As at least 1.5 million commuters are already aware, July 10th begins what New York Governor Andrew Cuomo has called the “Summer of Hell.” If leading officials in the New York Metropolitan area do not quickly change the way they are thinking about this situation, it will truly become hellish, in ways they cannot even imagine. At issue is the century-plus old tunnel and rail system which moves millions of people in and out of Manhattan on a daily basis. After derailments in early April, it became clear that repairs to the tracks at Penn Station could no longer be delayed, so these urgently needed repairs are set to begin on July 10th. This means a reduction of trains entering Penn Station, which will affect Long Island and New Jersey Commuters, who will have to find alternate routes to get into the city.
– There’s the rub! –
Since taking necessary action on the overall rail grid has been so long delayed and squeezed to minuscule proportions due to budget constraints and small-mindedness, there exists no redundancy in any alternative route that allows for 20% or more extra commuters. The rush-hour traffic by car is already intense; the bus lanes through Lincoln Tunnel are at, or over, maximum capacity; and the same for the other rail lines. Governor Cuomo is reportedly trying to make emergency repairs on crumbling roads to handle the extra automobile traffic, and in New Jersey, Morris and Essex County commuters will be rerouted to the PATH train Hoboken station, but these trains are also already at, or over, capacity as well. In April of 2019 the L train line will be closed for 15 months to repair the Canarsie Tunnel, damaged by Hurricane Sandy in 2012. A proposal to reroute the G Train to help address this problem was shot down by MTA representatives, saying that there are already too many trains using the proposed alternative line. What no one is saying straight out, is that we’ve reached the end. That is, there is no redundancy. The entire system is at the break point, and closing one section for repair or maintenance risks pushing another section over the limit. Better for half of New York City to just take a two-month vacation somewhere else. Helga Zepp-LaRouche pointed out today, that unless there is a comprehensive plan to solve this, which people are informed of, there will be chaos and potential upheaval.
There are already hints of such chaos as the overloaded system groans on, even before the scheduled reductions in service. A couple of weeks ago, a subway car got stuck in a tunnel and the temperatures inside became sauna-like while people waited for 45 minutes to move and get out. Now, passengers are breaking out of stalled trains and walking on the tracks to get to work—an extremely dangerous proposition.
A few weeks ago, Lyndon LaRouche called for assembling a committee to put forward a solution to this crisis. That committee is being assembled. This cannot be addressed through Public-Private Partnerships and piecemeal localized plans. China is building transcontinental high-speed rail corridors in Asia, South America, and Africa. We must think like the Chinese, and join their Belt and Road Initiative. As we develop real high- speed rail—that is, trains that travel at 250 mph—Boston and Philadelphia will become part of this region. New York City will be the center of that. The new track and stations must be planned to serve a vibrant region of East Coast commuters at least 50 years into the future. Adding sky lights and shopping centers to Penn Station will do nothing, except waste time and money.
The only way to fund an infrastructure program on the scale that is needed, is in the way that Lyndon LaRouche has proposed in his Four Laws. First and foremost, stop the hemorrhaging with Glass-Steagall. No more trillion-dollar QE packages; that money is worthless! The banks must be separated by function—that is commercial, savings and loan solvent banks separated from speculative investment banks. This must be followed immediately by a top-down system of national banking and credit as President Abraham Lincoln did with his successful Greenback policy.
The purpose of such a Federal Credit System, is to increase the productivity of the American people, through investment in and development of advanced technologies, which will also create mass new employment in productive jobs. Jobs which can become careers, as opposed to taking in each other’s laundry, as millions are now doing with the informal app-based, slave-labor economy of today.
Finally, all of this must be driven by a commitment to harnessing thermonuclear fusion power to supply mankind’s ever-increasing need for energy. Not only will a modern rail grid require an abundance of electricity, but moving mankind into space, to learn the secrets of the universe, and develop breakthroughs in science, means developing nuclear powered rockets as Kennedy envisioned.
Since New Yorkers are known for being outspoken, cosmopolitan, and impassioned individuals, it is unlikely that they will sit passively on the sidelines as everything breaks down. If this passion can be focused properly, on working with President Trump to implement his campaign slogan “Make America Great Again” through American system methods, as LaRouche has proposed, the summer may well be hell, but the knowledge that a better future will result from the current difficulties will avert complete chaos. On the other hand, if leading officials persist in their foolishly small-minded, money-worshiping state of denial exhibited thus far, expect a very hot summer of chaos and upheaval, with no end in sight. It’s up to you.