Obama, the Super-project Void, and Me

See that iconic bridge there? It wasn't always there. It seems like it was, but in fact it was one of our great nation's greatest public projects -- one of many Super-projects the likes of which we rarely see now. It was not built by WalMart or Microsoft (although private investors historically chipped in). Along with umpteen railroads, canals, roads, parks and monuments, the Golden Gate Bridge was an undertaking so grand we could only realize it as a nation. A step forward of such massive length, that the states had to snap together like Voltron to take it.

Actually, the US Post Office I'm seeing out the window in front of me (the historic James Farley Building) is the product of just such government bravery. Here's a pic I just took:

Cool, right? It boasts the longest giant order Corinthian colonnade in the WORLD. Of course it now faces the craptastic Madison Square Garden (great job aces), but nevertheless, the Post Office stands as an anchor in a struggling neighborhood.

Ok, back to the Super-project Void. Louis Uchitelle writes in this ARTICLE in the NY Times,
"So what are we missing, exactly? Huge public works — or more precisely, their historic absence — didn’t cause the recession any more than their renewal would quickly draw the country out of it. But their effect on the economy is almost always noticeable if not easily measured. Some economists argue that the continual construction of new megaprojects adds a quarter of a percentage point or more, on average, to the gross domestic product over the long term. Again, cause and effect aren’t clear, but the strongest periods of economic growth in America have generally coincided with big outlays for new public works and the transformations they bring once completed.

If their absence creates a void, particularly in a recession, what can fill it? "
The article is a quick read, and it again opens debate about Obama's commitment to lifting us out of this recession with down-payments (and jobs) on similar projects. Here's


  • High-speed rail lines link Detroit with Pittsburgh, Philly, and Chicago.

  • The Detroit auto industry is encouraged (read: forced) to transform itself into the national center of manufacturing and R&D for wind turbine technology and photo-voltaic innovation.

  • Automobile production in Detroit ceases.

  • China, India, Canada, Mexico and Russia begin ordering our super-fantastic green energy products like mad.

  • The idea of the Super-project is re-imagined as Detroit becomes the first Super-Urban-Project, and Obama leads us merrily into the 21st Century with Detroit the shining green flourishing city.

You listening, Mr. O?

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