The famous symbols of recovery in the West during the Depression included Hoover Dam, Grand Coulee Dam, the San Francisco Bay Bridge and the Golden Gate Bridge. But if proposed today, they may well have been delayed or killed by environmental purists, NIMBY activists and overly cautious politicians and bureaucrats, Bill Boyarsky writes in The Los Angeles Times.
Given President-elect Barack Obama’s plans for massive economic stimulus in January, that’s something to think about now as the country struggles with an economic failure that recalls the Depression. Thanks to two measures that were on the Nov. 4 ballot, Californians have the prospect of financing public works projects that can put the growing number of unemployed to work, just as the dams and bridges did more than 70 years ago.
And it raises questions about the popularity and effectiveness of opposition to large-scale development in a severe economic downturn.