It's called the infrastructure deficit. Right around 1981 we stopped improving the country's infrastructure and even started to defer maintaining it. We started "living off the seed corn." Now it is all catching up to us.
Wall Street owns "our" Congress lock, stock and big barrel o' campaign cash. What we call the "democratic process" is mostly a sham, pretty words that get repeated in the hopes we will all still fall for it.
Thanks to the Recovery Act, there are hundreds of thousands of teachers in classrooms, police on the beat, construction workers fixing our infrastructure, engineers building the the smart grid, and much more.
The consequences of decades of cutbacks are arriving. The rest of the world leaps ahead of us. It's not going to get any better until we start asking corporations and the wealthy to pitch in and pay back
America's habit of deferring maintenance on its infrastructure goes beyond crumbling buildings and slow trains -- in the long term, we'll fall behind the rest of the world in our ability to compete economically.
One legacy of Reagan's tax cuts is that we stopped maintaining our infrastructure. As a result there's a lot of work that needs doing. And there are a very, very large number of unemployed people. Hmmm...
The trouble all started when we dramatically cut taxes on the rich, and at the same time raised taxes on everyone else, saying the money would be used to pay for peoples' retirement. However, that money instead was used to defer the damage caused by the tax cuts for the rich.