Go big or go home, right? I’m an infrastructure geek, so this sort of thing is near and dear to me. In the first half of the 20th century, the United States undertook some of the largest public works projects ever conceived. Now, in the first half of the 21st century, we’re sitting on our laurels while the whole thing crumbles around us. Automobile traffic–long the bane of urban commuters–is reaching out to the suburbs and even the exurbs. Trains–the very commercial lifeblood that enabled this country to expand and grow–are seen as a punchline and a source of frustration. Air travel has become a nightmare thanks to the lack of service options and “security” protocols. Even communications have broken down with the conglomeration of radio under only a few nationally-syndicated voices, cable television still shills overpriced channel packages that no one wants to pay for, broadband internet access in this country is pitiful at best (in comparison to the rest of the developed–and even developing–world). Giant Monster Megabanks are robbing the middle-class blind safe in the knowledge that they have zero accountability to the very economy they’re supposedly serving. Children are being poisoned by lead contamination in the public water supply. The electrical transmission grid is one sniper away from a regional blackout, and what is Congress doing about it?
Instead of passing resolutions to encourage competition and foster development, they’re debating on more regulations to protect the incumbent monopolists and rent-seekers while trying to distract the public with side-shows about bathroom privileges.
This is the United Goddamned States of America. Donald Trump ain’t gonna make America great again. We are–with investment in public infrastructure. We can rebuild. We can demand an end to rent-seeking. We can “bust the trusts” just like our grandparents and great-grandparents did. We can drag the USA kicking and screaming into a 21st century that looks more like Star Trek and less like a Phillip K. Dick story.
Let’s start by ignoring this presidential side-show and paying attention to our local governments and our Congressional representatives. Get on the phone. Email until their server kicks back a “mailbox full” error. Knock on their office door.
I can’t do this alone. I need y’all’s help.