Some suggestions on how to spend $800 billion
Some suggestions on how to spend $800 billion January 2009 [ Page 1 of 2 ]
By Michael Sorkin
Dear President Obama,
I am extremely heartened that you are planning to address our miserable economic situation with a massive investment in infrastructure. This is not simply a logical and efficient way of translating dollars into jobs (although it’s always important to ask for whom), it is an investment in the long-term future of the country. Although I am writing this in December and don’t know precisely what the shape of your program will be, I appreciate that it will be of a magnitude commensurate with the problems at hand. You’ve already suggested that it will be the largest investment in public works since the building of the interstate highway system in the Eisenhower days, and that in the interest of speed you will be seeking “shovel-ready” projects. While I understand that the Eisenhower analogy is meant to suggest magnitude and “shovel-ready” efficiency, I urge you to be cautious about additional implications. The last thing we need is more highways, and those “shovel ready” projects will tend to reflect old priorities, not the change we need and can believe in.