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Many Woes

Here’s a quick little survey of the economic landscape today.

Business Week tells us that the Fed is worried about a ‘prolonged and severe‘ economic downturn. Hey, thanks for the tip. Meanwhile, all that money we’re spending on fighting the illegal and immoral Iraq war will not be available to do things at home, like repair our infrastructure. From Robert Reich, a man Massachusetts voters foolishly rejected when he ran for governor:

More to the point – and here’s what Americans need to understand – a dollar spent in Iraq is a dollar we do not have to spend here, not only repairing our own bridges, roads, and water and sewage systems, but also giving Americans access to health insurance and children access to good schools, fully funding Social Security and Medicare, investing adequately in non-carbon based energy sources and green technologies, and borrowing less from abroad.

In other words, the real economic cost of the Iraqi War doesn’t show up in the business cycle, and it’s not responsible for the current recession. The real economic cost will show up years from now in a standard of living that for most Americans will be significantly lower than we might otherwise have enjoyed.

Speaking of infrastructure, did you know that our nation’s water pipes are rotting in the ground? The timing couldn’t be worse - with enormous costs to repair these pipes and water shortages making such waste doubly tragic.

The tunnel is leaking up to 36 million gallons a day as it carries drinking water from a reservoir to the big city. It is a powerful warning sign of a larger problem around the country: The infrastructure that delivers water to the nation’s cities is badly aging and in need of repairs.

The Environmental Protection Agency says utilities will need to invest more than $277 billion over the next two decades on repairs and improvements to drinking water systems. Water industry engineers put the figure drastically higher, at about $480 billion.

But wait, there’s more…

Railcars sit idle, bees are dying, truckers protest fuel costs. We are in deep doo doo. Whether they talk about it on World News Tonight or Good Morning America I don’t know, but I suppose not. However, take precautions for the situation to get much worse.