When will Washington listen to Ed Rendell?
In the old days, when we listened to music on vinyl discs, sometimes the needle would get stuck in a groove. A particular piece of music would repeat and repeat until you were forced to move the needle -- or lose your mind. When it comes to the nation's crumbling infrastructure, the federal government seems content to lose its mind.
This analogy came to mind as I read Bob Herbert's "Time is running out" in today's New York Times. He writes about “The Next American Economy" conference on the nation's crumbling infrastructure in Palo Alto, California this week and quotes the High Priest of Infrastructure Repair, Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell (D).
"When Governor Rendell addressed the conference on Wednesday, he used words like 'stunning' and 'unbelievable' to describe what has happened to the nation’s infrastructure," Herbert writes. This doesn't surprise me. Rendell has been making his persuasive argument to anyone and everyone who will listen for some time. I moderated a panel almost two years ago at an "America 2050" conference, where Rendell delivered a common-sense sermon on why repairing highways, bridges, roads and investing in clean energy is necessary to put people to work and save the republic from decline. While I wasn't in Palo Alto this week, it sounds like his remarks echoed his speech in May 2008. (Advance to 83:26 to hear Rendell.)
Would that Washington moved the needle in a significant way to give Rendell a reason to stop.
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