Two days ago, a nearly century-old water pipe broke in State College, Pennsylvania and shut down several businesses. On that same day, in Carnegie, Pennsylvania, a 50+ year old water main broke and shut down a laundromat.
This isn't the first time that aging infrastructure has harmed Pennsylvania businesses. For example, a month ago a 120 year-old water main broke and flooded a Philadelphia shopping center. Some people had to be rescued with an inflatable raft. Yes, this is the Philadelphia located in the United States - you know, the wealthiest country in the world?
Americans experience about a quarter-of-a-million water main breaks, every single year. These breaks close businesses, flood homes, buckle roads, waste water, create sinkholes, and contaminate drinking water. And so, where are the Republicans on this? After all, next to guns and "limited government" there are few things you'll hear them blather about more than their "love" for god-fearing small businesses. So, they're on this infrastructure issue like a tiger on its prey, right? Well, no, they've actually been blocking infrastructure improvements for many years now - even one of the head Republicans in Congress blames his own party for our infrastructure problems. Could it be that Republican politicians spew forth a bunch of mumbo jumbo about "small businesses" because they want some votes...and not because they're actually working to make things better for small businesses?? Nooooooooooo...
Funny thing is, as I try to write this blog post, my Internet keeps blinking in and out, as it is prone to do, because we Americans pay more money for crappier Internet service than just about every other developed nation in the world. Imagine that - trying to write a blog post about America's century-old broken water mains while my Internet is flickering on and off.
America's infrastructure is a god-awful mess, and our politicians are too busy trying to cut taxes for the wealthy, and get more
The sad fact is, America has jumped down the rabbit hole thinking Republicans or corporate-bought Democrats are going to solve our problems - for example, infrastructure problems. Only when we return to the policies & principles of the New Deal (which will require the elimination of big money from our political system) will we see a substantial improvement to our nation's roads, bridges, and water lines. Until then we'll see further neglect or, if we're lucky, minor improvements around the margins. And even the latter will be financed not by the super-wealthy, who are doing better than ever, but by the middle-class & poor, who are struggling more than ever, in the form of higher taxes, tolls, fees, fines, and utility rates, at the state & local level.
Is your jaw on the floor? Is steam coming out of your ears? If not, please read this blog post again.