Infrastructure Repair, Economics, and You

So a chunk of President Obama’s ‘stimulus package’ (am I the only person who giggles at the term?) is set aside for various infrastructure repair projects. There’s pretty clearly a need for such a facelift and labor in the US isn’t likely to be any cheaper than it is right now. I hope.

But this particular element of the package has come under fire as nice but not necessary, and certainly questionable in relation to improving the economy. So here’s the GQ:

How useful was the work relief aspect of Roosevelt’s “New Deal” plans in rebuilding a crippled economy? And in what significant ways does President Obama’s package differ? Would it be useful to more closely emulate the New Deal as a proven approach or was the New Deal largely ineffective and simply coincedental with an otherwise natural recovery?