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Lawmakers Prepare Plans to Finance Storm Relief - New York Times:
"The list also proposed eliminating the Moon-Mars initiative that NASA announced on Monday,"
So you might be wondering, why don't they just announce a $500 billion program to give everyone free health care.... then cut it?
It would pay for the reconstruction, plus sound really conservative; Operation Now You See It Now You Don't
Rob @ Emphasis Added echoes my own thoughts on the "reconstruction".
Personally, I believe that investment in physical infrastructure is, dollar for dollar, the best money government can spend. Under any other circumstances, I would tend to view the Gulf Coast disaster and the unity of public response to it as an unprecedented opportunity to redevelop one of the poorest areas of the country. Done right, the Gulf could become a showplace for all the good ideas 21st century engineering has to offer – not just in terms of levees and flood control systems, but in traffic management, housing, urban planning, environmentally-sound development, public transit, and cultural infrastructure. But who among us is fool enough to entertain that dream?
Not me. I got burned once before.
Post 9-11 I thought we had a golden opportunity to think about our oil dependence and the relationships we've had with countries who provide that oil for us. Our politicians had some political capital to work with. People would have been open to addressing some real issues thought unimportant before. Instead we got "They hate us because of our freedom!", flag waving, and plans for revenge.
So here we are four years later and another tragedy once again illustrates just how vulnerable we are to disruptions in the oil supply, and I keep thinking "Maybe its time to rethink how we organize our society?"
The problem seems quite obvious. We're becoming more and more dependent on a resource that is becoming more scarce; a resource that we must seek from others. Its gone beyond mere environmental arguments (though those still exist) to one of economics. We're building a bridge across an infinite chasm, as long as we have more boards we can keep going, but once those boards are gone, we're out in the middle of nowhere and ready to fall. We have little or no backup plan.
Here we have a chance to prepare at least one city for the eventual changes that are coming. But I feel that pressure from entrenched interests will subvert any good plan. We have people in government who don't even believe in government's usefulness. We might just get one big giveaway program disguised as a reconstruction effort.
How did we end up in this mess?
Gas prices are starting to fall and people are going to forget that even when prices were over three dollars a gallon most people only had two options, pay the higher prices, or not drive at all. Driving is not an optional activity for most people. We still have to get to work. Where were the options? In a country that seems to be drowing in consumer choices, from dozens of types of toothpaste to an entire aisle devoted to breakfast cereals, we still have very few transportation options.
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Dissolve into Evergreens