Monday, November 08, 2010

What We've Forgotten

Last night on cable there were a set of show titled "Seven Wonders of Ancient Rome." Two points from the show stood out to me.

The first was the aqueducts that supplied water to Rome. They are a fairly famous part of Ancient Rome. They were designed to supply clean, potable water to the great city. According to the show, the water was split into three aquifers: one for the public fountains, one for the public baths, and one for private residences of people of means. The people receiving private water paid a tax to support the aqueducts and aquifers.

The second was the roads built to support the empire. The Romans recognized that a maintained and expanding infrastructure was critical to functioning and expansion of their empire. It was both a emblem of their power and a means to continuing it. As related in the show, when Rome received intelligence of barbarians at the gate in Gaul they Legions marched to meet the threat at a clip of 20 miles in a 7 hour march. That would not be possible with out the roads.

I couldn't decouple those stories from the election this past week. And really, our entire political discourse over the past couple of decades. We've forgotten - or at least taken for granted - that our society's power and prosperity is reliant on the public works and infrastructure. It isn't just roads and sewers that matter but they are the basic starting point. Police and fire protection, the education of the populace, the middle class safety net, the regulations that enforce private contracts, and many other government programs are vital to the functioning of a modern society.

There is one political party in this country that is trying to support the basic infrastructure of this country and one that is not. The party that is leading us to disaster won this past week.

UPDATE:  Closer to home, the suburb of Prospect Heights has laid off 1/3 of it's police force.  


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home