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See every New Deal project in America, in one map

The Living New Deal Project at UC Berkeley has released an awesome interactive map showing every New Deal project in the country. Since the New Deal spanned from Alaska to Puerto Rico and Panama, you need a very wide view to take it all in:

(Living New Deal)

But you can also zoom in on particular spots if you're interested. Here's the New Deal in northern New England, where it was responsible for everything from school improvements in Ashland, ME to campgrounds in the White Mountain National Forest to a bridge in Portsmouth, New Hampshire.

new deal maine

(Living New Deal)

Some New Deal-era projects are no longer with us, but many are still vital elements of the national fabric. Of course, not all the changes were necessarily changes for the better. Around where I live, the New Deal financed some vital civic improvements like the completion of Malcolm X / Meridian Hill Park, but also things like the tunnels under Scott Circle and Thomas Circle that disrupted the urban fabric for the sake of suburban commuters.

(Living New Deal)

Today, with interest rates at record lows and no inflation in sight, you might think the government would be undertaking a comparable surge of investment projects. Instead, after a brief-but-significant boost in 2010 associated with the federal stimulus bill, government investment has been falling:

(Saint Louis Federal Reserve)

The politics behind this are well known at this point and there's no need to rehash them, but suffice it to say that we abandoned the idea of fueling the recovery with these kinds of projects far too soon.

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