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Current Events & Hot Topics Current Events & Hot Topics

Works Progress Administration (WPA)....Should we bring it back?

Posted by on Apr. 18, 2012 at 7:46 AM
  • 25 Replies

Given the current state of our infastructure, do you think a program such as the WPA (or a 21st version) would be beneficial to our current state of affairs? 

It's not 1935 and economies are far more interwoven so a program like this would require a HUGE shift in priorities. 

The Works Progress Administration (WPA) was a relief measure established in 1935 by executive order as the Works Progress Administration, and was redesigned in 1939 when it was transferred to the Federal Works Agency. Headed by Harry L. Hopkins and supplied with an initial congressional appropriation of $4,880,000,000, it offered work to the unemployed on an unprecedented scale by spending money on a wide variety of programs, including highways and building construction, slum clearance, reforestation, and rural rehabilitation. So gigantic an undertaking was inevitably attended by confusion, waste, and political favoritism, yet the 'pump-priming' effect stimulated private business during the depression years (audio clip, 87k) and inaugurated reforms that states had been unable to subsidize.

Particularly novel were the special programs. The Federal Writers' Project (more information available from Indiana State University's library) prepared state and regional guide books, organized archives, indexed newspapers, and conducted useful sociological and historical investigations. The Federal Arts Project gave unemployed artists the opportunity to decorate hundreds of post offices, schools, and other public buildings with murals, canvases, and sculptures; musicians organized symphony orchestras and community singing.(video clip, 493k) The Federal Theatre Project experimented with untried modes, and scores of stock companies toured the country with repertories of old and new plays, thus bringing drama to communities where it had been known only through the radio. (audio clip, 67k)

By March, 1936, the WPA rolls had reached a total of more than 3,400,000 persons; after initial cuts in June 1939, it averaged 2,300,000 monthly; and by June 30, 1943, when it was officially terminated, the WPA had employed more than 8,500,000 different persons on 1,410,000 individual projects, and had spent about $11 billion. During its 8-year history, the WPA built 651,087 miles of highways, roads, and streets; and constructed, repaired, or improved 124,031 bridges, 125,110 public buildings, 8,192 parks, and 853 airport landing fields.

by on Apr. 18, 2012 at 7:46 AM
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Replies (1-10):
Carpy
by Ruby Member on Apr. 18, 2012 at 8:20 AM

It did nothing the first time, why resurrect it?

Carpy
by Ruby Member on Apr. 18, 2012 at 8:22 AM

And I would say you should dig a bit deeper into that list this article presents.

Kate_Momof3
by Silver Member on Apr. 18, 2012 at 8:22 AM

Proof? 

From what I've read, it definitely helped stimulate private companies. 

Quoting Carpy:

It did nothing the first time, why resurrect it?


Kate_Momof3
by Silver Member on Apr. 18, 2012 at 8:24 AM

I'm just posting this for discussion, not to be asked to write a dissertation. It popped into my mind when I read the PA-Work post.

What about the list bothers you?

:)

Quoting Carpy:

And I would say you should dig a bit deeper into that list this article presents.


Kate_Momof3
by Silver Member on Apr. 18, 2012 at 8:27 AM
1 mom liked this

And Carpy? I'm glad you're here.

big smile mini

colins_mom
by Silver Member on Apr. 18, 2012 at 8:27 AM
1 mom liked this
Actually it did a lot. For some it taught them how to work for others it provided them with a job to feed their families. Everyone is always complaining about the government just handing money to people who dont work, why not give them a job instead.


It wouldnt work now tho since 98% of the things they did are now privitized.

Quoting Carpy:

It did nothing the first time, why resurrect it?

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TigOlBitties
by Bronze Member on Apr. 18, 2012 at 8:28 AM
Employing 8.5 million people is nothing? Hmm.


Quoting Carpy:

It did nothing the first time, why resurrect it?


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Kate_Momof3
by Silver Member on Apr. 18, 2012 at 8:30 AM

I also loved the Writer's Program. Without it, we'd have no Steinbeck. The murals are amazing works of pure American art.

I'm a big fan of the arts and think their value to a society is as important as the bridges and economic stimulation.

Carpy
by Ruby Member on Apr. 18, 2012 at 8:44 AM

It took work away from private companies as FDR tried to nationalize everything.  The writers employed by the WPA were to write stories about how wonderful the WPA was.  Same as the acting jobs. The WPA did little to help the economy,  and did nothing to help the private sector.  It was just another make work for the sake of handing out government money.

Quoting Kate_Momof3:

Proof? 

From what I've read, it definitely helped stimulate private companies. 

Quoting Carpy:

It did nothing the first time, why resurrect it?



momtoscott
by Platinum Member on Apr. 18, 2012 at 8:46 AM
1 mom liked this

 Yes, I would love for something like this to be brought back, especially because of our crumbling infrastructure.  It would be tremendously more complicated to administer, I agree.  Wasn't Hoover Dam a WPA project? (I don't know for sure)

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