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Rebuilding the U.S.A.:
Travel Among Cities

by Lyndon H. LaRouche, Jr.
EIRNS/Stuart Lewis
Lyndon LaRouche at a Sept. 16, 2005 webcast from Washington, D.C.
This article appears in the December 30, 2005 issue of Executive Intelligence Review.

Rebuilding the U.S.A.:
Travel Among Cities

by Lyndon H. LaRouche, Jr.

This memo was issued by LaRouche on Dec. 15, 2005 to the EIR staff, as a guide to producing the animations required. When completed, these will be posted at www.larouchepub.com/animations.

Among the notable accomplishments of President John Quincy Adams, during his term as U.S. Secretary of State under President James Monroe, was his contribution to the elaboration of the future geography of our continental nation, as situated between the Atlantic and Pacific oceans, and our Canada and Mexico borders.

Animation: An animated series of maps of the emergence of the development and decadence of the U.S.A., from the Virginia and Massachusetts colonization, through A.) The “Original 13,” and the incremental increase of the territory of the U.S.A., by date of acquisitions, to include Hawaii and Alaska. Identify date of inclusion of territory, and then of status as a Federal state. B.) Show rivers, notable lakes, and mountain-ranges within that expanding territory. C.) The establishment of cities and major towns within that territory. D.) Show principal highways, coastal waterways, navigable portions of canals, rivers, and lakes. E.) Show railways to 1946. F.) Show notable air travel routes and airports to present. Show principal airlines by name since the Versailles Treaty. G.) Show links among public rail, air, and water transport. H.) Show collapse of agriculture and industry since 1967-1981.

Now, since the 1968-1972 destruction of the Bretton Woods System, and the destruction of the U.S. economy under the impact of National Security Advisor Zbigniew Brzezinski’s raving pandemic of deregulation, the long wave of progress, from the first inauguration of President Franklin Roosevelt, until the folly of the 1964 launching of the U.S. war in Indo-China, has been replaced by four decades of decline. Matters have reached the point, that we are far worse off, as measured in relative loss of active productive potential, as a national economy today, than we were after four years under President Hoover in March 1933.

Many citizens, most of whom have been outrageously misinformed of the facts of real economics, after the impact of four decades under a shift from a productive to a so-called “services economy,” would object to my insistence that we have been in economic decay since the mid-1960s. Yet, even so, after reconsidering seriously the hard physical realities of today, no sane person could still disagree with the following description of the recent four decades.

The present downturn in the U.S. economy, in particular, began, during the late 1960s, as a slowing-down of the net rate of continuing investment in the long wave of scientific-technological progress over the post-1945 decades. The included result of this has been a systematic destruction of those features of the functional organization of our national territory upon which the earlier functional integrity of our national territory had depended.

This point is best illustrated by the following, computer-animated overview of the U.S. rail and connections among the nation’s principal cities or comparable markets, over the interval since the first railway locomotive’s deployment through the end of the 1920s, and the rail-air connections among those referenced centers since the first regular airlines services were introduced. Then, examine the case for combined waterway, rail, and air mass-transport among cities or functionally comparable other centers over the entire period since the founding of the Massachusetts Bay Colony. You should compare what I present in this report, with the Eighteenth-Century highway and waterway connections viewed from the standpoint of the argument presented in Treasury Secretary Alexander Hamilton’s Report to the Congress on the Subject of Manufactures (animations as just prescribed).

Take the following example (map illustration). Construct a German (maglev) form of high-speed, magnetic levitation route, the same model now operating from Shanghai to its airport, from South Station in Boston, Massachusetts, to Union Station, Washington, D.C., with brief stops at Pennsylvania Station, New York, Philadelphia, and Baltimore, with high-speed rail or magnetic track to the principal airports in each case.

The principles of transportation policy illustrated by that pilot program, are as follows:

  1. 1. Once we introduce standard magnetic levitation speeds (circa 300 mph) between downtown terminals in the principal cities of a route-connection among them, we reduce the reliance on economically inefficient inter-city air commuting along such routes in obvious ways.

    The intention for all major passenger traffic routes across the continental U.S. territory: maglev-oriented high-speed ground traffic for high-volume dense routes, with a 10-15 minute link to the relevant airport.

  2. The Boston-to-Washington maglev-based run is proposed to prompt the development of the national production-capabilities, capacities, and construction standards and qualified production-capacities, for the development of a nation-wide program to re-establish what has been lost during the past quarter-century under so-called “deregulation.”

    FIGURE 2
    Railroad-Track Mileage, 1950, 1970, and 2003, by Region
    (Miles of Track)
    Source: U.S. Department of Transportation
  3. The principal production capacities used for this national program, will be that reserve development and production-capacity embodied in the existing domestic U.S. automotive industry. This will utilize the machine-tool design capacity of the existing industry for Federal infrastructure programs in restoring our presently ruined and endangered national public transportation (air, rail, navigable waterways) and power grid. This will include participation by our national aerospace development capabilities.

  4. Once intelligent average citizens reflect on the ruinous effects of national policy-trends over the recent quarter-century and longer, and consider the once-prosperous regions of our nation, such as the area inclusive of the areas of states of western New York, Pennsylvania, Michigan, Ohio, and Indiana, now struck brutally by the contraction of and present new threats to the natural state and economic welfare of those areas, a patriotic perception of the urgent national economic and related interest in launching such programs should be easily aroused.

    Once upon a time, when family evening meal-times were not a luxury shared by but a few, when schools, libraries, medical care, and shopping areas were within routine walking-distance, and when the economy was being developed throughout most of the territory of each Federal state, we were happier, and more secure, and more productive, not spending up to the near-equivalent of a working day on commuting. There was time to work, and also time to live. We used to eat with the family at home, for at least one meal of the day, and have a large percentile of daily needs met within a range of something close to a walking-distance.

    This map shows the 12 high-speed rail corridors proposed by the U.S. Department of Transportation’s High-Speed Train division in 2000; they would cover 12-15,000 miles in the most densely populated area, and cost between $50 billion and $75 billion (in constant 1998 dollars), over 20 years. Only one such corridor—the Northeast—is in operation right now.

    Once these corridors are created, in coordination with major hubs of air traffic, gear-up should start for key routes of magnetically levitated passenger and freight lines, and for intercontinental connections

  5. Some time, in the future, we shall approach the point that we could travel to distant parts of the planet at Mach 7-8 scramjet speeds, without very much time spent in getting to the relevant airport. That day is still distant, but such days ought to be indicators of the direction in which the future life’s experience of our people is aimed today. Meanwhile, a scramjet is a needed part of the national experience in the relative near-term, in step-wise approaches to orbital space-station positions.

    Immediately, we must end the loss of enraging hours on major highways used as rush-hour parking-lots—while the rush-hour intervals become longer, and longer, and longer, as years pass by. There is a better way to live. An integrated, modern national mass-transit system is among the essential parts of remedies for such currently pressing problems. We will not solve all such problems instantly; but the knowledge, among our citizens, that we are moving in the direction of such goals, that improvements are being experienced year-by-year, is one of the hallmarks of the improvement in the way of life.

  6. When we reflect on the changes in the physical conditions of life of, especially, the lower eighty percentile of our population’s income-brackets, and trace the physical downshifts over the recent quarter-century since the late 1970s wave of deregulation, it should be clear that our nation’s policies have been wrongly directed over the past quarter-century and longer. Looking at the facts, the Kennedy manned Moon-landing objective was one of the great achievements of our civilization, but already, between the assassination of that President and the launching of the U.S. war in Indo-China, the U.S. economy was undergoing a shift from continued growth, under Franklin Roosevelt and for two decades more after Roosevelt’s death. When things are measured in physical realities of life, rather than the usually misleading Wall Street and Federal Reserve arithmetic, our economy has been collapsing.

    We have been collapsing up to the point that the United States under the current Presidency is already physically bankrupt on current account, and becoming more so by the day. This should have shown us that we have done some things wrong in our nation’s policy-shaping. Not investing in restoring worn-down investments in basic economic infrastructure such as power, mass transportation, health-care facilities, and so on, as we have done since the beginning of the Nixon Administration, is key to the way we have ruined our economy and the physical living standard of most of our people. Shifting from production to a “services economy” has ruined us.

    We must return to the kind of policies which Franklin Roosevelt employed to correct the blunders of the Coolidge and Hoover Presidencies, and the combination of the policies of the Eisenhower and Kennedy Administrations which made the triumph of the manned Moon landing possible. That manned Moon landing was a triumph which neither we, nor any other nation, has been able to match since. We can not do it, because we destroyed essential elements of the scientific and production base on which that achievement depended; we were already in the process of destroying it at the moment President Richard Nixon was witnessing the reports of the successful touch-down.

  7. National mass-transport of people and freight is one of the most essential measures to be taken. Increasing the installed amount of high energy-flux-density power generation is another among the highest priorities for bringing on a general economic recovery.

    Again, the available, but presently endangered national capacity in our automotive and aerospace institutions, especially the machine-tool-design driver portion of that capacity, has an indispensable role to play in meeting the need to restore our navigable waterways, our regional and local water-management systems, and in the urgently needed replacements, and expansion, of power-generation and distribution capacity.

    If a single national facility, along the lines of what was done under the Franklin Roosevelt Administration’s Harry Hopkins and Harold Ickes, were established by the U.S. Congress, as a Federal authority with the mission to coopt the reserve capacity associated with the auto industry, especially the crucial machine-tool-design sector, for the indicated transportation and power objectives, the U.S. economy would rise rapidly to a level significantly above breakeven, up from the disaster, the collapse which looms today.

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