Stimulus in Seattle, from Roosevelt to Obama - KUOW

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The last large stimulus package, Roosevelt's New Deal had quite an impact on Seattle.  There is a huge amount of new money coming to Washington State with this new Obama Stimulus Package.  Just as examples when you dig in nationally - there is $400 million for research and development for long-term energy solutions.  there is $8 billion for High-Speed Rail.

It was very well thought out. It will make some huge differences to our country.

KUOW had a wonderful piece on the stimulus plan that was Roosevelt's New Deal about two months ago.   The piece, hosted by Liz Jones, looked at the kinds of projects that were undertaken, the impact on the workers' lives, and the lasting monuments to what was done during that time.

Renowned art historian and author, Roger van Oosten, led the tour.  He began by talking about the massive public works program - the Works Progress Administration (WPA) created and ran by Roosevelt during the depression years of the 30s and 40s. The idea was to put people to work by building up the country's infrastructure.

This same win/win that Obama and the Democrats are instituting right now for pretty close to the same reasons - a financial meltdown that came as a result of the greed of a small group of people, large numbers of people out of work (not as desperate yet but that's because the electorate voted to get people with more sense into power), and an infrastructure that had been crumbling for some time.

You could see it everywhere. Seattle was a very small city at the time. New roads were done. Bridges were built. Buildings were erected. Post offices were put in. The new fire stations were put in. Libraries were put in. Seattle ended the great depression a much larger place than it started."

  • A mural in the UW's chemistry building created by WPA artists illustrating progress in scientific endeavors
  • A streamlined building, in the Art Moderne, Collegiate Gothic style that was common to the time .
  • The UW's Kirsten Wind Tunnel, built in 1939, that Boeing used to WPA workers built it test their airplanes and that still generates about a half-million dollars in business every year.

Then he tells us about:

  • The Civilian Conservation Corps, or CCC, which created jobs for young men in rural areas, jobs like making logs that were used in building park structures around the state and the country.
  • The dredging of the lake, and island in the ake, that we know as Greenlake

When asked if he thinks that FDR did the right thing in creating the New Deal, historian Roger van Oosten says:

"Do I think it was enough? Probably not, the depression lasted a long time. But was it good? Absolutely. Did it make concrete differences in people's lives? Absolutely. Are we enjoying some incidental benefit from it 70 years later? Absolutely."


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This page contains a single entry by Lynn Allen published on April 20, 2009 9:55 PM.

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