to spend.


The $600 that people got a couple of years ago only puts money into their pockets.
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madrchsod Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-06-08 07:13 AM
Response to Reply #1
5. put ronny reagan`s dad and brother to work....
my dad worked for them. converted ronny into a fdr democrat until he married bj nancy.
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madrchsod Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-06-08 07:08 AM
Response to Original message
3. econ 101---basic fundemental of weath---- the public good--
radical idea is`t it?
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Captain Hilts Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-06-08 07:11 AM
Response to Reply #3
4. It's even in Smith's Wealth of Nations. And is THE theme in Smith's Theory of Moral Sentiments...
which preceded WoNs.
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madrchsod Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-06-08 07:17 AM
Response to Reply #4
7. ...i thought i`d go into economics in college until i found out
that everything past 101 was math....
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Captain Hilts Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-06-08 07:18 AM
Response to Reply #7
9. You and me both, pal. I like chaos, so I went into poli sci. Economics and history are for...
lovers of order.
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Chulanowa Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-06-08 01:15 PM
Response to Reply #9
33. I would beg to differ
History is for those that love seeing the outcome of completely random events happening in close proximity to each other. Genghis Khan? Biggest empire on earth, ever. Subjugated the greatest powers of the time. Would have marched straight to the coast of portugal, except for one thing. He fell off his damn horse and broke his head. Completely random thing, the most powerful man on earth, defeated by basic gravity.

World War 2? Decided utterly and completely by Hitler, out of nowhere, deciding to betray the Soviets. it was the action of a man who obviously worked with one can of leaded paint too many. "I'll open a second front against the Russians, who have never been beaten (except by that one guy who fell off his horse) yeah that'll work!"

The election of 2000? Decided by people, for some reason, thinking Nader could win. Oh, sure it was stolen, but without these ninnies, it wouldn't have been possible. this is literally one of those big, pivotal moments in history that hinges entirely on random chance or unthinkable stupidity.

History is for lovers of chaos, because it's a big messy ghoulash made of equal parts schadenfreude and epic movie.

Economics is mostly for people who like to pretend chaos doesn't exist, since that's the only way economics could possibly be called a science, thus justifying all the time economists spent studying what is, in reality, a load of nonsense that hinges on random people doing crazy things.
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Captain Hilts Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-06-08 04:38 PM
Response to Reply #33
43. For good historians, that's true!
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enlightenment Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-06-08 01:17 PM
Response to Reply #9
34. History is for lovers of order??
How do you figure that, Mookie? I'm an historian and it all seems pretty damned fuzzy and disorderly to me! :)
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acmavm Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-06-08 10:28 AM
Response to Reply #4
21. It's in Durant's History of the World when he writes about the Romans.
They UNDERSTOOD that without an employed populace Rome was in danger of revolution and rot. They even used human labor (milling grain, etc.) instead of animals so that they could ensure employment for the masses.

It's only the 20th/21st century rich man who thinks he can automate everthing and yet fail to see the impact on the masses. Greed is at the bottom of it all.
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Captain Hilts Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-06-08 12:50 PM
Response to Reply #21
30. The Soviets did the same thing. But Smith, in reaction to Hobbes, placed...
a moral imperative to it.
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denverbill Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-06-08 07:14 AM
Response to Original message
6. I heartily endorse this. Just make sure only American workers get the jobs.
I will be verily pissed if I find out a bunch of unscrupulous contractors hiring illegal aliens to maximize their profits are the ones who get these jobs.

We need jobs. Good, solid, blue collar jobs, paying decent living wages. Wages where people can afford cars and house and college education.

We don't need to fund a massive new wave of illegal immigration so that a bunch of non-natives get minimum wage jobs. We can't save the world if we can't save ourselves first.
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madrchsod Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-06-08 07:19 AM
Response to Reply #6
10. ohh.. don`t worry about that..
the unions will make sure everyone is legal.
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denverbill Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-06-08 08:10 AM
Response to Reply #10
13. Boy, wouldn't that be nice, if they were all union jobs.
I doubt that will happen. Maybe they could at least put a provision in the law requiring anyone bidding on the contracts to provide full health insurance or better yet, require that all employees be full-time, so they are eligible for vacation, sick time, insurance, and retirement plans.
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bluestateguy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-06-08 07:20 AM
Response to Original message
11. I am excited about re-living the New Deal
Bush can play the role of Herbert Hoover.

And in 2012, Republicans will hold casting calls for the role of Alf Landon.
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Captain Hilts Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-06-08 12:53 PM
Response to Reply #11
31. And how!
ER: Isn't BlueStateGuy just grand?
FDR: Indeed he is, old girl!

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Demeter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-06-08 07:24 AM
Response to Original message
12. We Need 21st Century Infrastructure: Universal Health Care and Green Energy
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Lorien Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-06-08 08:48 AM
Response to Original message
14. We need a National high speed mag-lev rail system
to catch up with the rest of the industrialized world and make car ownership "optional" for most American. Mag-levs are quiet, fairly clean, and rails can be built in existing freeway medians, and would allow people to look for work well outside of their home towns. Or you could keep your existing job and buy a home in a fading community to keep living costs low. Plus, they'll cut down on traffic jams and the need for so much road work. A "win-win' for everyone-except big oil, and therein lies the reason no one is talking about it.
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TommyO Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-06-08 09:00 AM
Response to Reply #14
15. I'm with you on this one
High speed conventional rail is good, but a Maglev system, at least one that runs along both coasts, would be an incredible achievement. I could replace a huge volume of mid range air flights, easing congestion at airports, leaving them available for the long range travel that air is best suited for.
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Lorien Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-06-08 11:08 AM
Response to Reply #15
24. Man, I'd do a lot more travel if we had such a system
and I'm sure others would too-which could be great for the economy. Travel in Europe is so easy and almost stressless because of their excellent rail systems. Ours could be even better.It SHOULD be the best in the world. We're always shouting "we're number one", but outside of debt, military spending and people in prison, we haven't earned that title. It would be great to be truly proud of something we've built once again.
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RUMMYisFROSTED Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-06-08 10:52 AM
Response to Reply #14
22. ...and I know where the factories are.
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go west young man Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-06-08 11:04 AM
Response to Reply #14
23. Great thinking.
Wave energy plants would also be great to reduce the hold the state power companies have over energy. Also new bidding and building of a internet underground cables need to begin so that the U.S. is as good as Europe and the cable companies lose their monopolies. Competition needs to be healthy again. I woulds also love to see the FCC break up Clear Channel and reopen the music markets so we have good music available again. All these monopolies need to go.
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amandabeech Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-06-08 02:13 PM
Response to Reply #23
35. State power companies?
I thought that went out in the privatization/deregulation frenzy of a decade ago.

Would you please explain your statement?
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DissedByBush Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-06-08 12:10 PM
Response to Reply #14
28. Don't even need mag-lev
I've ridden ICE in Germany. It was sweet. And fast.
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machI Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-06-08 09:08 AM
Response to Original message
16. Clean, Renewable Energy programs
Make the United States the center for excellence in all things of renewable energy
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coffeenap Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-06-08 09:13 AM
Response to Original message
17. Maglev (right down the highway median??,) rehab empty buildings for housing for homeless
people, undam rivers, unpollute lakes, reclaim lost land and "redistribute" it to people who would like to have their family farms back, rehab tumbling schools, reconstruct destroyed mountain-top environments (due to mining), reopen closed state parks,work with the people we originally stole this land from to upgrade their property and opportunities, oh, the list goes on and on.

What a feeling to know that someone with a brain is hiring other people with brains to reclaim our country. It won't be perfect, but it will be a beginning, and what ever forces try to stop it, either domestic or otherwise, can't be allowed to succeed. This needs to be ours, all of ours!
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wyzeone Donating Member (3 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-06-08 10:25 AM
Response to Reply #17
19. You Hit the Nail on the Head
I agree with you completely. It's was amazing to hear in the beginning of his appointments many people criticized that his economic staff was similar to that of the Clinton Administration. I grew up during the Clinton Administration and the Bush Administration and I believe that the Clinton Administration was operating in the black. Somehow it seem to have worked for the Clinton Administration, I believe that the President-elect has such intelligence and he is appointing people who has the capacity to think outside the box.

I am in total agreement with his Economic Recovery Plan and I'm very optimistic about the jobs it will create to help our country.

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Missy Vixen Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-06-08 04:11 PM
Response to Reply #19
42. Bill Clinton presided over the longest running peacetime economic expansion in our country
It is amazing to me that those lessons are so quickly forgotten.

C'mon, Economic Recovery Plan.

Julie
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wyzeone Donating Member (3 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-06-08 10:25 AM
Response to Reply #17
20. You Hit the Nail on the Head
I agree with you completely. It's was amazing to hear in the beginning of his appointments many people criticized that his economic staff was similar to that of the Clinton Administration. I grew up during the Clinton Administration and the Bush Administration and I believe that the Clinton Administration was operating in the black. Somehow it seem to have worked for the Clinton Administration, I believe that the President-elect has such intelligence and he is appointing people who has the capacity to think outside the box.

I am in total agreement with his Economic Recovery Plan and I'm very optimistic about the jobs it will create to help our country.

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amandabeech Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-06-08 02:21 PM
Response to Reply #20
36. We were in the black by the end, and Clinton did some good things.
However, he gave us NAFTA and MFN for China and went deep into free trade that hasn't worked out as well as planned for the average person.

At the end of the Clinton years, you had deregulation of the banks by repealing FDR's Depression-era Glass Steagall legislation which separated stockbrokers, investment bankers, and insurance companies from regular commercial banks. The joining of those industries under one roof and the temptation to use the bank to prop up problems elsewhere in the conglomerates was thought to have been one problem that caused the Gret Depression to be so deep and wide.

Some think that it was a bad idea.

Another bad idea was to refuse to regulate derivatives like MBS and CDS. Clinton was warned by Brooksley Born at the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, but she was overruled. Some regulation could have helped prevent the mess we have here.

So yeah, people had jobs, in part due to bubble.com, but Clinton's economic team made some errors that we'll have to deal with now and into the future.
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Prisoner_Number_Six Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-06-08 09:53 AM
Response to Original message
18. That exact thing has been on my mind lately
Create a new age WPA. Let the unemployed with the necessary skills rebuild the nation's entire infrastructure. Highways, bridges, electric grid, EVERYTHING. There is no lack of good men and women who would willingly do the work for reasonable wages.

This should be established as an ongoing system. It could literally rebuild America in ten years.
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LiberalFighter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-06-08 11:14 AM
Response to Original message
25. I like this part...
Mr. Obama promised to make government buildings more energy efficient, modernize school classrooms and libraries with computers, expand access to broadband Internet service, and improve information technology in hospitals and doctors offices.

Specifically, energy efficient government buildings. Converting lighting system and monitors should provide a big savings to the taxpayers when it is done.
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ohio2007 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-06-08 11:33 AM
Response to Original message
26. North Dakota Asks, What Recession ?
Edited on Sat Dec-06-08 11:35 AM by ohio2007

snip
North Dakotas cheery circumstance which economic analysts are quick to warn is showing clear signs that it, too, may be in jeopardy can be explained by an odd collection of factors: a recent surge in oil production that catapulted the state to fifth-largest producer in the nation; a mostly strong year for farmers (agriculture is the states biggest business); and a conservative, steady, never-fancy culture that has nurtured fewer sudden booms of wealth like those seen elsewhere (Our banks dont do those goofy loans, Mr. Theel said) and also fewer tumultuous slumps.

As it happens, one of the states biggest worries right now is precisely the reverse of most other states: North Dakota has about 13,000 unfilled jobs and is struggling to find people to take them.

We could use more people with skills for some of these jobs, Marty Aas, who leads the Fargo branch of the states Job Service North Dakota, said as his offices where the unemployed might come for help sat quiet and nearly empty. State employees outnumbered the six clients on a recent afternoon. (Mr. Aas insisted that such a slow afternoon was rare.)


snip
http://www.nytimes.com/2008/12/06/us/06dakota.html?part...
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amandabeech Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-06-08 02:23 PM
Response to Reply #26
37. Advertise in the Detroit Free Press and the M-Live papers that include
the Grand Rapids, Michigan, Press.

It's not so difficult, really.

Most Michiganders are used to winter, albeit a somewhat warmer and snowier winter than the folks in North Dakota.

It would help if North Dakota could help them sell their houses, or, better yet, move them to North Dakota!
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silverweb Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-06-08 12:03 PM
Response to Original message
27. Investment in our future...
...while creating new jobs now.

Who'dathunk it would take a lowly community organizer/constitutional scholar to propose and implement such a grand scheme -- when the "party of business" with its "MBA/CEO" pretzeldent should have known all about infrastructure and investment?

GObama!

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MilesColtrane Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-06-08 12:21 PM
Response to Original message
29. I hope this gets funded.
But, right now we're 10.5 trillion in the hole.

The budget deficit is sitting at -437% of receipts, and we've still got an enormous amount of Social Security obligations coming due. (During the Depression and WW II the deficit against receipts was only -225%.)

And there's always health care to consider paying for.

Bush has broken this country for many, many years and I just don't see a way to make the numbers work.
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HughBeaumont Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-06-08 02:27 PM
Response to Reply #29
38. One thing Obama can do is get rid of the Bewsh Tax Cuts for the Wealthy . .. NOW.
Edited on Sat Dec-06-08 02:28 PM by HughBeaumont
http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.ph...

Don't wait until these things expire and don't listen to idiotic right wing-nuts. End. THEM. NOW.

Emergency situations demand emergency-level responses. Don't screw around until 2010. The wealthy need to get slapped with a huge reality check that the Bewsh/Reagan/Friedmanomic decades where they made out like bandits are OVER. Margin CALL, gentlemen . . . all accounts to be settled at day's end. America needs that money that you're stockpiling. After all, the wealthy all took incredible advantage of America's many resources to become as successful as they did: Public parks, highways, libraries, schools, sewage, electric, water lines, the military, corporate welfare, tax cuts, it's people . . . TIME TO PAY IT BACK!!!!

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XemaSab Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-06-08 01:00 PM
Response to Original message
32. Public works = job for me
:)
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pinto Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-06-08 02:42 PM
Response to Original message
39. Kick.
:kick:
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dysfunctional press Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-06-08 03:57 PM
Response to Original message
40. this isn't the 30's, though...
construction projects require fewer people than they used to, and the jobs generally get done faster- and they generally don't provide long-term employment. and what about the people who aren't suited to that kind of work in the first place? :shrug:
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midnight Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-06-08 04:05 PM
Response to Original message
41. Nice to hear that talks to help rebuild our countries infrastructure
is on the table.
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