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Saturday, November 22, 2014

Pressure Building for the Nation's Infrastructure--and Maybe for the People

It does seem as if finally,finally pressure may be building in our media for some kind of infrastructure bill from this Congress.

And let's face it, the only way this is going to happen is if the people are for it and if it's reflected in our media.

Here's the first indicator. I saw it yesterday:

More proof we're in rapid decline: Not a single U.S. city currently ranks among the world's most livable

America has the most billionaires in the world, but not a single U.S. city ranks among the world’s most livable cities. Not a single U.S. airport is among the top 100 airports in the world. Our bridges, road and rail are falling apart, and our middle class is being guttered out thanks to three decades of stagnant wages, while the top 1 percent enjoys 95 percent of all economic gains.

A rigged tax code and a bloated military budget are starving the federal and state governments of the revenue it needs to invest in infrastructure, which means today America looks increasingly like a second rate nation, and now new data shows America’s intellectual resources are also in decline.

For the past three decades, the Republican Party has waged a dangerous assault on the very idea of public education. Tax cuts for the rich have been balanced with spending cuts to education. During the New Deal era of the 1940s to 1970s, public schools were the great leveler of America. They were our great achievement. It was universal education for all, but today it’s education for those fortunate enough to be born into wealthy families or live in wealthy school districts. The right’s strategy of defunding public education leaves parents with the option of sending their kids to a for-profit school or a theological school that teaches kids our ancestors kept dinosaurs as pets.
“What kind of future society the defectors from the public school rolls envision I cannot say. However, having spent some time in the Democratic Republic of Congo—a war-torn hellhole with one of those much coveted limited central governments, and, not coincidentally, a country in which fewer than half the school-age population goes to public school—I can say with certainty that I don’t want to live there,” writes Chuck Thompson in Better off Without Em.

Then, this Sunday evening, CBS News' "60 Minutes" is doing a segment, thank goodness, on America's crumbling infrastructure. However long overdue, at least they're finally doing it now:
Is the United States falling apart? Roads and bridges are crumbling, airports are out of date, and the vast majority of seaports are in danger of becoming obsolete. All the result of decades of neglect. Tune in Sunday for Steve Kroft's #60Minutes report on America's infrastructure:

60 Minutes Video - The roads and bridges Americns drive

So here's to hope. Here's to the idea that we're coming to a time and place where we, the people "get it" and so, demand more, far more, from our government and representative in government.

Hopefully we can get these jobs, the improvements and updates to our infrastructure and the boost the economy needs, all three. And naturally, the sooner the better (from this do-nothing, "sue the President" Congress).

It shouldn't all just be for the wealthy and corporations.

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