October 18th, 2010

Inspired by Georgetown library is set to reopen after three years (Washington Post 10/18/10).

Three years ago, I was driving by.

I heard sirens as I approached, but didn’t yet know why.

When I looked towards the library I saw smoke pouring out

(I then had to detour and take another route).

Workers had left oil-soaked rags in the attic, I later heard,

And that is why the fire occurred.

The fire destroyed the building and most of the collection.

Now, three years later, it’s time for Georgetown Library’s resurrection.

The ribbon-cutting was at 9:30 this morning;

I might have gone if I’d had more advance warning.

But I did check it out during the advance open house a few nights ago,

And I’m really looking forward to having a closer library to which to go.

They did a fantastic job in fixing it up

(It’s too bad the old paintings and woodwork all burned up).

After a long time without a local Safeway or library,

We have two brand spanking new ones, both beautiful (very).

Both Safeway and DC did a great job with their rennovations,

Finishing them (I think by chance) in near perfect coordination.

A lesson about how private and public sector investment drives

Can both combine to improve our lives?

Growth and renewal are about building,

And I’m not just talking about a buliding.

We have to constantly invest in the future,

And not just a temporary suture.

That’s something we haven’t been doing,

Because of which our economy to consumption has increasingly been skewing.

A big part of that skew is because most of our infrastructure is public,

And “Republic”-ans care more about tax cuts than about the Republic.

Previous generations built the rail and highway network,

And they’ve now reached the point where they barely work.

Bush said the American public demanded refunds,

But his tax cuts choked off investment funds.

Instead, the rich used that money for jewel encrusting

Of their luxury car hubcaps (disgusting).

That’s just one example of the over-consumption

That results from the “tax-cuts-are-always-good” assumption.

Not only was much of that spending wasteful from an economic perspective,

But it puts the wealthy’s “need” for tax cuts in sharp perspective.

(Of course, the middle class has over-consumed too,

Just not as grotesquely as the wealthy do.

Still, it would be a more financially responsible decision,

To extend middle class tax cuts temporarily, with a sunset provision.)

Like the Bible says: we reap what we sow,

But we ate our own seed corn long ago.

Now, we’re living on foreign loans,

Which the day of reckoning only postpones.

More Republican tax cuts will make the situation worse, not better,

And our economy further with still more consumption debt fetter.

We can’t keep that up anymore—

We need to consume less, and invest more.

To do that, we need to get rid of reflexive oppositon to taxes

About which the right wing constantly waxes.

Americans increasingly understand

That our country more wasted debt can’t withstand.

This changed mindset has been the Great Recession’s one silver lining:

Consumption’s and debt’s national realigning.

Our infrastructure (and economy) will become increasingly run down

Unless we build up instead of tearing down.

If we can, our national destiny can be fulfilled,

So that we can our country (like the library) rebuild.

We have this one chance, our economy to fix:

Out of the ashes of recession, to rise again, like a phoenix.

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