THE LEAD

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        

It Need Not Be a Summer of Hell

July 20, 2017
Rush hour on the L. (Tasayu Tasnaphun / flickr) (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

The chaos and panic that the collapse of New York City's infrastructure is producing—the onrushing "Summer of Hell" that New Yorkers have been promised, and has now arrived—is a very real daily nightmare for area residents. Fires on subways; closed bridges and hours of traffic gridlock; lengthy delays on stopped, sweltering trains, with many cases reported of panic attacks among riders; no reliable way of getting safely to work or school.

But New York's nightmare is also a microcosm of what the entire trans-Atlantic sector is facing, if the United States and the nations of Europe don't immediately bury Wall Street and the City of London, and join with China's Belt and Road Initiative— as Lyndon LaRouche, alone among American statesmen, has tirelessly argued.

We are heading towards the close of the fiscal year at the end of the third quarter, and the September-October period has historically been one of extreme instability, bankruptcy, and crises in the financial system, Helga Zepp-LaRouche warned yesterday. An imminent collapse of the entire trans-Atlantic banking system is hanging over our heads like a sword of Damocles, with a $1.5 quadrillion derivatives bubble which cannot conceivably be sustained, even if Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid were all wiped out three times over—which seems to be the outlook of many of our Congressmen and Senators.

The Trump administration, for all of its excellent work in standing up to British geopolitics and re-establishing working relationships with China and Russia, has not delivered on its promises to pass Glass-Steagall, and to rebuild America's infrastructure. Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin—a banker's boy, if ever there was one—is still in the government. It is sheer folly to pretend that we can somehow stumble along without investing in 50-, 75- and 100-year-old infrastructure. If we don't replace it, it will crumble, whether we like it or not, and perhaps when we least expect it. That is one of the lessons of New York's Summer of Hell.

But it need not be so: the solution is, quite literally, sitting right in front of us in Washington, DC. Yesterday was the meeting of Chinese and American authorities on the Comprehensive Economic Dialogue between the two nations, which was set up at the April Mar-a-Lago meeting of Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping. The Chinese have repeatedly extended an offer to the United States to join the Belt and Road Initiative: the U.S. could both participate in global infrastructure projects in other countries, and get urgently needed help to rebuild our own crumbling infrastructure here at home. What are we waiting for?

China is taking that approach into the most devastated corners of the planet, with undeniable success. Africa is beginning to see progress in reducing poverty, for the first time in decades, if not centuries—with Chinese help. China is offering its "wisdom" and its Belt and Road Initiative to help solve the numerous crises in the Middle East as well.

To paraphrase President Xi, there is no such thing as permanent "intractable poverty," nor, for that matter, intractable wars. Both can be defeated, with the appropriate policies.

Building a political fire under the behinds of Congress, and their constituents, will improve their understanding of those needed policies. And leveraging the advances we are achieving in the international situation, can help force through the necessary policies inside the United States.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        

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