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Wednesday, Sep 03rd

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You are here News Editorials Prarier2: A Place Upstream, if you can find it

Prarier2: A Place Upstream, if you can find it

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bridges falling downA large sink hole opened in a DC street only blocks from the White House, it turned out to be a washed out sewer line from an improvement project done back in '96, that's 1896. This is not an unusual situation for American cities that are dependent on drainage projects done during during the Progressive Era, or at best during the New Deal. As little as possible has been done to make America work since the Reagan Revolution defined 'government as the problem, not the solution'.

The estimated $3 trillion shortfall in maintenance is just public infrastructure like the thousands of bridges waiting to collapse, but doesn't include  privately held assets like high pressure natural gas lines that are nothing but ticking time bombs.

There are also the abandoned chemical waste dumps, the overloaded and failing mine waste containment ponds, or those unregulated fertilizer and chemical plants waiting to go off like a small nuke. Then there's the actual nuclear plants and their massive hot fuel containment ponds waiting to do a Chernobyl dead zone on a large swath of North America.

"But we don't have any money for that", whine the conservatives. Stuff a glowing enriched plutonium fuel rod where the sun don't shine. The fact is that the US government can and should by any and all unused production and put it to work. There are 20 million people without full time work, they could go to work tomorrow. US factories are at 80% capacity, buy everything they can make if it can be used to improve the infrastructure of the United States. And you can bet if the Uncle Sam were to let bids somebody would step up to produce it. Instead of factories at 80% of capacity, they would find a way to produce 200% of capacity.

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