UE UNIT XIV Ignoring common sense and arguing with the laws of physics
Image yourself a passenger on an ocean liner crossing the Atlantic from Europe to New York City. The voyage goes well until one of the ship’s boilers explodes just 20 miles from the shores of America. A massive hole is blown in the side of the vessel. Water rushes in and the ship begins to sink. There will be no time for rescue help to arrive. Thankfully the weather is calm and there are more than adequate lifeboats for everyone aboard.
Passengers gather near the sides of the ship as the lifeboats are set to launch. Just as everyone prepares to climb into the boats the captain’s voice comes over the loudspeakers. People are told that only the more expensive first-class tickets included the use of lifeboats. Second and third-class passengers will not be allowed access to the boats.
So completely shocked by what they are hearing, lower class ticket holders are unable to react quickly enough to save themselves. Before they realize what is happening first-class ticket holders have been launched safely into lifeboats and the remaining lifeboats have been cast adrift empty on the ocean. Tragedy ensues and nearly 100 men, women and children perish as their ship disappears beneath the surface. The following day empty lifeboats begin drifting safely ashore in America.
We would all agree what happened on the ship was madness. What on Earth would it have mattered if lower class passengers were saved by using the empty life boats. To say the decision lacked common sense couldn’t begin to describe what occurred. It was sheer insanity. But critically important, it was the result of irrational manmade restrictions – not something imposed by the laws of physics.
Now, reimagine yourself a parent trying to raise a family in Flint, Michigan. Because of irresponsible decision making by city officials the water supply to your home is so badly contaminated your children have become sick. You are told you should no longer bathe in the water. Lead and other dangerous chemicals in the city’s ancient piping are being released into the water supply. Drinking the water will cause permanent brain damage and lifelong developmental problems for your children. As the disaster continues you learn that hundreds of cities across America have old lead piping in their water systems. Families across the nation are at risk of the same tragedy unfolding in Flint.
But thankfully, there are “lifeboats” waiting to be used. Modern plastic and steel piping are readily available for replacing aging systems. Excavating equipment for doing the work exists and is waiting to be used. Manpower is available and the projects would create good paying jobs for years to come. The required engineering expertise is well established and waiting to be employed. It is time to save America’s families and our children.
“Oh, but wait,” say our legislators. “You working people have second class “tickets” to America. Your citizenship doesn’t include access to “lifeboats.” Unless you can find the money to pay for it, you and your children will simply have to make due with unsafe drinking water.” So, the safe water lifeboats are left unused, and working Americans and their children are abandoned to suffer the consequences of the sinking ship of infrastructure. But, it is critical to note – – – nothing in the laws of physics or the world of existing physical reality stands in the way of repairing America’s crumbling water systems. Failure to do so is entirely the result of irrational, manmade restrictions.
Let us look at this picture. The American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) estimates it will cost 1.25 trillion dollars to replace or upgrade our aging water and sewer piping and treatment facilities. An enormous sum. Or is it. Each and every year our legislators approve the creation of approximately 1 trillion dollars to fund the U.S. military and our ongoing, terrorist producing, “generational” wars. The recent tax cuts for the rich are projected to increase the so-called federal deficit by 3 trillion dollars. The bailout of wealthy, utterly corrupt Wall Street bankers in 2008 required the creation by the U.S. Treasury of over 16 trillion dollars. Perhaps 1.25 trillion dollars to use the available safe water “lifeboats” for working Americans and their children isn’t such a great sum after all.
“Oh, but wait,” say the legislators. “The rich, the bankers and the corporations have first class “tickets” to America. They get to have any lifeboats they want, no questions asked. But if you working people want clean water, well, how are you going to pay for it?” The trap is set. Household budgetary thinking is set in motion and the public and any progressive legislators who actually would like to help working Americans fall for the ruse every time.
Often the first reply made by progressive leaders goes like this – – – “if we weren’t spending all of our tax dollars on the Defense Department we’d have money to spend on infrastructure.” The moment this statement is made the battle is lost, because it immediately implies the U.S. Government has no money of its own and must collect taxes to pay for anything and everything. But think about this. Shortly after President George W. Bush took us to war in Afghanistan and Iraq, taxes were actually cut. How could this be? It could be because taxes don’t pay for the U.S. military or its wars or anything else. Money approved by congress and created out of nowhere by the U.S. Treasury under our sovereign fiat monetary system pays for it. The government doesn’t need a dime of taxes to pay for anything.
But let us return to common sense and the laws of physics. Even if taxes actually did fund the U.S. Defense Department and we doubled military spending from 1 trillion annually to 2 trillion, would this mean there would be less piping available to repair our water systems? No. The piping would still be ready and waiting. Would it mean the excavating equipment would no longer be available? No. The equipment would still be there waiting for someone to operate it. Would it mean the needed manpower would no longer be available? Of course not. Would it mean the engineering expertise somehow disappeared? Don’t be ridiculous.
The U.S. military budget could rise to infinity and common sense and the laws of physics would continue to tell us we have everything we need to repair our infrastructure. To not use these resources to provide safe water to our families and children is no less insane than launching empty life boats into the ocean and allowing the passengers to drown on a sinking ship. It is based on irrational, manmade, economic restrictions.
The United States has a sovereign fiat monetary system. We can afford to do whatever the laws of physics will allow. We can afford to do whatever common sense says the people of America need. A congress that actually cared about the needs of working Americans would approve the funding. Just as they do for the military, tax cuts for the rich, and bank bailouts, the Treasury would then create the money, and the Federal Reserve Bank would spend it to pay for infrastructure, universal healthcare, the end of student debt, free higher education and on and on.