I keep hearing comments such as: "We need to create jobs", "The U.S. needs a coherent national energy policy", "We should rebuild our infrastructure" or "We must have effective financial regulations to prevent another bailout." Yes, we should do this and we should do that but nothing of real substance is happening in America because our government is caught up in a massive gridlock and has become completely dysfunctional; incapable of rising up to confront and solve our most critical problems. This is a government of coulda, shoulda, woulda.
What we really should do and need do is to have our government join with the business sector to institute the biggest jobs creation program in modern history; one that would rival or exceed that of the New Deal under President Franklin Delano Roosevelt. He entered office in 1933 under extremely dire circumstances when the nation was still hemorrhaging from the Great Depression. FDR wasted no time to rally both the Congress and the American people to support him as he attacked the nation's problems; and how he attacked them!
Between 1933 and 1936 the nation witnessed the creation of some 25 major job initiatives and associated legislation that addressed America's critical social and economic problems. Compare that to our non-existent programs of today. Among those programs were: the WPA (Works Progress Administration), the CCC (Civilian Conservation Corps), the TVA (The Tennessee Valley Authority), and the HOLC (Homeowners Loan Corporation). These programs were responses to the Great Depression and were referred to at the time as the "3R's"; Relief for the unemployed and poor; Recovery of the economy to normal levels; and Reform of the financial system to prevent a repeat depression.
Legislation included the Glass-Steagall Act that very effectively regulated investment banking until President Clinton agreed to repeal it in 1999. Best of all was the enacting of the SSA (Social Security Act), one of the most successful government programs ever. These programs of the New Deal represented one of the greatest governmental achievements in this nation's history. They could be and should be a perfect model to use to combat the deep jobs crisis we face today but they aren't.
Why is it that political pundits continue to insist that government cannot create jobs? If FDR did it with so much success then it can be done once again; but in America today it can only be accomplished by a government/business sector coalition. If these two powerful forces in America could somehow address our jobs crisis in a coordinated, positive manner, then great things could happen.
It would be correct to point out that Roosevelt had a Democratic Congress that supported him in his efforts to restore stability to the nation. But let's not forget that President Obama had a democratically controlled Congress from his election in 2008 to the congressional elections of 2010 when the GOP took over control of the House. That was the perfect time to use the Democratic power of the Congress to create and develop a very aggressive, innovative jobs program to attack the growing unemployment problem; it didn't happen as the number #1 priority went to health care reform instead.
Speaking of great achievements, many Americans still remember that exciting time in America's history when, in 1961, President John F. Kennedy announced the creation of NASA's Apollo Program, the spaceflight effort to land a man on the moon by the end of the decade. That program, initiated by JFK to counter Russia's threat to dominate space, greatly inspired and motivated Americans to strongly support that exciting new program to take humans to the moon and beyond,