In fact, the programs started by the Roosevelt administration built a lot of things that make America what it is today. The Works Progress Administration (WPA) built public buildings, dams, theaters, and other public works.
The Civilian Conservation Corps put thousands to work planting trees, building trails and improving natural resources. Conrad Black, in his book on FDR, described the scope of the work:
"The government hired about 60 per cent of the unemployed in public works and conservation projects that planted a billion trees, saved the whooping crane, modernized rural America, and built such diverse projects as the Cathedral of Learning in Pittsburgh, the Montana state capitol, much of the Chicago lakefront, New York's Lincoln Tunnel and Triborough Bridge complex, the Tennessee Valley Authority and the aircraft carriers Enterprise and Yorktown.
It also built or renovated 2,500 hospitals, 45,000 schools, 13,000 parks and playgrounds, 7,800 bridges, 700,000 miles of roads, and a thousand airfields. And it employed 50,000 teachers, rebuilt the country's entire rural school system, and hired 3,000 writers, musicians, sculptors and painters, including Willem de Kooning and Jackson Pollock."
More on Conrad Black on the New Deal
Credit: FDR Library