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OpEdNews Op Eds    H2'ed 5/4/10

What About Where You Live? Privatizing Our Heritage

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The place where Washington crossed the Delaware River from Pennsylvania to New Jersey during the American Revolution may be justly considered one of the shrines to American independence and the American spirit. On the Pennsylvania side of the river, hundreds of acres have long been a state park, and long been in a shameful state of disrepair and neglect.

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View of Delaware River from Bowman's Hill flickr image by techfun

Now Pennsylvania, like almost every other state is slashing its budget for even essential public services and the condition of the park - and perhaps many others across the commonwealth - can be expected to deteriorate.

Some Pennsylvania state lawmakers have introduced legislation to transfer about 137 acres of the park to private owners, the Bowman's Hill Wildflower Preserve, which for years has conserved and maintained many acres along side the park.

This sounds like a good idea to legislators desperate to get rid of problems - any way they can - and the legislation has flown through the state's House of Representatives and is being fast tracked through the state Senate. But it is not a good idea at all. In fact, it is a vey, very bad precedent.

For more than 30 years the once broadly shared private wealth of America has been steadily transferred and concentrated into the hands of ever fewer, ever richer Americans. With the Wall Street bailout, the assault on the private wealth of Americans has reached shameful proportions, as trillions of dollars in the value of lost homes, lost pensions, lost savings, lost health care, lost investments and lost futures is gobbled up by Wall Street.

The six largest Wall Street banks now control assets greater than 60 percent of the entire U.S. gross domestic product.

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Author of the forthcoming novel "Pursuits of Happiness," a director of the Public Banking Institute and chairman of the Pennsylvania Project. Mike is an international transportation and logisics executive with broad experience in U.S. government (more...)

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