The Corner

What Are the Top Ten Reasons There’s No Such Thing as ‘Shovel-Ready Jobs’ Anymore?

This strikes me as a good topic for the comments section. You constantly hear liberals whine about all the great public works projects of  the past: man on the moon (not purely public works, but close enough for these purposes), Hoover dam, the Pentagon, Manhattan Project etc. The speed of these projects is unimaginable today and I would venture to guess the reasons for that are overwhelmingly, perhaps entirely, due to other liberal accomplishments (to use a value-neutral word). I’m thinking Davis-Bacon, environmental impact statements, etc.

Trying to figure out how conservatives stand in the way of such things, the only point I can anticipate is that liberals might say conservatives are too cheap to pay what these things cost today and doing things on the cheap takes time. I don’t really buy that (the ground zero mess can’t be attributed to skinflint Republicans), but I can imagine Paul Krugman saying it. Even if true, it doesn’t rebut the charge that liberalism has simply made nimble, capable and even necessary public works projects too expensive, both in terms of time and money.

Or maybe I’m wrong. Have at it.

Jonah Goldberg — Jonah Goldberg is a fellow at the American Enterprise Institute and a senior editor of National Review. His new book, The Suicide of The West, will be released on April 24.

Most Popular


Let Alfie Evans Go to Rome

Alfie Evans, 23 months old, is hospitalized with a rare neurodegenerative disorder. Against his parents’ wishes, his doctors at Alder Hey Hospital in Liverpool removed him from life support on Monday evening, maintaining that further treatment would be futile. Bambino Gesù Pediatric Hospital in Rome has ... Read More

Is Journalism School Worth It?

Clarence Darrow dropped out of law school after just a year, figuring that he would learn what he needed to know about legal practice faster if he were actually doing it than sitting in classrooms. (Today, that wouldn't be possible, thanks to licensing requirements.) The same thing is true in other fields -- ... Read More

Wednesday Links

Today is ANZAC Day, the anniversary of the Battle of Gallipoli: Here's some history, a documentary, and a Lego re-enactment. How DNA Can Lead to Wrongful Convictions: Labs today can identify people with DNA from just a handful of cells, but a handful of cells can easily migrate. The 19th-century art of ... Read More

Microscopic Dots. Let’s Look at Them.

Stuart E. Eizenstat has written a big book on the Carter presidency. (Eizenstat was Carter’s chief domestic-policy adviser. He also had a substantial hand in foreign affairs.) I have reviewed the book for the forthcoming NR. Eizenstat tells the story of a meeting between President Carter and Andrei Gromyko, the ... Read More
Law & the Courts

Alfie and Haleigh and Charlie and Jahi

When British hospital officials tried to pull the plug on 23-month-old toddler Alfie Evans on Monday night in arrogant defiance of his parents' wishes, many Americans took to Twitter to count their blessings that they live in a country that would not allow such tyranny. "Stories like Alfie Evans make me ... Read More