As most of you know who read this blog regularly, Pluto has just transitioned from the optimism sign of Sagittarius to the practical sign of Capricorn.  Since Pluto presides over issues of death and endings we have seen some real chaos in our financial systems as we move from a process where blind faith (Sagittarius) creates results to a process where the foundations must be solid in order to achieve success (Capricorn).

Hank Paulson, an Aries with a lot of fire in his chart, convinced Congress while Pluto was still in Sagittarius to have faith in him, to believe in what he was doing (both excellent Sagittarian qualities) rather than present a solid plan for success which would have been a more Capricornian style.  Throwing money at a problem to generate more optimism may be what worked while Pluto was in Sagittarius, but under the Capricorn influence more details are required which is why his $700bn bailout plan will not work.

Capricorn is all about building something lasting for future generations, and as I wrote back in August of 2007, the infrastructure in the US and around the world is in desperate need of rebuilding.  As I wrote last year:

The buzz around this issue makes it clear that the need to rebuild the infrastructures on which we depend for our daily lives is going to be a highlight of the upcoming Pluto in Capricorn period. Capricorn is associated with the structures of society and building itself. Dams, bridges, tunnels, subways – many of these were built over 100 years ago with little or no improvements over the years. The failure of the levees in New Orleans were the first reminder that the old infrastructures were in danger, but little attention was paid.

The debacle over rebuilding in Iraq is bound to come to the forefront of discussion now because of the appalling amount of money that is being wasted there and the lack of progress. A recent government audit of Bechtel’s work there showed that less than half of that company’s reconstructions jobs had been completed, and the ones that were finished had staggering cost overruns.

So I was glad to see that President-Elect Obama seems to get that in this new climate the only way to rebuild the US economy is to invest money into rebuilding and infrastructure, both Capricornian elements, rather than throw money into a hunt for optimism and a continuation of inflated home and stock prices.

The plan, as outlined by Obama, includes:

— A “massive effort” to make federal buildings energy-efficient by replacing aging heating systems and installing efficient light bulbs. Obama said the effort would save taxpayers “billions of dollars each year” and put people back to work.

— The largest investment in roads and bridges “since the creation of the federal highway system in the 1950s.” Responding to concerns that new transportation money might be caught up in red tape at the state level, Obama said states must quickly invest in road and bridge construction and repair — or lose the federal dollars.

— The “most sweeping” program to upgrade and rehabilitate the nation’s schools by repairing buildings, installing energy-efficient systems and buying new computers for the classrooms. The idea, he said, is to create “21st-century schools.”

— A new push to extend broadband Internet into places of the country that still lacks high-speed connections. Calling it “unacceptable” that the United States ranks only 15th globally in high-speed adoption, Obama said that “every child should have the chance to get online.”

— And a plan to modernize hospitals and medical offices by making sure they are using “cutting edge technology” and electronic medical records. He said that would “cut red tape, prevent medical mistakes and help save billions of dollars each year.”

The plan would amount to the largest infusion of federal money ever into the American economy, and is certain to generate objections from conservatives who worry that it will not be spent wisely.

Anticipating that criticism, Obama said that the economic recovery act will “measure progress by the reforms we make and the results we achieve.”

In this astrologer’s opinion, this kind of investment in construction and building is exactly what Pluto in Capricorn will reward, and what is needed at this time of crisis. It is speculated that Obama’s program will cost $500bn or more, which is a shockingly high figure.  But considering that Congress was recently willing to throw $700bn down the toilet in a bailout of corrupt financial systems, an actual investment in infrastructure is a much more practical idea.

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