Tuesday, August 9, 2011

VOA News: 'Population Reflects Economic Woes in One US Town'

Source:VOA News- Welcome to Gary, Indiana.

"Voice of America (VOA) is a state-controlled international television and radio network funded by the U.S. federal tax budget. It is the largest U.S. international broadcaster. VOA produces digital, TV, and radio content in 47 languages which it distributes to affiliate stations around the globe. It is primarily viewed by foreign audiences, so VOA programming has an influence on public opinion abroad regarding the United States and its people.[1]

VOA was established in 1942,[2] and the VOA charter (Public Laws 94-350 and 103-415)[3] was signed into law in 1976 by President Gerald Ford.

VOA is headquartered in Washington, D.C., and overseen by the U.S. Agency for Global Media, an independent agency of the U.S. government.[4] Funds are appropriated annually by Congress under the budget for embassies and consulates. In 2016, VOA broadcast an estimated 1,800 hours of radio and TV programming each week to approximately 236.6 million people worldwide with about 1,050 employees and a taxpayer-funded annual budget of US$218.5 million." 

From Wikipedia 

"The city of Gary, Indiana, was founded in 1906 by the head of the United States Steel Corporation, Elbert H. Gary.  U.S. Steel continues to operate a massive plant along the shores of Lake Michigan, though a dramatic loss of jobs in the steel industry over several decades has brought economic hardship and blight to a once prospering city.  But regional development initiatives are bringing some hope to a town that needs a boost." 

From VOA News

If you look at Gary, Indiana from the outside you might believe Gary is just another victim of the Great Recession. But if you look at it closer, you'll see that Gary was a major city just 10-15 years ago of over 100,000 people just outside of Chicago, a huge city of around 3,000,000 people. And back in the 1960s Gary was a city of 175,000 people bigger than Green Bay, Wisconsin which of course is home to a famous NFL franchise. 

But why has Gary lost more than half of its population, like Detroit? Gary doesn't have much diversity in its economy: the Steel Industry employed most of its workforce fifty years ago. But they've now downsized and use new technology to do a lot of their work and don't need has many people to do those jobs. And as a result of this as well as Gary's extreme crime rates, the most dangerous city in America per- capita at one point if not today. People have moved out of Gary to make a better life, leaving Gary with the problems to deal with on their own, with half of its population and half of its resources if less. 

Gary to me represents in a lot of ways the rest of the country that is struggling not just the Midwest. And why as a country we need to literally rebuild our country. We have crumbling infrastructure, we don't sell enough of our own products to other countries and we don't produce enough of our own energy. Even though we have all the resources that we need if not more than anyone else in the world to do all of these things much better then we are doing them. To again make our country the dominant economy in the world and for us to be prosperous going forward. 

We simply just have to do it by putting our people to work to do these things. Imagine an America with great infrastructure, that was energy independent and could sell all of its products in foreign markets, that paid its bills and didn't pile up debt: thats not a sweet dream but a strong possibility. We simply just have to do this. 

We have three trade deals stuck in Congress right now that would help with this: Central America, Columbia, and Korea. We have a bipartisan bill in the Senate that would create an Independent non-profit corporation that would I believe would still be own by the Federal Government they just wouldn't run it. 

A National Infrastructure Bank that would be self-financed through the private sector. That would prioritize our infrastructure projects in America. And then gather investors in the private sector to invest in these infrastructure projects and then hire private companies to do the work. This would create alone hundreds of thousands of jobs in the private sector not public sector jobs. Good ,well-paid jobs that this country badly needs. 

We also have all the natural resources that we need and then some, we should be exporting our natural resources as well, to become energy independent. We just need a national energy policy to get it started. 

Gary, Indiana represents what a lot of the country is going through as we are struggling just to recover from the Great Recession and just get back on our feet as a country. But Gary also represents a lot of the potential of America that we just need to unleash and let take off and watch our economy become great again.

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