Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Economic Dreariness

The news on the economic front has been bad today. Fastest inflation in 25 years. Another doom-and-gloom forecast by a Harvard professor. Stocks fell on inflation fears and more bad news about Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. Then even more bad news about banks. Americans are getting fatter and fatter than ever before. Bad bad bad. More bad. Looks like 2008 isn't going to be the end of our problems. I was hoping 2009 would be the big upswing. My worst year *ever* has been 2008. Mostly from April to June. But the problems aren't over for us, or most other Americans it seems.

I also recall news about how badly our bridges and highways are becoming due to lack of maintenance and funding. Parks are in disrepair and reduced staffing. Traffic is just getting worse and worse, regardless of the costs of gas. Even when gas here (the cheapest in the nation) was hitting $3.99/gallon for regular, you couldn't tell by looking at rush hour congestion. For the record, our regular is $3.37/gallon today. The national average is still a bit higher.

Why not borrow a page from the Great Depression and our ancestors? How about taking another look at the CCC initiatives? We could employ a lot of otherwise unemployed or underpaid Americans building mass transit systems, windmill farms, solar energy plants, pipelines and highways and so on. The area I live in (Hampton Roads) is the most populated region in the state of Virginia, and yet we have NO real mass transit system. Busses are what they call mass transit here. But they sit in the same stand-still jams with the cars and trucks and often take WAY WAY longer to get from point A to point B. A dumb system. No light rail. Talk and talk and talk. But still no action.

We need action. We need to generate jobs. This is bullshit. We can pump out $190 billion for fighting a war, but we can't fix and clogged tunnel system that feeds our vital military installations. We can't fix bridges BEFORE they crash and kill people. We can do more. I'm tired of excuses and rhetoric.
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