What Is Our Real Legacy For Future Generations?

Much has been written about the national debt that is being left to future generations; how that debt is the greatest threat to the future of our nation.

I beg to differ.

Not that the debt isn’t a serious issue, but our nation faces many more daunting problems. For example, our infrastructure is crumbling.  Roads and bridges are in disrepair. Our electric grid is woefully inefficient and unreliable – approximately half of all the electricity generated is lost in the grid. Our rail system is antiquated. Ports and canals need to be expanded and remodeled. And our computer systems are increasingly vulnerable to hackers.

In addition, the vast majority of the world’s scientists – real scientists – are sounding alarms about global climate change. Their computer models show that our dependence on burning fossil fuels will raise sea levels by as much as three feet by 2100, drowning some of the world’s largest cities, many of them in the US.

These scientists aren’t politically-motivated. They aren’t beholding to corporations. And they aren’t making unsubstantiated claims. They say that human-caused climate change is as proven as gravity.

Making the investments to address these issues now makes infinite sense. Not only are interest rates at all-time lows. Making changes would create an enormous number of high-paying jobs. And when more people make more money they purchase more and pay more taxes. All of which will help reduce the deficit and debt.

In fact, Nobel laureate economists tell us that such investments will do more to reduce our debt than austerity measures.

So what are we waiting for? Why do we listen to Wall Street-financed politicians instead of economists? Why do we listen to oil-soaked politicians instead of climate scientists? We have been shown a road map to the long-term health of the United States and the globe. These are not Democratic issues or Republican issues. They are human issues.

Isn’t it as important to leave future generations with a safe, efficient infrastructure as with a surplus? Isn’t it as important to bequeath them a sustainable planet as with a reduced debt?