Young Abe Lincoln on Infrastructure Investment
We need jobs. That actually is an understatement. We desperately need jobs would be more accurate.
In Democratic circles one part of the remedy to what ails us is investment in our infrastructure. We have crumbling roads, questionable bridges, outdated airports, aging schools, and really, really slow trains.
Infrastructure investment represents a tremendous opportunity to create jobs. We need jobs that will put food on tables, save homes and reduce unemployment. This should be the highest priority for our lawmakers in Washington. There is nothing however to indicate that very many people are worried about job creation.
In Doris Kearns Goodwin's wonderful book Team of Rivals, she details Abraham Lincoln's rise in politics as well as the rise of his rivals for the 1860 Republican Presidential nomination. This book will likely be discussed for years to come by political pundits after the election of any new President when discussing possible choices for his cabinet.
I reference this book today to demonstrate that nothing ever really changes but the clothes. While in the Illinois state legislature Abraham Lincoln was adamant about the importance of investing in infrastructure. From Team of Rivals:
“Lincoln knew firsthand the deprivations, the marginal livelihood of the subsistence farmer unable to bring produce to market without dependable roads. He had been paid the meager wages of the hired hand. Primitive roads, clogged waterways, lack of rail connections, inadequate schools – Such were not merely issues to Lincoln, but hurdles he had worked all his life to overcome in order to earn an ampler share of freedom. These “improvements” to the infrastructure would enable thousands of farming families to emerge from the kind of poverty in which the Lincoln family had been trapped, and would permit new cities and towns to flourish.”
At some point, prior generations determined that in order for the U.S. to make progress they had to make investments. The benefits may not be seen right away and may be difficult to quantify, but their children and grandchildren would see them. They did the right thing.
Republicans have declared war on the Department of Education as well as teachers and the unions that represent them. Republicans have declared war on any additional spending regardless of need. Republicans have declared war on high speed rail. Republicans have declared war on the green jobs movement which represents the future. More simply, one could argue that Republicans have declared war on our future for their own political benefit today.Continued on the next page