Today is Equal Pay Day, by Presidential Proclamation:
Women — who make up nearly half of our Nation’s workforce — face a pay gap that means they earn 23 percent less on average than men do. That disparity is even greater for African-American women and Latinas. On National Equal Pay Day, we recognize this injustice by marking how far into the new year women have to work just to make what men did in the previous one.
Future Equal Pay Days may be mournful mid-summer affairs if the Massachusetts legislature has its way, blocks improvements to our infrastructure, and cripples our ability to compete with San Francisco, Singapore, and Melbourne. When hard times come, who gets hit hardest? The most vulnerable: people on their way up, agents of change, newcomers to the workforce, many of them women. Prosperity, by contrast, creates opportunities and makes change easier.
There may not be a lot of prosperity in Massachusetts in the future if the state keeps heading down the road it has been to global also-ran: a patchwork of roads and bridges built decades ago held together with rust and band aids, a metro rail system that is one of the oldest in the world and looks and functions the part, and an economically crippled leadership that has somehow convinced itself that the status quo is good enough. Our prosperity was built in large measure on transportation innovations, from the T to Logan Airport to Route 128. Today, we are way behind the cities I mentioned, and falling further back with every day.
If our trains ran as fast as the Beijing-Shanghai railroad opened in 2011, it would take an hour to get to New York. If the MBTA was as well run as the Hong Kong rail system it would make $20 billion in profits each year and subway stations would be air conditioned and look like this:
Our businesses and workers can’t compete against that kind of infrastructure any more than people in Asia could compete against us when we were building state of the art infrastructure. Which we are not, now.
Voting for the past is definitionally conservative and regressive. Progressives vote for a better tomorrow.