To continue having the attitude that the United States is the number one country in the world, we need to start investing like it.
The glory days of the interstate highway and public works projects are over. Our train system in inadequate, our roads are crumbling, and our bridges are collapsing.
It is estimated that 1 in 5 miles of road are considered in poor condition. Not only can this cost people in repairs due to running into a bad pothole, but think about all the wasted fuel while in congested areas.
These problems can be fixed with some investments into repairs and the building of new roads.
We could accomplish having high-speed rail in sectors of the country that would open access to so many who did not previously have it.
People’s work options could be expanded beyond walking or short driving distance. That means better pay, better chances for career advancement, and ultimately an improvement in one’s economic opportunity.
We still have lead pipes all over communities in this country. That should be stated again, but differently to shed a better light. There are communities that do not have access to clean drinking water in the United States of America. This is completely unacceptable.
We can talk about needing these things, but another important aspect of this is that infrastructure means jobs. Millions of good paying jobs. Many of those workers would be unionized. The benefit of investing now is worth any amount of money it would cost.
Throughout this summer, the Senate negotiated the bipartisan infrastructure bill. This bill covers all that I mentioned above, with a total of $1.2 trillion that will be invested in the neediest communities all over the country.
Many of these communities happen to be communities of color, who have been ignored all too often.
On Monday, we will find out if that bill will make it to Biden’s desk. Progressives in the House are holding its passage hostage while another bill is being negotiated in the Senate.
Not to knock the progressive caucus too hard, but they should reconsider holding their vote. That money for these projects needs to be ready to go out in the spring immediately.
The bill that is being negotiated is another budget reconciliation project. This bill only needs 51 votes to pass, meaning that if the Democrats in the Senate all agree, Vice President Harris will be the passing vote. The problem is though that not all of them agree on the $3.5 trillion price tag.
This bill has been referred to as “soft infrastructure.” It includes things like childcare, expansions in the budget for nursing homes, extending the popular enhanced child tax credit.
Additionally, there are other provisions like more protections for unions and ridding some provisions from “Right to Work” states that kill unions abilities to recruit and be active.
It is projected that almost 13 million adults over the age of 65 will suffer from Alzheimer’s by the year 2050. We need to be investing in nursing homes and in nurses to be prepared. That way, by the time 2050 is here, we have both the facilities and the nurses available to meet the demands of that time.
Regarding childcare, it is long past time to act on this. All too often, a single mother cannot pursue her own passions and aspirations because she cannot afford daycare or other demands that come with motherhood. This is not only unfair to women, but it hurts us as a country too.
Many industrialized countries also offer both paternity and maternity leave when a baby is born. The United States is one that does not ensure that these essential and basic needs are met.
A new family should be able to have time to get adjusted to parenthood and be compensated so that they can pay their bills and pay for that kid to live.
Yes, this will come from tax dollars, but not one of these things are something to be afraid of.
We like to claim that we are the number one country in the world, and in some respects, I totally agree. I would not want to live anywhere else. However, if we want to claim that and mean it, we are going to have to start investing in that image.