It is Obvious

Chris Rick has got altogether too much to say

American Holiday

Posted by chrisrick13 on June 6, 2010

It is obvious: I have been on holiday.

I never thought to mention it.  Probably as well or someone would have worked out who I was and come round to empty the house…actually not a bad idea.  I could pay someone which would save me a lot of bother.

There have been some superb comments.  Thankyou to everyone.  They all improve my understanding of the world around us.

I didn’t notice any sign of a recession in the US.  Maybe I was in all the wrong places.  With the new slim-line pound everything was expensive.

Having been away for two weeks I can’t comment on economics in the UK as I have missed it all.  The US does not care two hoots about the UK or the euro with barely a mention of either all the time I was there.  The BBC World Service being the one redeeming feature of the radio as I drove around.

I did chance on the History Channel and saw an interesting programme.  It started talking about roads in the US.  They are breaking up and the road authorities have no money to repair them.  They talk of ‘patch and pray’.  Saw one road over a bridge where holes in the road allowed views of the river below.  Having driven 2000 miles these last two weeks I can believe it.

I walked across the Brooklyn Bridge.  This has thin slats on a raised walkway between the road lanes.  All was well until I looked down and again saw the river hundreds of feet between the slats.  From there, not daring to look down again, I could see three huge bridges.  I could also almost see the Verrazano Narrows bridge and was not far from the George Washington bridge and the Whitestone bridge.  Between them they exceed the large bridges in all the UK by some measure.  Travelling to Baltimore we crossed almost the same amount of large bridges again.  They are falling down, 50 times the bridges we have in this country at least.

They have 3,000+ dams, whereas we have less than 100.  They have already had several collapses and not nearly enough inspectors.  A lot of scared people living in the shadows of dams were interviewed.

The program then moved onto water sewage and leaks.  Their problems are the same as ours except 50 times worse.  Still there is not the money to fix them.  It even showed a whole town collapsing because of leaks from a very large main that runs under it.

In short the infrastructure that was built 50-80 years ago had a lifetime of 40 years.  They have a major problem.  It makes our infrastructure problems look trivial and most of the states have no money to solve any of the problems.

It is obvious: I have been on holiday and nothing has changed anywhere in the world.

2 Responses to “American Holiday”

  1. Mark said

    Perhaps they could privitise the roads? A commercial company could take responsibility for a 100 mile stretch. They have to maintain it, but can also put up advertising hoardings.

    And with sewage, make it Pay per Poo.

    Our government has today said all our lives will be adversely impacted for decades to come becuase of the recession. I’m still a bit puzzled as to how a year or two of reckless greed and irresponsibility lead to decades of austerity, but I’m sure they wouldn’t say it if it wasn’t going to happen.

  2. Jock said

    I think that the western nations are currently in denial about their financial state. Although there is a lot of talk about tough decisions none seem to have been taken yet. Or perhaps none that directly affect the public. It’s a problem with democracy that politicians get booted out if they do something that the public doesn’t like. The public has been living high on borrowed money and doesn’t want their living standards cut (they aren’t too bothered if the man next door suffers). The easiest cuts (iethe ones that people are least likely to notice) is the gradual deterioration in the country’s infrastructure(bridges, school buildings etc.), the next could be to put a green spin on changes(?) BUT its not enough. It may decide to let inflation creep up and erode the decifit that way…

    I think I’ve said it before but:-
    Public servants wages (freeze), Public servants (non-front-line) freeze/cut and public pensions (unlink from final salaries).
    Benefits simplify and freeze – and try to get more people working/generating wealth – 50,000 familiies get higher benefits payout than the Average Salary so they’d be mugs to work UNLESS things change.
    Defense – We need to get real – we don’t have the money to do everything. At the moment the three services have a gentleman’s agreement on dibs for the the budget – this has to change!! What is the UK role in the world and how to we achieve it – Eurofighters are very wizzy but when do we really need them – ditto ships…

    Oh god – I’m ranting – will have a cold shower and lie down!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: