|Resolution of the National Latino Farmers and Ranchers Trade Association Congreso, November 2, 2019
Whereas , there is a widely-acknowledged infrastructure crisis in the nation. The American Society of Civil Engineers gave the country a D+ in their 2017 Report Card, and said that the cost of repairing current infrastructure is approximately $4.6 trillion. Over $2 trillion is unfunded, and with the current budget deficit running at $1 trillion annually, there is no extra money available; and,
Whereas , the $4.6 trillion shortfall in infrastructure money does not include financing of new projects, which would include building long overdue new flood control and water projects in rural America, extending broadband finally to the whole country, building new, modern ports, dams, bridges, railroads and other facilities. It also does not include money for modernizing our inland waterway system; and,
Whereas , the rural community has been hard hit by a combination of massive flooding, inaccessibility to broadband, and the collapse of rural transportation and power infrastructure. This deficit is combined with falling farm prices, uncertain trade arrangements, and increasing monopolization of farm output at the top, viz. Cargill, McDonalds, Archer Daniels Midland, Tyson Foods, etc., leading to increased poverty at the bottom of the food producers; and,
Whereas , the hardship visited upon the average farmer and rural communities has led to a growing social demoralization. Many rural areas are hard hit by a combination of underemployment, drug addiction, and suicides, as a result of despair and hopelessness in the future; and,
Whereas , there is a growing movement to return the nation to a policy of economic growth and optimism. A centerpiece of this program is the creation of a National Infrastructure Bank, capitalized with no new federal appropriations, in the tradition of George Washington, Abraham Lincoln and Franklin Roosevelt. A new National Infrastructure Bank, would invest at least $4 trillion into our crumbling infrastructure, in both urban and rural communities. These banks have been instituted four times in our history, and helped drive the development of our nation. This policy built much of the infrastructure we take for granted, but which has outlived its lifespan; and,
Whereas , a National Infrastructure Bank could build all the infrastructure sorely needed in rural America, from broadband to flood control. It could help finance new schools, hospitals, drinking water facilities, and transportation systems, while bringing the current infrastructure up to a state of good repair; and,
Whereas , this new infrastructure program must be coupled with new legislation restoring parity pricing for agriculture, and fair trade policies that would benefit domestic agricultural producers and our overseas partners; now, Therefore,
Be it Resolved , that the National Latino Farmers and Ranchers Trade Association, meeting in convention in Albuquerque, NM on the weekend of November 1-2, hereby calls upon the Congress of the United States to enact a new National Infrastructure Bank, of this type, which will build our rural and urban areas equally, and lift the nation out of despair and economic hard times; and
Be It Further Resolved , that copies of this resolution will be delivered to all members of Congress and to the President of the United States.
Ellen Brown of California is proposing that “public banking” be adopted by the individual states, as you are probably aware. Is there any relationship between what she is vigorously proposing in various states (via her Public Banking Institute), and what you are proposing?
I have not studied Ellen Brown’s work, although it’s been recommended to me. From what I’ve been told, it is sound as far as it goes, but its scope is totally inadequate for the level of reconstruction which our country needs in order to get out of the trough of poverty and dismal productivity. There’s no substitute for having an effective national government, as distant as they may seem to most people.