Solve the NYC Crisis! Launch a New Economic System of Development

July 28, 2017

On Monday, July 17th the broadcast featured Policy Committee members Diane Sare and Kesha Rogers with host Matt Ogden addressing the urgent need for the United States to implement Mr. LaRouche’s Four Laws before the impending blow-out of the trans-Atlantic system. Mrs. LaRouche, founder of the international Schiller Institute, made the point that President Trump’s decision to meet with President Putin, and his ongoing work with President Xi, has created great potential for the progress of mankind, yet the United States’ economic collapse remains the Achilles heel of this administration, and it is up to the LaRouche Movement to address it.

OGDEN: If you use Glass-Steagall to shut down Wall Street and to dismantle this power center which has been so concentrated in Wall Street and in the City of London, you restore the political power back to the Constitutional American System, and you free up the Presidency to act on these necessary policies, just as Franklin Roosevelt did.

And I think we'll get into it more, but it's a very nefarious role that's being played right now by Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin, one that the American people should be very angry about, and should be something that should be strongly denounced, as Lyndon LaRouche did when Mnuchin was originally appointed.

But there is nowhere where the immediate necessary for this kind of national mobilization for emergency recovery program is more apparent than right now in the heart of New York City. And so, I'd like to ask Diane to say a little bit about the situation there right now, and help to fill out this picture a little bit.

DIANE SARE: Sure. I had made a point a few weeks ago, as we were going into the Sylvia Olden Lee tribute that the Schiller Institute Chorus was involved in, that I had become very acutely aware of the crisis in the transportation system, because of the number of people showing up late for rehearsals. And then a couple of my colleagues lost three tires while driving off of Staten Island, in a pothole. And I realized just to take a step back and actually think about this, forget the individual incidents, what's being indicated here? And what's being indicated, is that the tunnels crossing the Hudson River, which were built on the New Jersey side in 1907, so they're 110 years old; there's some on the East Side built at that time, or one later, I think, 1924 — in other words you have infrastructure that's close to a century old; you have switches in the subways that were built in the 1920s and '30s; you have a road system which is not being repaired because of budget cuts, not in the way that it should be: when you repave a road, you're supposed to start from the bottom, not just pick a particular pothole and fill it.

So what you're looking at is a breakdown, plus the infrastructure we're using was not built for a population level that we have today. [The traffic flow at] Penn Station is almost triple -- before the so-called Summer of Hell, where 3 out of 21 tracks are now closed for repairs -- it was built for a capacity of I think about 250,000 commuters a day. It's 650,000 is what it's getting. And every corridor in and out of Manhattan is similarly overloaded. You have something like 1.6 million people coming into Manhattan every day to work. It's slightly less than that in the summer, but that's what it is.

And I had raised the question, as to what are the implications, and when I spoke with Mr. LaRouche about this, he said, you need a committee, and one of the first things he outlined is that you need a forecast, you need a perspective on what happens if this were {not} done…. I made the sort of obvious hypothesis that if you are trying to move 20% of the population on one overloaded corridor, into another corridor that's already over capacity, what you're creating is the conditions for a cascading series of breakdowns. And frankly, I probably underestimated, or wasn't even considering the aging and crumbling of the entire grid — not just transportation, but electricity, water, etc. What my video was about the other day, was not just the subways but the fact that people were late to chorus on Thursday night because there was a fire underground at 71st and Broadway -- which was not connected to the subway system directly per se, but was because it was a very hot day, so the ground was hot; people were using a lot more electricity and whatever they coating the electrical wires with actually {melted} and you had a fire which blew out electrical power in that area.

And they were repairing that, so there was no electricity there for 24 hours. And then, they were telling people, "we're turning it back on, but don't use the elevator, don't use things that really use a lot of electricity." This is New York City in the United States! Not a country that's been under so-called Third World conditions. In fact, rail expert Hal Cooper had made the point at a Manhattan meeting a few weeks earlier, that one must remember that Manhattan is the economic center of the United States in many ways, and that a disruption of New York City, would not only be devastating to New Yorkers, but would have a major destructive impact on the U.S. economy as a whole.

Now, what happened today, there was a fire at 145th Street in the subway, which affected the A, B, C and D Lines, supposedly a trash fire. People were stuck in a subway car for one and a half hours, 12 people were injured; you had people having panic attacks in the cars — I can imagine that, because being stuck in a subway tunnel with smoke billowing past you, and God knows whether they had air conditioning -- when I was in the subway the other day; there was no air conditioning, the car was massively overpacked, and the temperatures — if you were on your way to a sauna, you could have skipped and just stayed in car and basked in the hot, steam which was in there. Literally, people's glasses were steaming up, and there wasn't room to stretch your arms or move or do anything. So it's easy to see the panic that would set in if a car like that gets stuck in a dark tunnel, and the power goes out.

I would say, if something is not done to address this, you're going to have a situation where you're going to have loss of life, and we are facing this all over the country! This is completely unacceptable. When these things get to that point, you risk having major upheavals, major chaos; and the population could bear hardship if — not insanity, but hardship — if they knew there were a plan to address this.

Now, Lyndon LaRouche for the last 50 years has been doing {nothing but} producing such programs: He had programs in the 1970} for what should be done for Manhattan. Obviously, 40 years later, various things would be different, now, but the point is, these things exist. So how do you get the funding?

And we have engineers, we have talented people who could solve this. because what you're looking at in Manhattan now, I really think you may have to take drastic measures, like saying maybe people really should not come into the city, people should figure out how to work elsewhere; maybe business owners should be compensated for not coming into their shops — I don't know. But I'm sure there are people who have expertise in these areas who could figure it out — maybe a plan already exists.

But the question is, what is the future? And I appreciate very much, Matt, that you began with talking about the Apollo mission, because our nation used to think big. China is thinking big; Russia is thinking big. The nations that have joined the Belt and Road are thinking 50, 100, 200 years into the future. Americans, with a bit of inspiration, would similarly think that way, and I would say, as Mrs. LaRouche said, Trump has done a brilliant job thus far with Russia and with China: We are on a pathway hopefully to being able to put the threat of thermonuclear war behind us; I wouldn't say it's completely behind us yet, and especially with the potential blowout of the financial system, it's definitely not behind us!

But, we have to get a program now, in the United States, based on what the Lyndon LaRouche said, shaped by the knowledge that human beings are not beasts, that we are creative, that our contribution to society is through creative discovery, and the economic model for best reflecting that is what Alexander Hamilton did here in Manhattan, and as Secretary of the Treasury, his whole conception of our Constitution, what he wrote in the {Federalist Papers}; and today in there are certain very concrete measures that have to be taken: The first is step is Glass-Steagall. But my concern is that the American people actually begin to think of this from the top, as opposed to the bottom.