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(80 posts)

Infrastructure decline...cause?


  1. wakeflood
    Member Profile

    wakeflood

    Looking for an answer to a fairly basic question: When did it become ok for the richest, most powerful nation on the planet to let its shared infrastructure fall apart? Bridges, smart transportation systems, power grid, green energy, etc., etc.

    Did it start with the defunding of the states coffers via the anti-tax Proposition - like Prop 13 in CA - and carried forward via the Tim Eyemans of the world?

    It would seem that we've lost that as a priority or even an assumption that we'd have infrastructure that's top flight. We're not even close anymore and it surely has negative economic impacts. How did we get here? And just as importantly, how do we get it back? Or are we just too wrapped up in the era of "me" to care about the shared commons?

    Posted 2 years ago #         
  2. short term thinking got us here

    do you know that our bridges were once engineered to withstand double the projected load?

    now engineering loads factor in an acceptable rate of failure...

    bridge maintenance doesn't seem important
    until it collapses when you cross it
    then it becomes a common concern.

    there is no acceptable failure rate if you are on the bridge when it collapses

    Posted 2 years ago #         
  3. wakeflood
    Member Profile

    wakeflood

    OK, so when did that become the norm and why?

    It must have happened after the Apollo program (where we engineered things to as high a level as we knew how) and the space shuttles (where we were apparently much more cost conscious?).

    Was it BECAUSE cost was no object on Apollo?

    Short-termitis must have taken hold for a reason??

    Posted 2 years ago #         
  4. do you remember tricky Dick?
    who was followed by the acting president who is revered by people not old enough to have lived through the mess he made?
    and then there were those state's rights guys elder and younger...

    those were very busy administrations...

    and lets not forget the educators in texas
    who taught us all to think how much profit can be made how quickly is the most important economic question

    i know you deserve a more specific answer than that wake..
    but i am not up to doing the research thing today.
    with any luck, someone else will.

    Posted 2 years ago #         
  5. wakeflood, thanks for this question.

    I see that Jo has thrown you slightly off track with her "no acceptable failure rate" statement, which merely demonstrates that she does not think like an engineer. (No offense, Jo.)

    There's no problem with current engineering design standards in this country. None. The problem is, as you implied in your first post, that we're not replacing infrastructure in a timely way.

    So, again . . . WHY aren't we replacing?

    Although the question might seem "basic" it's actually about as unbasic as they come. In fact, there are many contributing factors to the infrastructure problem, including:

    ► Increase in costs (labor, insurance, financing)
    ► Shortfall of revenue
    ► Changed spending priorities
    ► "Don't fix it til it's broke" syndrome

    Etc.

    –each of which could lead you down a different rabbit hole.

    The good news is that bridges don't all fall down at once, and (usually) they don't fall down without some kind of warning.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j-zczJXSxnw

    Posted 2 years ago #         
  6. WorldCitizen
    Member Profile

    zgh2676

    That video gets me every time I see it. It amazes me how flexible asphalt is...till it isn't.

    Posted 2 years ago #         
  7. DBP...would you feel the same way if you were on the bridge when it collapses...

    oh, and...when did you get your engineering degree? You do have one, don't you?

    or are you arguing for arguing's sake?

    Posted 2 years ago #         
  8. wakeflood
    Member Profile

    wakeflood

    DBP, yeah, I know the answer isn't about engineering, I work for a civil engineering company and there's tons of good engineering going into the designs.

    I think your list includes the most likely suspects, but I want to add another related one.

    Reduced faith in government.

    I think the constant tearing down by the "conservatives" over the last 40yrs. has taken its toll. No more civics classes. No grand projects that can serve us all. Making self-governance a joke. Example #1: Ronnie "I'm from the government and I'm here to help" Reagan.

    Pound that kind of stuff into people's brains long enough and it has to have some impact. Right?

    Posted 2 years ago #         
  9. Genesee Hill
    Member Profile

    Genesee Hill

    The U.S. military infrastructure ain't too shabby compared to other countries.

    Posted 2 years ago #         
  10. wakeflood
    Member Profile

    wakeflood

    Yes, that seemed to be the only element of gov't that the conservatives deem "functional". Although I don't know how it WOULDN'T be given the resources spent to get it there??? You know, like 3/4 Trillion a year, not counting off-the-books spending on sh*t we don't get to know about.

    Now, if we can only ween that $ out of the bloated defense budget and put it to productive use...

    Posted 2 years ago #         
  11. skeeter
    Member Profile

    One theory is the sexual revolution caused our infrastructure problems. Government spending has shifted from infrastructure to the social costs associated with the breakdown of the family – poverty, crime, etc.

    Posted 2 years ago #         
  12. wakeflood
    Member Profile

    wakeflood

    That is awesome!! You should write for the Daily Show, Skeeter!

    Posted 2 years ago #         
  13. Another theory is that Godzilla caused our infrastructure problems. Gov't spending has shifted from infrastructure to the black ops anti-Godzilla costs that fund the programs to protect us from Godzilla's wrath. Equally credible and just as well sourced.

    Posted 2 years ago #         
  14. wakeflood
    Member Profile

    wakeflood

    Outstanding. Or perhaps, a sexually promiscuous Godzilla?? Now THAT'S an STD.

    Posted 2 years ago #         
  15. Correlation does not equal causation.

    Posted 2 years ago #         
  16. wakeflood
    Member Profile

    wakeflood

    True, but I heard from a friend in black ops that Seal Team 6 is in training for a Godzilla strike at his heavily-secured safe house, rumored to be in Malawi.

    Disinformation? You tell me.

    Posted 2 years ago #         
  17. The cause: Simple Shortermitis; easy to fix but difficult to innoculate. If we had built the freeways and bridges with 10-20 year lifespans, it would be obvious that it was deteriorating in the life of those who voted for it and there would be pressure for maintenance.
    -
    Instead we went with 40-50 year lifespans, far outliving those who designed it. Because these stay around so long the thought is: "Its been here forever, why now?" Look at the Viaduct, it is well past it's design date but we keep pushing it.
    -
    I blame both parties in Seattle: Demos for ignoring it until it is an emergency and Repubs for failing to point it out and push for repairs/maintenance. Waiting for a bridge to fall down to do repairs is not an excuse, it is an indictment.

    Posted 2 years ago #         
  18. My point is that Republicans are conservative and therefore should support what has already been done.

    Posted 2 years ago #         
  19. wakeflood
    Member Profile

    wakeflood

    Well JD, I'm not so sure you can extrapolate your theory to cover virtually every other city/state in the union. This isn't a local phenomenon. It's national.

    And it should be noted that NOTICING the issue isn't new either (studies have been out for 15+ yrs.)and it AIN'T just bridges fer goodness sake. Our electrical grid is an antiquated cluster, our internet infrastructure is about as good as most 2nd tier countries, etc., etc.

    The simple fact is, we do everything related to infrastructure piecemeal and on an emergency only basis. We haven't done a federally coordinated major infrastructure project since the Interstate Hwy System in the 50's/60's.

    Here's a possible causal relationship: Substantially reduced Federal matching funds. Remember those? Gee, I think they helped fund TONS of state-level projects to the tune of 50%, sometimes more. That must have become an unpopular place to put federal funding. Wiser folks chose the B-1 bomber, and Missle Defense, etc...

    Posted 2 years ago #         
  20. skeeter
    Member Profile

    Aren't there increased social costs associated with crime and poverty?

    Lets just look at the number of people in prison.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Incarceration_in_the_United_States

    From 1920 to 2006, the U.S. polulation increased 2.8 times. In the same period, the number in prison increased 20 times.

    Okay, okay, I have no source that says the sexual revolution caused more people to be in prison. I just made that up. However, it is a fact that more people *are* in prison, whatever the cause.

    Any amount spent on incarcerating criminals cannot be spent on infrastructure.

    Same thing with poverty.

    We have far, far, more poverty now than we've ever had before. None of us will agree on what caused the increased poverty. But it is increased. And poverty costs the government a lot of money.

    The original question on this forum was why our infrastructure is in poor shape. I don't think it is a lack of good engineers. I think we just spend our money differently now as compared with, say 1920.

    I agree my post (#11) was silly. I don't know what caused all the crime and poverty. Certainly a combination of things. But we're paying for it now. And every dollar we spend on poverty and crime and other social ills is a dollar we can't spend on a new bridge.

    Posted 2 years ago #         
  21. skeeter
    Member Profile

    I agree with DBP's post #5. Specifically, I think that "changed spending priorities" is the biggest reason for lack of infrastructure spending. The powers that be think that our money is better spent on other things.

    I'd love to see a study that compares total fed and state gov't expenditures (as a percentage of GDP) comparing 1920 (or 1930 or 1940) to 2006 with the following categories:

    1. infrastructure
    2. education
    3. social programs
    4. foreign aid
    5. crime prevention and enforcement
    6. military
    7. corporate welfare
    8. Whatever else I'm missing...

    Does anyone know if such a study or comparison exists?

    Posted 2 years ago #         
  22. Skeeter, as a follow up to your point, please go and look up how many prisons in this country are run by for profit corporations.

    Then, consider what that implies with regard to our rate of incarceration (which, indeed, is very high, among the highest if not the highest in the world) and what sorts of things are considered crimes.

    As an added bonus, look up under what aegis many of our largest-scale national infrastructure projects were constructed. (Hint: it has to do with poverty.)

    Posted 2 years ago #         
  23. wakeflood
    Member Profile

    wakeflood

    You're almost there, skeets! Just follow your logic and look at data from as many unbiased sources as you can and you'll end up reaching the conclusion that social engineering has been happening on a massive scale in this country, but it AIN'T the kind you probably think.

    I'm not saying that poverty or crime has a causal relationship with infrastructure but your core question of why DOES the richest country in the world have so much poverty IS something to sort out. Economic/social mobility is literally a fraction of what it was in this country decades ago. The reasons aren't THAT hard to find - if you're open to answers that might not coincide with your current world view.

    Posted 2 years ago #         
  24. skeeter
    Member Profile

    Last post for me tonight. Sorry, this thread really got me thinking.

    Wakeflood makes a good point about military spending. I don't think our soldier head count is high in comparison to past decades. But we're spending a fortune on new technologies. Next generation fighter jets, missile defense, r&d. These costs are huge.

    A fighter plane (P-51) in WW2 cost $25,000. About the price of 22 new cars in 1942. An F-22 Raptor costs $160M today. About the price of 7,000 new cars in 2012. Maybe that's where a big chunk of the money is going?

    Posted 2 years ago #         
  25. wakeflood
    Member Profile

    wakeflood

    'Xactly, skeets. And keep in mind that nobody else has anything even close to those pieces of hardware in terms of technology. And we don't have a couple of anything. We have dozens, hundreds of everything. It adds up...

    Posted 2 years ago #         
  26. skeeter
    Member Profile

    Ever since Kootchman left us I feel the need to "step it up" and represent the conservative/right side of things. Ha ha. I can't keep it up! I'm tired and need to go to bed. <wink>

    Good night all!

    Posted 2 years ago #         
  27. "...Maybe that's where a big chunk of the money is going?"

    Bingo.The US spends more on the military than the next 10 countries combined. Think about that. China, Russia, etc. We outspend #2 China 7 to 1. That's not security, that's insanity.

    And with a budget like that, why should there ever be a controversy about having enough money to take care of our soldiers health care? Because the war profiteers (KBR, Halliburton,Lockheed-Martin, etc)are raking the big bucks for themselves, stealing it from the taxpayers and the soldiers who actually deserve some of it.

    If you really care about debts and deficits,stop pressuring poor people, minorities, food stamp recipients, Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security users and the like and turn your steely conservative/right side gaze upon the Military Industrial Complex trough and you'll find some expenses that could and should definitely be cut. Billions.

    Posted 2 years ago #         
  28. redblack
    Member Profile

    redblack

    skeeter: compensate for volume with quality. you're doing fine and i, for one, like having you around. it's no fun for us liberals to sit around patting ourselves on the back all day.

    and regarding post 21, it's not easy to compare those things, and your list is a little vague.

    for example, "infrastructure" could mean transportation, which is largely block granted by the fed to the states; or it could mean hospitals, which would fall under DHHS; or it could mean the electric grid, which would fall under energy; or it could mean dams and reservoirs, which would fall under interior and/or bureau of land management.

    similarly, "corporate welfare" - a derogatory term, to be sure - could mean ignoring enforcement and punishment of tax avoidance and evasion; it could mean federal pork which goes directly to businesses like conagra through subsidy (which was originally intended for smaller family farms); or it could mean the amount of access they have to our government when compared to actual human constituents.

    in any case, i believe our lack of infrastructure spending has more to do with vision and political will to fight those who would maintain the status quo - for whatever agenda.

    the thread i started about having a municipal fiber optic broadband network in seattle is a perfect example. comcast would surely fight such a bold, progressive move tooth and nail with a lot of lawyers and negative advertising. why? because of the way the city contracts wholesale telecommunications, they have a tidy monopoly going on here - and absolutely zero incentive to improve service or control prices. just the opposite, in fact, because they have no real competition.

    this gets slightly OT, but is related to communication infrastructure and why it isn't improving:

    ratepayers in seattle have stockholm syndrome when it comes to internet and teevee bills. most of us - but certainly not all - no longer blush at paying $200 or more for internet, phone, and teevee. it doesn't have to be that way, people. and comcast's service and speeds ain't that great. but i suppose when you have nothing but DSL to compare it to...

    but that's a perfect example of why better infrastructure is not being built out in the united states:

    call it corporate protectionism.

    if we paid the government half of what we pay corporate america for things like internet access, we'd have far greater value for our money. just look at tacoma's click! network if you want to see a model where government and private business compete in a fairly straightforward manner - and without all of the ballyhoo that most conservatives claim will lead to government monopolies and such.

    real, robust, honest-to-god competition scares the bejesus out of corporate america. they prefer to corner entire markets, stifle or buy all other competition, and set their rates based on profits instead of value. and it's a huge impediment to making things better.

    Posted 2 years ago #         
  29. wakeflood
    Member Profile

    wakeflood

    Absolutely, r/b, abso-fricking-lutely.

    Posted 2 years ago #         
  30. wakeflood
    Member Profile

    wakeflood

    And as an aside to r/b's note on corporate competition or lack thereof - you need only look so far as the Apple & ATT debacle to see that it applies entirely inside the corporate ecosystem as well as between public and private entities.

    Jobs was so upset with their own shortsighted decision to grant sole iphone rights to ATT after their total service hose-up that he pondered everything short of buying ATT and blowing it up.

    He pinned their reputation on another entity that knew they had Apple locked in and over a barrel for at least the contract period.

    Like I always say, as soon as you hear the words "consumer choice" or "consumer value" coming from a corporation, check your wallet...

    Posted 2 years ago #         
  31. skeeter
    Member Profile

    “real, robust, honest-to-god competition scares the bejesus out of corporate america.”
    I never thought about that. But I don’t think I agree. There is some truth that companies try to create and exploit monopolies. Microsoft comes to mind. But I can think of a lot of companies that thrive in competitive environments and the customer ends up winning with a quality product at an affordable price.
    When I go through my house – the computer in my office, the car in my garage, the TV in my living room, the washer in my laundry room, the crib in my baby’s room, the fridge (with ice maker!) in my kitchen. All these seem like really great, high quality products. And every one of these products is either mildly or very much improved from anything you could buy ten or twenty years ago. Why are the products so good and affordable? I’d say it’s because of competition. Every product I’ve listed above has competition from rivals. A constant battle for market share with the consumer getting the benefit. And the products keep getting better and better while staying (in my opinion) pretty affordable.
    I’ll try to read the thread about internet services. Just haven’t had a chance.

    Posted 2 years ago #         
  32. hooper1961
    Member Profile

    the money got re-directed to social service spending

    Posted 2 years ago #         
  33. maplesyrup
    Member Profile

    maplesyrup

    Could this have something to do with it?

    http://www.xesc.cat/pashmina/attachments/Imp_Vehicles_per_capita_2030.pdf

    Or this?

    http://www.census-charts.com/Population/pop-us-1790-2000.html

    Bottom line is there are more of us, staying alive longer, using more resources, and over time stuff breaks with increased usage.

    Posted 2 years ago #         
  34. More evidence that military spending is rife with waste, fraud, and abuse...

    "On Tuesday the Senate unanimously passed a defense authorization bill that contains $17 billion more than the Pentagon asked for. They'll go to conference over a House bill that has an addition $3 billion more than the Pentagon asked for."

    There's $20 billion in unnecessary spending (that the Pentagon hasn't even ASKED for) that you haven't even heard about. Where's the fiscal conservative outrage about that?

    Posted 2 years ago #         
  35. wakeflood
    Member Profile

    wakeflood

    And for anyone who dares to say that the Pentagon itself doesn't realize that they're sucking away precious resources from things like education and infrastructure, I have something for you to read.

    It's ghost written by a couple of colonels from Joint Command and is generally accepted as being an indirect message from the Joint Chiefs.

    Why won't Congress listen?? Cuz they're afraid to be called doves and anti-American by somebody. Wonder who? Oh, and they love the jobs in their districts building things we won't ever need. Now THAT'S a productive use of our tax dollars. Right?

    Here's the link: http://www.foreignpolicy.com/articles/2011/04/13/the_y_article

    Read it and absorb what these guys are saying. We're going to rot out from within unless we start paying attention to our internal strength.

    Posted 2 years ago #         
  36. wakeflood
    Member Profile

    wakeflood

    It's an addict's plea to have the parents stop giving them money to buy their drugs. Only the parents keep shoving checks into their pockets.

    Posted 2 years ago #         
  37. WorldCitizen
    Member Profile

    zgh2676

    maplesyrup:

    I would agree that the vast majority of our problems in this world right now are a direct result of overpopulation. And it's not going away any time soon. In fact, I think I read somewhere (can't remember the source) that we're headed toward 10.5 Billion by 2050. Obviously this is going to cause a number of different issues depending on where you are in the world, but we're far from immune to the resulting problems here in the US.

    I'm not sure how much of an impact it's had on infrastructure up to this point. I would guess quite a bit. But, this is even more of a reason to address the core of these problems now before we're tied up with so many more complicated problems in the relatively near future. You know, give us a chance to compete in the sardine can that is future Earth.

    Posted 2 years ago #         
  38. Unfortunately, population growth and capitalism are currently locked into a unhealthy, co-dependent relationship.

    Our whole capitalist model is based on the assumption of endless growth, is it not? It's a system designed to keep building more new houses for more new people to live in, and to sell all those people an endless supply of c-r-r-rap.

    Someday we're going to run out of raw materials, clean air, and space, of course. But that's not gonna rain on anyone's parade until it actually happens. In the meantime, scarcity only drives the capitalist growth model into new heights of ecstacy, by making everything more expensive for buyers and thus, more profitable for sellers.

    I believe that we can reach sustainability, but there's gonna be lots of downsizing pains associated with that. In Europe – where population has been tapering off for some time – they're still having trouble retooling their economic model. All across northern Europe, they're finding it necessary to import people to do jobs they can no longer fill with locals. And that, in turn, has led to all kinds of social tensions.

    We're starting to see some of that here, too, with the massive influx of cheap labor from Mexico. Labor that doesn't wanna pack up and go home when the "job" is "done" (which it never is, of course.)

    Posted 2 years ago #         
  39. Using the logic that there are more cars and more people using the roads, the counter is that there should be a concomitant increase in revenue. The population of the US in 1955 was 166 million, in 2010, 308 million, a 185% increase. Washington, grew from 2.58 million in 1955 to an estimated 6.83 million today, a 265% increase.
    -
    US GDP grew from 414 Billion in '55 to 14,508 Billion in 2010. An increase of 3,500%. Yet we cannot find money to fix/update/or even repair our infrastructure? Interstate-5 was built when our national GDP was a fraction of today's yet we cannot afford to fix or replace it?
    -
    We are pampered victims of comfort, and the corporations, rich people, and yes, middle class need to pay higher taxes if we want to enjoy what our parents (or grandparents) built and funded for us.
    -
    And I, like DBP, wonder how we can grow like cancer yet not somehow end up in a similar fate. I have yet to see an economic model that supports "growth" of 0% much less negative %; at the same time my company wants to see 10% growth in our business year-to-year...

    Posted 2 years ago #         
  40. As far as numbers and figures go, it's really pretty simple. Corporate profits are the highest they've ever been. Wages are the lowest they've been in 50 years. Somebody is sucking all the money out of this economy and its not poor people or middle class people.

    Posted 2 years ago #         
  41. redblack
    Member Profile

    redblack

    jaydee: well-said and right to the point.

    Posted 2 years ago #         
  42. wakeflood
    Member Profile

    wakeflood

    Agreed, re: Jaydee, et al.

    We've blown by all the stop signs and don't seem able to control our reproduction or "me first" mindset - as a species. Whatever hive mind we have is NOT serving our long term best interest.

    The laws of nature are fairly immutable and I don't think it takes much investigation to determine that a comeuppance is due with regards to population. Any organism that outgrows the environment's capacity to sustain it, gets a hard slap down. The four horsemen are saddled up.

    This is one of the reasons I'm confident there is no god, and certainly not an interventionist one. Why would such a being concoct a species with such promise and doom it with such character flaw?

    Have a nice day. :-)

    Posted 2 years ago #         
  43. skeeter
    Member Profile

    “Somebody is sucking all the money out of this economy and its not poor people or middle class people.”

    In 2000, one out of fifty Americans received food stamps/EBT. In 2012, one out of seven Americans receive food stamps/EBT.

    http://blogs.wsj.com/economics/2011/05/03/about-1-in-7-americans-receive-food-stamps/

    I am not saying food stamps are bad. Maybe everyone should get food stamps. But I cannot understand how any rational person could conclude that poverty is not costing tax dollars at the expense of other spending priorities.

    With so many poor people in this country we need to spend a great deal of money on services for the poor. So if we want to solve the infrastructure problem we have to first understand how we can get poverty back to historical (or lower) levels.

    Posted 2 years ago #         
  44. The SNAP program cost 78 billion dollars in 2011

    "The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, formerly known as the Food Stamp Program) is the nation's most important anti-hunger program. In 2011, it helped almost 45 million low-income Americans to afford a nutritionally adequate diet in a typical month.

    Nearly 75 percent of SNAP participants are in families with children; more than one-quarter of participants are in households with seniors or people with disabilities."

    Military spending 2011 769 billion.
    TARP bank bailouts 700 billion.

    Maybe we could shift some of that spending around (prioritize)and pull the bottom up a bit rather than watching the top get further away.

    Why are there so many people in poverty in the richest country in the world? Surely, you don't think that half the citizens in this country are lazy moochers.

    Posted 2 years ago #         
  45. We interrupt this discussion of planetary crowd control to bring you an important announcement . . .
     

    The Romney family announces their newest addition, Kazarie Tempest Romney, born on 2:30 PM, December 1st, 2012 at Salt Lake City General.

    Kazarie is Mitt and Ann Romney's 117th grandchild. In the spirit of the times, the Romneys have announced that they will curtail their plans to have an average-sized Utah family and will start tapering off sometime within the next two decades.

     


     

    Posted 2 years ago #         
  46. 365Stairs
    Member Profile

    365Stairs

    Since the problem is least likely to be solved here...I blame MTV (80's), Internet craze(90's)FaceBook (2004 to...), and while I am it...Myself for the lack of paying attention to anything longer than 5 minutes...

    What was the question?

    Engineers did / do not lack vision. They likely drew up awesome plans to fit for growth...but the majority of investors want the quick installation and "break/fix" methods. Or, walking around some areas of certain cities...Break..."fugget 'bout it" metality.

    Unless there is a RESET BUTTON someplace handy...we can't truly afford to build what is truly needed any more...and...barely afford to fix what we have - because of all the higher priorities in place...and throw in a few added natural and unnatural disasters...

    Posted 2 years ago #         
  47. redblack
    Member Profile

    redblack

    365: then the question becomes: do we want to let it collapse? if so, mission accomplished.

    but if we want to repair what we have and create newer, advanced infrastructure, then we have to pay for it. such an endeavor may involve creative funding mechanisms and a redistribution of our priorities - maybe even a different way of looking at currency itself.

    but we can do this, and i believe we must.

    Posted 2 years ago #         
  48. skeeter
    Member Profile

    The *world* might have an overpopulation problem. But I don't think the U.S. does.

    I say let the Romneys have 18 kids each. If they are able to raise their children to stay in school, follow the law, pay tax, and be self-sufficient, I say "bring it on!" They are doing the rest of us a favor.

    Posted 2 years ago #         
  49. wakeflood
    Member Profile

    wakeflood

    I'm really tired of this notion that we're a "broke" country and we can't afford things like maintaining infrastructure, decent affordable education, etc.

    The fact of the matter is, our debt is manageable if we have reasonable and progressive taxation, AND invest in things like education and green technologies. We blew an opportunity to have an "Apollo" style program for renewable energy that could put us in the lead for a generation selling it to the rest of the world. What happens instead? We Walmartize the country, build a military for last century's wars and write huge checks to China.

    Know what China's doing with those checks? They're cornering the market on all the precious minerals and natural resources that will power the green energy grid of this century. Don't take my word for it. Do a little research. They're laughing all the way to the green bank. And here we sit with a frown in the corner arguing about foodstamps while they graduate 50,000 engineers a year to our 5,000.

    Empires have limited lifetimes and ours - thanks in great part to the short term "freedom from taxes" mindset - is a setting sun.

    Posted 2 years ago #         
  50. wakeflood
    Member Profile

    wakeflood

    And we need to refind our soul. We used to have one. We used to be able to snap ourselves out of trances like this. It sometimes takes a few years to realize your soul is gone, your shame is gone, your humanity is gone, but we're most definitely there.

    I don't know who on the right has the power to break the spell but I hope that person is currently writing their speech.

    Where's our Joe Welch during the McCarthy hearings. "Have you no decency, sir? At long last, have you no decency?"

    Posted 2 years ago #         

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