As the Minneapolis bridge disaster aftermath gets into full media swing, we learn that (as usual) no one wants to take the blame for ignoring the danger signals. One expert I heard on NPR noted that the bridge, built in the 1960's, had been expected to serve 60,000 cars and trucks a day, but that at the time of the collapse it was serving 120,000 a day.
Hmm, another reason to worry about our immigration-driven population growth.
In America, we seem seldom to deal with the obvious until a crisis occurs. Now I bet the civil engineering courses at our colleges will bulge with eager candidates. And we will see the formation of countless new business operations to address this problem–with huge government grants in prospect.
I might suggest other pressing problems that could get treated similarly—but only if the big money sees a chance for the big bucks.
The real causes of so many of the world's problems are simply not on the radar of the greedy. Surely among the principal crises facing the US:
How is this orphan issue getting treated by our elites in Congress and the Administration and in the business community?
You know full well, of course. The elites are pushing for "comprehensive immigration reform" which, as the vast majority of American citizens know, is simply a euphemism for "open borders for cheap labor". Millions of citizens have begged, demanded and finally screamed for real reform.
The screaming got so loud that the Amnesty/open border bill pushed by Senator Ted Kennedy (yes, and by many, many more from my own Democratic Party) got voted down in late June. Frightened Senators of both parties, who suspected that the heat from ordinary voters in their states could overcome even the fat payments they traditionally get from open border business lobbies in the next election.
But none of the candidates now running for President are in the "Enforcement First" crusade except Tom Tancredo.
The Senate's conversions is clearly not going to be permanent once the elections of 2008 are over and one of the two main parties, neither of which cares much about the views of ordinary citizen voters, is again ensconced in its cushy power place for another term.
Watch how quickly that "comprehensive immigration reform bill" gets reintroduced and very likely, unless the screams again work, gets passed.
When it does, we are on the road to a 500 million population by 2050, one billion by 2100.
We can foresee our war expenditures rising as the defense contractors happily devise the next generation of weaponry to meet the terrorist threats in far places. Certainly, our bridges and other infrastructures will, also on the wings of fear and profit, be getting the full attention of corporate America. There's money to be made here!
Of course, I am glad to learn that our aging infrastructures will be repaired. But can't you just hear the members of Congress going home to their districts and states with huge money, as they did for so many years with appropriations to build yet another damn dam (see Mark Reisner's landmark book, Cadillac Desert: The American West and Its Disappearing Water).
Yes, the stress cracks in America's bridge to a better future are clearly visible. Will we fix them or will we by inaction and indifference let this bridge to salvation crash—bringing to tragic ruin our once-great Republic?
Donald A. Collins [email him], is a freelance writer living in Washington DC and a former long time member of the board of FAIR, the Federation for American Immigration Reform. His views are his own.