Should We Take A Look Back for Answers to Today’s Problems? An Essay By My Friend and Atlanta Leader

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This is a Saporta Report Thought Leadership piece by Jim Durrett, executive director – Buckhead CID

Last Tuesday, one of my best friends, former Atlanta resident and the former director, CDC’s National Center for Environmental Health, Howard Frumkin, sent me a link to an essay that he posted on I found it so compelling that I asked Howie if I could share it within and among my different circles. He takes a look back to how the United States pulled itself up by the boot straps following the Great Depression, and how ponders how a similar strategy might work today as we begin to hopefully emerge slowly from the coronavirus. I urge you to read it.

As it appeared in Medium on May 4, 2020

A New Deal for Coronavirus Recovery

FDR’s New Deal offers a model for big, bold, Federal investments — yielding jobs, infrastructure and hope.

In the darkest days of the Great Depression, the U.S. unemployment rate was close to 25%. Fifteen million Americans were unemployed — roughly equivalent to 40 million in today’s population. Homelessness skyrocketed, soup kitchens couldn’t serve food fast enough, and despair was ubiquitous.

President Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s New Deal lighted a bold and innovative path out of the darkness. Employment programs were key pillars of the New Deal, especially the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC), launched in 1933, and the Work Projects Administration (WPA), launched in 1935.

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