However, like Paul Krugman (Herbert's also "token liberal" stablemate at the NY Times columnist desk) Herbert CAN'T QUITE CONNECT-the-Dots:
America's infrastructure is in a STATE of ABYSMAL DECAY, precisely because the Neo-Con New York Times & Washington Post have been on a 2 decade JIHAD, to LEGITIMIZE the BIG FINANCE (GoddamnSachs, JPMorgan-Chase, Citi, et al) swindling & LOOTING of America.
When you ALLOW Big Finance to SUCK BILLIONS of dollars of FAKE, FRAUDULENT "profits" OUT of the American economic system, YOU NO LONGER HAVE those billions to REPAIR and REBUILD the INFRASTRUCTURE which made The AMERICAN ECONOMIC MIRACLE POSSIBLE in the first place.
In the OLD days, the Democratic Party worked on the PATRONAGE system: JOBS, and LOCAL government funded PROJECTS, in return for VOTES.
Today, the Democratic Party system HAS BEEN HIJACKED by GODDAMN-SACHS and Wall Street: NO JOBS, and NO projects, and a LOOTED financial system,
(not to mention "OUTSOURCING" ENTIRE SWATHS of American industry), in exchange for a few lousy million dollars of Big Finance KICKBACK, SLUSH-FUND, walking-around BRIBE money (aka "campaign donations") for connected Dem. senators & congress-critters.
(OK. according to some sources, the Big Finance BRIBERY of Congress & presidents is in the BILLION dollars range... still chump change compared to the TRILLIONS of taxpayer dollars Congress hands over to the big banksters.)
But DON'T EVEN THINK about CONNECTING these simple dots, Krugman or Herbert - your boss & NYT owner Mr. Arthur Sulzberger, and his JPM/Goddamn-Sachs cronies and partners in fraud & crimes, are on line three!
WHAT's WRONG With us?------------------------------------------------
By Bob Herbert, NY Times op-ed columnist
February 15, 2010 http://www.nytimes.com/2010/02/16/opinion/16herbert.html
< .... infrastructure... THE LEAST SEXY of issues.... how CRUCIALLY IMPORTANT it is for the United States to rebuild a national infrastructure landscape that HAS DETERIORATED SO BADLY deteriorated so badly that it is threatening the nation’s economic viability. >
U.S. infrastructure that has "DETERIORATED SO BADLY" that is, under the "genius" (not!) financial and economic "leadership" of the RUBIN, SUMMERS, GREENSPAN, Paulson, Blankfein, and BERNANKE crew, and their " Fed & Goldamn-Sachs uber alles" "Neo-Liberal" titanic greed and corruption, MASQUERADING as "free market enterprise" Ayn Rand, Milton Friedman, Leo Strauss right-wing economic delusions.
(See the PBS "Frontline" documentary, "The Warning" about how Rubin, Summers, Greenspan & crew RAN ROUGHSHOD over a HALF-CENTURY's worth of U.S. financial regulations and consumer & investor safeguards in the late 1990s, paving the way for TITANIC FRAUD in American and world financial markets, and thus the economic crisis of 2007, 2008, 2009, and 2010 -
note 2: TOTAL costs of bailouts, over past 2-3 years, alone, somewhere between TEN and TWENTY TRILLION dollars:
Bloomberg: U.S. Rescue [BAILOUTS!] May Reach $23.7 Trillion, Barofsky Says
If the U.S. Congress (under "Democrat" Speaker NANCY PELOSI) had not GIVEN AWAY TEN TRILLION+ DOLLARS to FAILED, FRAUDULENT, BANKRUPT, and CORRUPT bankers & hedge-funds, we Americans would have had TEN TRILLION+ dollars to REBUILD America's infrastructure.... and CREATE REAL jobs, we could have created genuine ECONOMIC GROWTH, REAL "INVESTMENTS, " and REAL savings! **
(Messr's Rubin, Summers, Greenspan, and Bernanke might recognize this notion, if they can look past their "Neo-Liberal" greed & corruption for a moment, as "OPPORTUNITY COST" - when you spend your money on one thing ("bailouts"), you can't spend those same dollars on something else (infrastructure repairs and renewal).
** - a note about "Savings" - It doesn't matter how many BILLIONS of "dollars" you have lying in a bank vault, or sitting as electronic ones and zeros in the electronic registers of the member banks of the Fed Reserve: those dollars are ALL WORTHLESS PAPER, (or virtual numbers) unless they are TIED to something of tangible value..... Something like GOLD, or silver bullion, or consumable commodities.... or properties (real estate), buildings which have tangible value.
Buildings, however, lose their value, when they are unocuppied and undergoing the relentless assault of DEPRECIATION. Urban properties will also lose their value unless INFRASTRUCTURE makes them livable and productive.
For example, a 500,000 square foot factory abandoned in Detroit, is a far less valuable form of SAVINGS, than a popular, occupied high-rise tower in downtown New York.... which will also lose value if the infrastructure supporting that area is crumbling.