Archived: Public Works Is What Works


Here’s an idea: Instead of wasting our tax money on Wall Street slicks who don’t use it to help anyone but themselves, why don’t we use our public funds to build something in America?

Like what? Like bridges that are in disrepair, schools and libraries that need upgrades and expansion, high-speed rail networks to connect our population centers, energy-saving technologies for every home and building, public transportation for all of our cities, state-of-the-art Internet systems everywhere, and public park repairs and expansions.

America has important work that needs to be done. America also has millions of workers who need good jobs. Let’s combine the two so we can lift our country up and move forward together.

“There is no better time than today” to launch a major public works program. That’s not a quote from some lefty do-gooder, but from the head of the National Association of Business. Corporate executives are now joining labor leaders, mayors, and other progressives who see the urgent need to invest in and rebuild America, creating new infrastructure and new middle-class opportunities all across our land.

President Bush and his laissez-faire ideologues oppose this. They assert that such a bold national undertaking would take too long to help with the current financial collapse. Hello, George — state and city transportation officials say they could have 3,000 highway projects and $8 billion worth of mass transit projects under way in less than 90 days. Let’s get the money to them! This is not a time for more ideological claptrap from right-wing theorists. It’s a time to restore America’s can-do spirit, turning our grassroots people loose to build.

This should not wait until January. Congress should come together now, this month, and begin to move money where it’ll do some real good for everyone in America.

For more information on Jim Hightower’s work, visit Distributed by

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