Wednesday, July 24, 2019

timberline lodge

Yesterday my wife and I drove up to Timberline Lodge at Mount Hood, a structure built by the WPA and completed during the great depression. It is a lovely building and its heritage as a place in which people learned and engaged their creative energies is a thing about which staff members take great pride.

We followed a national park guide as he pointed out many features of the building that we would have missed touring on our own. And it was obvious how deeply enamored the guide was with the lovely place.

During the last recession, the US government chose to bail out the banks, and neglected to bail out the American people, leaving hundreds of thousands in the position of losing their homes. It was one of the largest shift of wealth from the middle class to the wealthy elite in American history. They saved the banks and left the people to flounder. It was a recovery engineered by alumni from Wall Street. The banks made out great. The American people not so.

The interesting thing is that during that recession when folks needed to find work and were willing to work for less, the Republicans blocked spending on infrastructure that would have provided needed repair work at less cost. They argued against increasing the national debt. Now much of that work still needs to be done, but the costs will be much higher due to an economy nearing full employment. Now with a Republican tax reduction plan in place, deficits are skyrocketing and they never say a word about the national debt and the burden we place on our children and grandchildren. Go figure.

In building Timberline lodge, the idea was that folks were in desperate need of employment, but they also needed growth in skill and confidence and those were of vital importance to the future of our nation. Even then, young men and women were called upon to learn hand skills that had been neglected. Even then their creativity had been made dormant by American education.

The photo shows the hand forged iron latch on the front door of Timberline Lodge. There are lessons to learn there about how building such beautiful and useful things can affect the character of the nation.

Make, fix and create. Act to assure others learn likewise.

1 comment:

  1. Welcome to Oregon. With a little luck, you might even here some wolves up there. Early in the recession one of our Senators came to our high school to talk to the students. He made a point of talking about the need for public spending. I button holed his senior aide and made a case for targeting the spending on our crumbling schools. Their position was adamant that it was to be all about concrete and asphalt: they were not interested in the long term; they wanted to spend money and spend it fast, and roads were easiest. (Now doing a good job laying roads is a skill, but it was a huge investment that had a short term return, not a long one.)