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I had several ideas of articles to write today, but then this happened this week to the East Coast:

6 States Facing Possible Gas Shortages After Colonial Pipeline Spill

So that got me to thinking, what could I write about instead of the usual political stuff. So I decided to go with the most UN-sexy topic of all, Infrastructure!

Now, before you all go clicking off to another site somewhere, or back to Facebook, you should stay and have a read, it’ll pay off in the end.

With all the hoopla and shenanigans that are dominating the Presidential race, the topic of our crumbling infrastructure has taken a back seat to things that are, quite frankly, unrealistic and unimportant. Trump’s wall, which in all likelihood will never be built. Hillary’s pneumonia, which will pass. Etc., etc., etc.

But what about the things that affect everyday Americans trying to go about their lives?

On the East Coast, they are facing the very real possibility of gas lines, price gouging, shortages, and a host of other problems because a gas pipeline broke in Alabama that was built in the 60’s. Keep in mind, there hasn’t been any real gas crisis anywhere in the country since the 70’s.

But, ultimately, this will be solved, and become a footnote in the discussion about a topic that politician’s would rather have as an issue when politically expedient than one they actually do something about. Here’s some more footnotes:

Falling apart: America’s neglected infrastructure

Infrastructure Grades for 2013

It’s the Electric Grid, Stupid

Inventory of Highway Infrastructure Problems Through Bridge Inspection

And that’s just 4 items of several I browsed. Infrastructure covers so many different things: roads, bridges, gas and oil, trains, ports and airports, electric and phone lines, and a lot more. What is it going to take to get this issue taken seriously in this country?

I certainly hope it’s not a dam collapsing and drowning thousands of people!

The Politics of it:

Like I said at the beginning, this is probably the least sexy of all topics in politics. Seriously, who likes to talk about roads and power lines. Now, E-mails are something I can get angry about, right?

Truth is, putting some attention, and yes, money into fixing this stuff ultimately helps the economy. More people go to work, goods move more securely and freely. The people that get these jobs have money to spend and pay taxes. There really is not a lot of downside to doing these projects. Just look at the Great Depression. Certainly the Public Works projects of that time helped ease the hurt of living through that time. And we, as a nation, accomplished that in the midst of a collapsed stock market, bank crisis, massive unemployment, etc. Imagine if we did that in today’s, arguably better, conditions?

But if you ask Republicans nowadays, there’s never any money to fix these problems. Fully more than half the U.S. budget is used for the Pentagon. We fought two wars THIS CENTURY so far on the country’s Credit Card. Nearly every major spending idea or bill that comes up, they try to insert a tax cut for the wealthiest (still worshiping at the altar of Trickle Down).

There always seems to be money for these things, but never money that would ease the suffering and better the lives of the nearly 400 million Americans.

I guess we’ll have to wait patiently for something to happen that forces the spotlight on the problem, and hope that you and I aren’t the one on the next bridge that goes crashing into a river somewhere!



US agency orders corrective action after gas pipeline spill

Six Ideas for Fixing the Nation’s Infrastructure Problems