The Extemp Files were just updated, with articles through today (end of March).
Check the Economic Crisis – US folder for infrastructure articles (and most domestic economic articles), and the Poverty folder for articles on the economics (and realities) of poverty.
I’ve long kept folders for use in teaching various Social Studies classes/topics, and the Economics folder has been uploaded and is now available on Dropbox. It goes back years, rather than just to last June/July. The arguments for infrastructure programs haven’t changed much – massive infrastructure needs, and reasonably shovel-ready projects that could employ people quickly. The same goes for means-tested poverty programs – fewer people are covered now than in years past, and the number of people in poverty is significantly higher than it should be for a developed country. The question, at least for the Con side, may be the populations that would benefit from each type of program – would those being employed on shovel-ready projects be the ones most in need of aid (say, single mothers with young children, who would benefit from means-tested programs), or would it go to people who might benefit from it but who would not be qualified for means-tested programs (underemployed rather than unemployed). Infrastructure improvements would stimulate economic growth, but who would this benefit? Would the income received from working on shovel-ready projects, and subsequently spent, be expected to raise the economic conditions of the local community at large? What are the budgetary requirements of each option?