Will there be a new New Deal? And what might that look like? That’s one of the questions that is reverberating as long term unemployment soars. So called broad unemployment – which includes part time workers who want full time jobs and so called discouraged workers who have given up looking for work — — Broad unemployment stands at just under 15%. Most economists now recognize that growth in the US will be stuck in the negative this year and perhaps beyond– and the same negative growth condition grips most of Europe too. To answer whether there’ll be a new deal, it’s worth remembering that the programs that really turned things around in Roosevelt’s day weren’t passed until AFTER FDR’s reelection in 1936 when a slew of initiatives went into effect .. among them the Works Progress Administration. At its height the WPA employed 8.5 million people — on the federal payroll — in a lot of different kinds of jobs – not just building roads and bridges and schools, but performing music, commissioning murals and even funding photographic and radio documentaries, recording the country’s condition. The US population back then was half of what it is today: you’d need to double that 8.5 million-WPA payroll to get a sense of what it would be today. The answer to will there be a new deal? Not until we think much, much more about Government putting people to government planned work. And we have no time to waste, risking our future waiting…

Laura Flanders

Laura Flanders

Laura Flanders, author, and host of RadioNation on Air America Radio, has built a reputation for courageous investigative journalism coupled with compassion and a sense of humor. In writing her last book, Blue Grit, she traveled the country reporting on grassroots success stories and broadcast live to over 150 radio stations from community centers in places including Helena, Salt Lake City, New Orleans, Miami, Las Vegas, and Milwaukee. In her television appearances (Lou Dobbs, Larry King Live,) on radio and in her many books (including Bushwomen: Tales of a Cynical Species) and articles (The Nation and others,) Flanders calls for a new politics of fairness, equality and citizen action. Articulating the human dimension of American communities in trouble, her programs have become destinations for those seeking the skills and the will to make a difference. Flanders is a regular contributor to the Nation Magazine and CNN. Before joining Air America, where she was part of the original lineup, and hosted “The Laura Flanders Show” for three years, Flanders was the founding host of the award-winning “Your Call” weekday mornings on public radio, KALW in the Bay Area and CounterSpin, the radio show of the mediawatch group, FAIR.