I will say that given this pandemic and what it is doing to our world, making America great again does have some credence now. How we go about that in the “real” world, not the one of self-denial and pretend-facts, is what this post is all about.
If we can just get the current Oval Office occupant (#CO3) out of office I don’t think we will get to the point where FDR was when he first walked into the Oval Office for the first time in 1932. But, to learn some lessons we should be looking at the things FDR did and how they might help us today. BTW, I chose the picture above because I love it how it represents face of the Great Depression.
Undoubtedly some small businesses will not survive the shutdown required to put Covid-19 down. Even without the pandemic about 20% of new businesses fail in their first year, and about 50% fail by their fifth year. I know that will be considerably higher given our current conditions but I also know that once this is over there will eventually be millions of businesses ready to take those failed business’ places.
What should our government be doing, so we don’t just burden young Americans with a mountain of new debt, but also arm them with the tools to grow out of it and eventually prosper in the 21st century? That is the most fundamental question to be answered now.
One of the first things FDR did was to find public works programs that would alleviate the suffering of some of the most challenged by the circumstances. One of those was to fund the TVA so that electricity would be universally available throughout rural America. As a matter of fact, I and many other rural folks, are still getting our electricity from the REMC which was founded in those years.
Something very similar could be done to provide Internet access to those same rural areas. Expanded high-speed internet connectivity everywhere, but particularly in rural America would allow more people to participate in the innovation economy that will pretty quickly make this pandemic seem a thing of the past. It will also spur the e-cottage industries that will likely spring up in the coming years.
Another wise investment would be to provide domestically produced, low- and zero-carbon energy, so we become less vulnerable to the oil price manipulations of Saudi Arabia and Russia. Zero-carbon energy would also maximize our efforts to ameliorate climate change and would bring about massive jobs to build out our new infrastructure.
Yes, we need to help those struggling businesses, but we also must do what is necessary to make a better, more prepared society.