President Must Act
'In an FDR Fashion'
Lyndon LaRouche laid out his post-Labor Day drive for national infrastructure security, on The LaRouche Show on Aug. 24.
After Labor Day, we shall release a new phase of the campaign. This phase will be in response to the utter failure of President Bush to deal with reality in the so-called Waco Conference, which he attended briefly, at about four times, I understand. At the time that he was speaking in Waco, we had two crises developing, which are of immediate significance, and require immediate action by him, and by other elements of our government.
First of all, we are losing our rail system, the last vestige of it. We are also in the process of crippling, and virtually destroying, our air-traffic system. Now, if we understand the effect of this, if you continue this process, you have the following things to consider. The breakdown in the economy—the private economy of the air-traffic system—means that we must shift from the less economical routes, which are the short-term routes, to concentrate only on the longer-term routes, which are essential air travel. Short-term routes are not essential for air travel. Quite the contrary. As a matter of fact, sometimes you have high-speed rail—say, between New York City, Pennsylvania Station, and Washington's [Union] station—you could probably make the distance with high-speed rail in a shorter time than you could make it by using air. So, it obviously is foolish to rely upon air travel, between New York and Washington, D.C., when you should have rail travel.
Now, also, more strategically, to get rail traffic, and to eliminate these kinds of problems with air travel, we would have to restore a true, interconnected, transcontinental rail system, which means you could get to every principal center in the United States—whether freight, or passenger—conveniently and efficiently, by rail. This, of course, means improvements in rail, over what we had before. But now we don't even have what we had before. The track is old. It's last century vintage, early last century, probably 1926, approximately, with some slight repairs in some cases, in between.
If this were to occur, if you have a continued breakdown of the rail system, away from the idea of a transcontinental, interconnected system; if you have an accompanying crisis in air travel, then the United States ceases to be an integrated nation.
What are you going to do? Drive by Tin Lizzy, from the East Coast to the West Coast? The United States is no longer efficiently connected. It is no longer a unified, efficient national economy.
Key Issue of November Elections
So, therefore, these areas are one of the first areas the President must act upon, in a Franklin Roosevelt fashion. First of all, for government intervention and regulation, to defend, and improve the national rail system, as a high-priority investment project. Number two, we must save the air-traffic system. Both of these are essential parts of our national economic security. So he must do that. He should forget the nonsense that was babbled out at Waco, and similar locations, and get down to business.
And the Congress must be pushed into doing this. But it must be done now. Otherwise, no nation.
This has to be made a key issue of the coming elections, the November elections. It should be clear by election time, for these state, Senate, and so forth elections, that anyone who is not pushing for infrastructure, is not working in the national interest. Therefore, we have to have a weeding-out of those members of Congress, who, among their other faults, are not pushing for immediate restoration of rail service, and defense of air traffic.
Now, that's only the beginning, but those are two areas, integrated areas, on which the President must act immediately, now! And the testing time is the November election. Nobody should vote for anybody who is not for this. Otherwise they're being silly.
Now, that opens up a larger area. We are now in the greatest depression in more than 200 years, right? This means that we have to make some fundamental changes, away from the policies of the past 35-odd years, back to the policies of Roosevelt, and the policies of the post-Roosevelt period, from 1946 through 1964. We have to go back to that kind of economic system, now. Which means a regulated system: End privatization, end deregulation, end the funny monetary policies, all these things—get back to things that worked before, and do it immediately!
The area in which we can employ people—because we have many people who do not have the skills they had 35 years ago, the population had—therefore they are unemployable for many high-grade jobs. The way we handled it with Roosevelt, the way we have to handle it now: We have to take areas of primary need, primary national need in infrastructure, where people with poorer skill levels, can be efficiently employed in work which would be of national importance, and national economic significance. That work, which is in the area of infrastructure, will create the basis for the expansion of the private sector: in agriculture and industry. We must have policies with that goal.
Policy for the Next Two Years
Now this covers several areas, which should be the basic policy of the United States for the coming two years, and longer, up to the run-up to the 2004 election. First of all, a national infrastructure policy. Air travel and rail represent aspects of the transportation sector of basic economic infrastructure, which is largely government-funded, government-controlled, government-regulated. You can have the private sector in there, but they are regulated, the way we used to do it. So, air and rail are one of these areas.
In transportation, we also have ports. We also have power and water, which are other areas of physical infrastructure which are necessary. We must end deregulation of power. We must have a policy of national support for a system of state-regulated utility systems, of utilities which have long-term investment with government backing, and regulation, for the generation and distribution of essential power. We must have a water system, which is not only to supply our water needs, for human and related consumption. We must have a water-inland transport system, like the Mississippi River, other rivers, the cheapest way of moving freight, which is of low value per ton, and therefore is not high priority in terms of time of delivery. We depend upon that for grain, for ores, things of that sort. Inland waterways are ideal for that purpose, much more efficient than rail for that purpose.
For sensitive high-value freight, rails are indispensable. For the highest sensitivity, yes, we require international, and national, air travel.
In addition to that, we have soft infrastructure. Public health: We have destroyed public health since 1973, the HMO. We no longer have a public health system. We are now faced with the increment of diseases, caused by economic conditions, caused by other conditions. We are not equipped for disease, epidemic disease. Therefore, we must rebuild the health care system now. Forget this HMO, repeal HMO, go back to Hill-Burton. That worked; HMO does not work.
Education: Today, in universities, the price of tuition is in inverse proportion to the value of the education delivered. This is a scandal. Look at what's taught in universities. Frankly, it's garbage, and the students know it. They deeply resent it. Many of these students who are more intelligent, realize that they have to go outside the university to get a competent education. The case, as I've been emphasizing, the importance of Gauss' Fundamental Theorem of Algebra, as presented in 1799, for the first time; to understand this is an ABC of education. And I guarantee you that most college graduates today, have no comprehension of the actual significance of that 1799 discovery, on which the fundamentals of 19th-Century scientific achievement were based. So we need a revolution in education.
And these are areas of national priority, upon which the strength of our population, the maintenance of our economic potential in general, depend. My campaign, for this period, will be a massive campaign, on a larger scale than the recent campaign of the past month; go up immediately after Labor Day; and it will continue, with the target being the immediate November elections. To begin to weed out the chaff. To get rid of those politicians, as much as possible, who will not support urgent infrastructure-rebuilding measures. To go on from that, to deal with the larger issues.