The wreck of a MetroNorth commuter train this past week, and the revelation that it could have been prevented if New York State had spent the money on a signal system upgrade that was ordered by a court, got me to thinking about the state of our country's public goods.
inter-mural and inter-collegiate sports programs.
ur nuclear power industry has become a ticking time bomb. Our gas and oil lines and gas mains are leaking, our fresh water reserves are becoming irreversibly polluted and our internet and cellular access outside the major cities is far behind world standards. Rural hospitals and those serving poor neighborhoods have been going out of business for forty years, and in many parts of the US infant mortality, maternal death rates and life expectancy are falling behind much of the "third world".
The bold adventure into space, spurred by embarrassment at the hands of the Soviet Union, has withered to a chronically-starved unmanned space-exploration effort, while the NASA budget has shifted massively to surveillance and preparations for space warfare.
For thirty years now, desperate school systems have been eliminating mandatory gym programs and colleges have slashed intramural sports budgets, and the health and fitness of our youth is in decline. The doctrines of scarcity, blaming, self-blame, doom and powerlessness have robbed us of our joy, our bravado, our self-confidence, while our leadership in sports narrows to a class of often fantastically overpaid professional athletes.