December 18, 2014

A CORE FOR WORK AND PLAY, THAT YOU TAKE MASS TRANSIT TO FROM WHERE YOU LIVE:

America should be more like Disneyland : The country needs Walt Disney's optimism and investment in infrastructure and human happiness ( David Cay Johnston, 12/12/14, Al Jazeera)

Every night Disneyland gets freshened up. When the park closes at midnight, the lights go up, and crews steam gum off the sidewalks, daub fresh paint where needed, water the flowers, polish the streetlights and examine the walkways. I had to look hard just to find unrepaired cracks on Main Street and the paved walkways. By chance, I got to walk backstage, where the asphalt and concrete surfaces were in near perfect shape, the walls painted, the handrails free of rust.

The Walt Disney Co. invests in infrastructure because it makes the company money. The park draws on average 43,000 people a day willing to bear a basic ticket price of $92 for those 10 or older.

Yet outside the gates, America fails to invest in its infrastructure, costing us lives from accidents, floods, sinkholes from water-main failures and explosions from faulty natural gas lines. Sidewalks buckle or heave after winter freezes, making many hazardous to walk on. America's roads deteriorate, costing the economy in efficiency, though the front-end-alignment shops and tire dealers do well. How strange that the roads I traveled this year in the impoverished Honduran capital of Tegucigalpa were smoother than those I drove in Atlantic City, New Jersey; Boston; Cleveland; New Orleans; Syracuse, New York; and Los Angeles.

The water fountains at Disneyland all worked, while in city halls and airports, many barely dribble because there is no budget to replace their filters before sediment clogs them. Instead, we give tens of billions in subsidies to profitable corporations.  

People are willing stand in line for half an hour or so for about 90 seconds on Mr. Toad's Wild Ride and the flying Dumbo elephants and a bit longer on the Autopia, the Matterhorn bobsleds and the Mark Twain Steamboat. But as a society, we resist paying a bit more in taxes so that our mass transit works on time and traffic flows smoothly.

Like Disneyworld, cities should host jobs and entertainment then empty out at night, refilling daily via rail.

Posted by at December 18, 2014 4:53 PM
  

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