LIFE Magazine New Deal Map January 4, 1937

FDR on LIFE cover 1937
Image: LIFE Magazine, January 4, 1937, pp.30-31, via Google Books
Click image to enlarge. From the LIFE Magazine photoessay, The Roosevelt Rule (1933-37): A Pictorial Record, which starts on Page 23 and runs to Page 43 (big screen required).

From the inset at lower left: "With borrowed billions Franklin Roosevelt put millions of idle men to work on thousands of projects. The map above shows a few of the more important things they did with their time and the public's money. Mountains were tunneled, rivers were dammed, aqueducts were laid, canals were dug, battleships were constructed, landmarks were restored, slums were cleared and 6,201 school houses were built or repaired. Never had the country had such a construction spree. Yet the number of unemployed failed to decline proportionately" (from about 25%). The latter might be true of his first term (1933-36), which came to end when this LIFE issue was on the newsstands. But by the end of his second term unemployment was 14.3% and then just before before Pearl Harbor it was 9.9%. And then, of course, during World War II — which was, in economic terms, a continuation of the New Deal — it was below 2%. Massive unemployment can't be fixed overnight, but it can be fixed: not with trickle-down economics and massive tax breaks and bailouts for the rich, but by paying real people do real work that addresses the actual needs of the country and its population: infrastructure, health care system, education, housing, public lands. And in these times of existential threat from fossil-fuel induced climate change, also clean power, air and water. In short, a Green New Deal.