President-elect Barack Obama held a news conference on Nov. 8, his first since winning the presidential election. One of the main topics was obviously the economy and job creation.
The conference came just after new statics were released on the job rate in the U.S. for October. According to government statics, 240,000 jobs were lost in the month of October, bringing the unemployment rate to 6.5 percent.
One part of Barack Obama's plan to jump start the economy and put people back to work is the funding of public works programs. While I don't know all the details about the public works programs, on the surface, I think it sounds like an excellent idea. It is a page from the Franklin D. Roosevelt presidential play book, which put many people back to work during the Great Depression. With the current economic situation being called the worst since the Great Depression, I don't see why a public works program couldn't work again.
If the program includes constructing new municipal and government buildings, I would like to see the plan taken one step further. Perhaps these buildings should try to achieve a Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design rating. Not only will individuals be provided with work, but we could make our buildings more energy efficient at the same time. But maybe I'm being to idealistic. What do you think?
If Barack Obama's administration is able to pass a public works bill to stimulate the economy, what would you like to see it accomplish? And what kind of guidelines do you think should be followed? Leave your comments and let's discuss.
Public works and job creation
James J Siegel is the associate editor of SNIPS magazine. He has been with the magazine for eight years and is based in San Francisco.