Dear Editor,

The two infrastructure bills currently in discussion in congress seem to extend former Franklin Roosevelt’s 1933 depression busting legislations which were called the New Deal.

Here is a summary of the remarkable 1933 New Deal legislations that ended the Great Depression.

Civilian Conservation Corp provided employment for young men building our current state and federal parks.

Civilian Works Administration provided temporary manual labor jobs building roads, levees, water mains and repairing school buildings.

National Industrial Recovery Act provided regulation for fair wages and prices which stimulated economic growth.

Social Security Administration provided retirement benefits for workers aged 65 or older.

These groundbreaking and precedent-setting bills gave a generation of Americans a chance to get to work and build back better and then retire with some financial security.

The current infrastructure bills seem to be a continuation or expansion of FDR’s original “shot in the arm” legislation that effectively ended the 1929 Great Depression and jump-started a stalled economy in 1933.

What’s so bad about that? Maybe we can do that again in 2021 by stimulating a stalled economy, our workforce, and our “can do” American spirit with two more groundbreaking and precedent-setting bills.

The point is that a 1929 economic depression was defeated when the president and Congress wrote some remarkably creative legislation and challenged corporations, and workers to get back to work and rebuild their beloved America. The congress of 1933 actually accepted the challenge, negotiated and compromised these bills into shape so that businesses and workers could implement an economic recovery. This was also evidence of a working democracy.

Can our 2021 congress also get to work and finish the physical and social infrastructure bills so we can get back to work and recover our economy? Our grandparents took the challenge and then made the recovery work. So can we.

It is as our current president Biden and our former president Roosevelt said “build back better” or the “New Deal” (2.0).

Let’s prove that we also have a working democracy.

Bill Blair