On loss of life and public infrastructure: the Amtrak disaster | What's Left

After the deadly crash of the (publicly owned and managed) Amtrak train in the US, it was raised that it likely could have been avoided if the signaling system had not been so old. Questions about aging infrastructure and why it is not being upgraded have surfaced.

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The reality is that western capitalist countries were modernized through massive pubic works programs after both world wars and then again in the 1970s before massive neoliberal privatizations and tax cuts. Unfortunately, the resulting privatized and shrunken government financing capacity meant that the state lost its ability to pay for upgrades as that money went into private profit.

The question is how many people are going to have to die from public infrastructure underfunding and privatization until we demand and end to the rip-off? Only the public sector has the ability to mobilize enough to fix the issue and this can only be done through recouping the revenue lost to the private sector.

More: In Washington, Amtrak’s funding has long been under threat

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