Americans need a major shot in the arm of fresh, productive work to compensate for the ongoing, wholesale destruction of U.S. industries, employment, and communities. There is no doubt that such a renewal requires a major revision of governments policy and behavior. The U.S. drive for hegemonic power worldwide must be stopped and reversed. The river of funds and resources poured into the Pentagon for advancing its hegemonic power must be redirected to support life-serving production, for America.
The much-needed effort to repair and upgrade U.S. Industrial infrastructure will have a significant positive effect on the U.S. economy. Fixing the segments of infrastructure described in the ASCE Report Card will require the purchase of significant quantities of specialized machinery. For example: repairing bridges requires the use of particular kinds of cranes and power tools; fixing up roads requires specialized repaving equipment. Building all of this new machinery requires supplies of steel for raw material, machine tools for shaping the steel, and electricity to power the machine tools. A program to fix up infrastructure would quickly create a giant demand for all kinds of machinery, as well as for steel and electricity. For this reason, infrastructure renewal will create jobs outside the infrastructure sector itself and have a large effect on the economy as a whole.
A part of this effect would be lost, however, if the needed equipment and supplies were imported rather than produced domestically. For this reason, a vital part of a program of infrastructure renewal must be a wide-ranging effort to improve the productivity of capital and labor in U.S. capital goods production. Make no mistake this is not advocacy of high tariffs on imports. Rather, we can never be a good neighbor in relation to other nations and peoples, as long as the largest single quantity of our resources is directed for Pentagon use. If you entertain any doubt about the possible scale of effect from a new and constructive policy, you have only to examine the data measuring the destruction of production competency. The plan to implement the infrastructure recommendations is a strategic plan to reverse this decay in production, employment, and quality of our lives.
Please recall the embarrassment that occurred when Mr. Rumsfeld, our current and long-serving Secretary of Defense, confessed the fact that the Pentagon couldn’t pass the audit, couldn’t account for what it received in return for paying out $2.3 trillion to various suppliers.
By contrast, here we propose spending $2.3 trillion on a carefully drawn itemized list of expenditures in a national effort whose effects will change many qualities of American life from Grade D to Grade A. None of this is to say that the myriad details of such a vast effort can proceed without setbacks and defects. But it is not unreasonable to judge that the very effort to achieve the upgrading of American life will be worthwhile in its own right.
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