How could America afford to construct World Class infrastructure in the 30's 40's and 50'S?
But we can't afford to patch potholes now?
There are many reasons that add up to why our infrastructure is faltering. Loss of manufacturing in this country, and spending overseas are major contributors. Arguably, removing the gold standard in 1971 also contributed. Increased traffic is also a contributor. The United States now spends a very small portion of GDP on infrastructure, in comparison to other "developed" nations. A good example of overseas spending would be the $750 million we spent on an embassy in Baghdad, while our bridges at home were collapsing.
In those years, we had men and women who were willing to " work " for their basic keep and living expenses.
As we have, as a nation, grown more poplulated, and centered on an individual rights, we have come to accept that the government will bail us out and feed us.
Our government needs to cease to be the big brother of the world. This is not about a lack of compassion, it is about a lack of money or " funds", is you must.
In the 30's , 40's and 50's, willing people wanted to earn their keep and prove themselves.
Today, far too many people, want to be taken care of, and have the government prove itself.
There is no free work force...........no work, no pay. No contribution to society, no benefits at the cost of society. Pay those who will and do, and leave the rest to their devices..( disabled, infirmed, and elderly, excepted) Isn't that simple?
I agree with onegoodwoman. Her answer is excellent. People were wiling to work for the "American dream", and patriotism was at an all time high. Even during war time, there was a concerted move to work for the war effort. It was about Nationalism and not "me-ism."
Taxes and politicians that actually used the revenue for infrastructure investment instead of war mongerin.
I am in agreement with homesteadpatch and onegoodwoman (where do you all find these names--nothing wrong with them, just don't understand why people do not use their real names).
The cost of building was much cheaper, the environmentalists did not get in the way of every project, needed projects were built and there was an united spirit aimed at conquering the depression and winning the war.
Everything is more expensive. Every project is a political battle over "what my district got or did not get); some environmentalists will stop projects without proper case and we have more people in the country using the existing facilities, making it harder and more expensive to expand and up grade.
We do spend money on other things--but some are necessary--Medicare, national defense, environmental projection, regulation of business and industry, regulation of health and safety standards in the work place (a lot of people died building the Hoover Dam and other projects like that) and we are fighting wars all over the world.
We can spend less money on somethings but not everything. Also it is easier to build a house than to completely remodel a house while still living in it and that is the approach we have to take with many projects. The WPA and PWA were created to create jobs. I had a uncle in the CCC, civil conservation corps. It was like a military group that planted trees. He got $5 a week and $3 of that was sent home to his family-no choice in the matter. That is not going to happen today.
But, being 60 I have seen a lot of change in this country over the years. I remember seeing men without legs on rolling carts selling pencils at local shopping centers. They were veterans of WWII. Our vets still should be treated better than they are, but most are not on the streets begging. I drive on the interstate every day and take pride in knowing we were first to land on the moon, which among other things lead to the development of the personal computer. We have come a long way. We are a little off track right now, but we will eventually get on the right path.
Democrats were in the white house for most of that time. They put people to work building America.
I keep telling people that we need to see this happen again. Just do a quick google search about "solar powered roadways" and you'll see that if we ripped up all our highways and replaced then with these specialized solar panels, we could power our nation 3x over with zero emissions.
This is a real possibility but we need to have the same type of resolve to make it happen that we saw back in the '30s and '40s.
There was a commitment to building an infrastructure that didn't exist at the time. The interstate highway system was Eisenhower's project to enable the military to maneurver more quickly and easily around the country in the case of being invaded. This along with an automobile market that was burgeoning made the infrastructure, at least highways, even more needed for the growing population of the U.S. Today, politicians would rather haggle over saving millionaires taxes who already don't pay much because of being paid with dividends which are taxed at a lower rate AND reaching the cap for FICA tax (somewhere around 100k income). This places a much greater burden on those of us who have to pay the tax all year long and ensures that the money can't be used on large projects like infrastructure.
At least, this is my opinion based on partially factual information and hearsay!
I wanted opinions on this because our country IS falling apart and people need jobs. What I need to dive into is wages, cost of living and building materials. To be quite honest inflation drove something out of whack. I can't definitely say it's wages just yet. This country is hemorrhaging money somewhere. technically, shouldn't it all be relative from then and now. My grandfather worked as a mason during this period and had enough money to build his own house,buy new cars and put food on the table. Is it the usury or interest on the Bonds? Thank you all for your input.
I have this card for what what cost in 1966, here's the list.
New House. $14,175.00
Average Income $$6,899.00 per year
New Car $2,653.00
Vitamin D Milk $1.11 a gallon
Gasoline .32 cents a gallon
Ground Coffee .90 cents a pound
U.S. Postage stamp .05 cents
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