Sunday, March 9, 2014

WPA Electric

(Image courtesy of
WPA workers built 49 new electric power plants, and repaired or improved nearly 200 others. WPA workers also put up 3,300 miles of new electric power lines, and repaired or improved 1,200 miles of existing lines.

In 2013, the American Society of Civil Engineers gave America's energy infrastructure a letter grade of D+, noting: "The electric grid in the United States consists of a system of interconnected power generation, transmission facilities, and distribution facilities, some of which date back to the 1880s. Today, we have an aging and complex patchwork system of power generating plants, power lines, and substations that must operate cohesively to power our homes and businesses...Aging equipment has resulted in an increasing number of intermittent power disruptions, as well as vulnerability to cyber attacks. Significant power outages have risen from 76 in 2007 to 307 in 2011."

Considering (a) our infrastructure issues, (b) that there are 24 million Americans who would like a full-time job but can't find one, (c) that there are 3.8 million Americans who are considered long-term unemployed by the Department of Labor, (d) that the labor force participation rate is at a 35-year low, and (e) the tremendous accomplishments of the original WPA (accomplishments that even Ronald Reagan praised), you would think that Congress would at least consider the idea of a new WPA, right?

Well, you'd think so.....but you'd be wrong.

In fact, when one brave congressman stepped outside the bounds of plutocracy, and suggested a new WPA, his bill was almost unanimously disregarded and died a quiet death in committee. The bill received little support from his fellow Democrats, no support from President Obama, Republicans, or Tea Partiers, and no attention from our corporate-controlled mass media. Hence, most Americans don't even know that the bill existed. And so, as our congressmen and women rake in more campaign contributions from multinational corporations & the super-wealthy, the rest of us can look forward to more deteriorating infrastructure. More water line breaks, more power outages, more pot holes.

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