There's no proof, but convincing circumstantial evidence, in the following story which demonstrates how much influence and how soon the public works projects of the 1930s actually worked. A little personal history, if you will.
My father's family emigrated from Germany in 1922 and landed at Ellis Island. From there they went to Chicago where they had relatives as was often the case. My parents met in 1929 and continued with their plans to marry in February of 1930 in spite of the crash.
My dad was what was called a rough carpenter, one of his brothers was considered a skilled cabinet maker, the third brother was a mason and their widowed sister became their homemaker. They were quite successful in doing everything from sub-contracting on jobs as big as schools and hospitals and as small as road building projects such as culverts, etc. Of course they were not afraid to travel and went wherever there was a job.
I was born in Chicago in December of 1930, had my first birthday in Baltimore, the second and third in Chicago, the fourth and fifth in Iowa and my sixth in Minnesota where we stayed permanently with a couple of exceptions. The exceptions started in Iowa when my dad went to California the winter I was five while we stayed behind with my aunt; the second was in 1940 when he landed a contract in California and our entire family went to California for 6 months returning to Minnesota in May of 1941. In November of 1941 my dad signed a contract for one year of work on Wake Island. And the rest, as they say, is history. He returned in October of 1945 having spent from December 7 'til August of '45 in POW camps in China and Japan.
The reason for this litany of moves? To demonstrate that this was a young man (28 in October of 1929) who was gainfully employed throughout the depression, but he didn't wait for public works. And further, to demonstrate that the double digit unemployment figures of the time lasted a long, long time.
If this administration truly believes that the nearly trillion dollars Obama wants to spend on "shovel ready" projects will put 4 million people to work in two short years...........
The approval processes to expend the funds plus the permits required from all the different levels of government will take months and months. I would so like to be able to have the faith that it will happen, but I just don't see it.
ps-I almost feel sorry for Blagoyovich. He grew up in the middle of Chicago politics, played the game exactly the way he was taught and then they brought in a new kid and changed the rules in the middle of the game.