Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Dinner With My Parents (Part 1)

I intend for "Dinner With My Parents" to become a multi-part series as I gather more material. This is also my first experiment with Windows Movie Maker, so let me know what you think:

My father, a neoconservative forever living in 1954, loves to ridicule Franklin D. Roosevelt, the New Deal, and the Works Progress Administration. Though I never heard my father criticize other New Deal policies like Social Security, the GI Bill, or the FDIC, he's quick to write off WPA as digging ditches. In reality, the program did a lot more:
But did you know the Alamo, in conservative Texas, was restored by WPA labor? Or that San Antonio's river was beautified by the WPA and became the river walk it is today? Or many improvements in national parks, like roads, trails, and fire towers, were the work of the WPA or the Civilian Conservation Corps?
So I guess this brings me around to one reason I have trouble understanding economics. How can there ever be a shortage of work when there isn't a shortage of work to be done?

Though unemployment numbers are nowhere near those of the Great Depression, I can agree with my father that history does indeed repeat itself -- "the first time as tragedy, the second time as farce" (though he would never quote Marx) -- I can't agree with him on which candidate would start the next world war. That horror would be worse than a farce.

1 comment:

Birdy said...

Well.. Gramps (your father) is lucky to have had a helping hand from his father-in-law to get a job after he'd knocked up his 16 year old daughter (grandma).

I'm sure that ol' gramps would criticize teenage parents and call them "losers"... or like Bill O'reilly, call the parents of the pregnant teen "pinheads". Unless it's Bristol Palin cause you know, that's a personal family issue.

Anyway.. you're damn straight gramps would never quote Marx. He'd quote ol' Milton Freidman: "The Only Social Responsibility of Business Is To Increase Its Profits"