Show him the money:
In the debate over funding of a new Interstate 35W bridge, whether to make the bridge a landmark for the city and what posture to take about funding of infrastructure in general, whether to raise taxes or prioritize, aren't we missing the point?
The last 5 words of that question are about to prove seriously ironic.
I visited Greece last summer and saw the new bridge at Patras. Greece is the poorest country in the European Union. Yet the bridge it has built is not only an engineering marvel but a full-blown work of art. The pride Greeks have about that bridge, from the wealthiest to the poorest, knows no bounds.
Do you think that there might be some correlation between the lack of any measurable Grecian GDP and the "pride" it's citizens take in a bridge?
I mean the souces of one's pride tend to be in direct correlation to their abilitites. For example, my two-year-old son Moonchild, has taken tremendous pride is some especially well-formed turds he's created. No doubt a very usefull bodily function, pooping - for lack of it would lead to sepsis and death. But in the end they're just turds.
France, a wealthy member of the EU, has built a bridge by the same designer, adding to its already magnificent infrastructure, that is at least as breathtaking. You can go anywhere in Europe and in much of the rest of the world and see equally splendid investment in infrastructure.
And you can also see vast numbers of people aflicted with dysentary.
The United States has unimaginable wealth by comparison with Greece, France or any other country. Why are we arguing about money?
We're not, save for the waste of it.
Have we no pride in our infrastructure? Why aren't we going out of our way to build not only a safe bridge but a bridge that will lift our spirits every time we cross it, a bridge that out of sheer pride we take our friends and relatives to see any time they visit? Money? A bridge like that and a quality infrastructure to match it would barely dent the pocketbooks of any of us.
Mark my words: the day is coming soon, when the word "infrastructure" will be stripped of all its meaning, and eventually will be used as a verb (uttered mostly by democrats):
"We need to reinfrastructure our highways."
Mark. My. Words.
And so what if it did? Look at the excess in our lives on almost every level. What couldn't we do if we reined in just a little of that excess and built public works that we could hold our heads up about?
Rein in private excess to fund public excess.
Excuse me. I have to go in the other room a moment while my head explodes.
To this day we marvel at what the Romans left behind.
And where are the Romans now? Answer that question, and you will instantly know how stupid you really are.
How do we want to see ourselves, anyway? Our infrastructure will show that better than anything.
JOHN BONER, MINNEAPOLIS
Maybe, if we spend enough $$$, we can develop and incorporate into the new 35W bridge the technology to give every person crossing the span a brain rattling 45-second long orgasm. That sure would lift anybody's spirits.