Iraq and the wisdom of Calvin Coolidge

I don’t know if massive unemployment is the sole reason for the recent violence in southern Iraq, but it certainly must be one of the underlying causes.

As President Calvin Coolidge is alleged to have said, “When a great many people are unable to find work, unemployment results.” Obviously the quickest way to reduce unemployment is to provide people with jobs. Even if they are government-subsidized jobs. Even if they’re old-fashioned, WPA-type jobs. Surely there’s no shortage of work to be done in rebuilding Iraq.

Isn’t the situation in Iraq at least as urgent as it was in the USA during the 1930s? Do we really have time to wait for the magic of the free market to kick in?