Oxted also carried the 21-year-old to his first Group One triumph when taking the July Cup at Newmarket, with Fallon subsequently teaming up with Qatar Racing to ride on a retainer as their second-choice jockey behind Oisin Murphy.“It’s been a very good year,” Fallon said of his season, which returned 43 winners.“I’ve been very lucky and had a lot of support. Hopefully it can continue next year without a claim. Obviously Oxted helped me a lot, I’ve lost my claim and had a Group success, he’s been a big part of my career so hopefully we can find another one like him.- Advertisement – Cieren Fallon is hoping this season is a stepping stone to bigger things after becoming the first rider to retain the apprentice title for 32 years.Fallon has reached several career milestones this term, gaining his first Group-race success aboard Oxted in the Abernant Stakes at Newmarket and riding out his claim when clocking his 95th victory.- Advertisement – “I’m going to be riding on the all-weather over the winter and I’ll just keep ticking along, trying to build on this for next year. Next year I hope just to ride more winners than I did this year, have a bit more Group success and just keep building each year.”Unsurprisingly Oxted is the mount Fallon is most looking forward to reuniting with next spring, and the Roger Teal-trained gelding has been given a long-term aim of the Qipco British Champions Sprint Stakes after finishing fifth in the Ascot feature this year.Fallon said: “It’s going to be a big ask from this year, but hopefully it’s going to be a big year. We’re going to go to Royal Ascot and hopefully he can try to win that Champion Sprint.”- Advertisement – Fallon is the son of six-time champion jockey Kieren Fallon, who he reports is thrilled to see him lift his second apprentice title.“He’s very proud,” he said, “he doesn’t say much, but I know he’s so excited for me and so proud.” – Advertisement –
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The World Conservation Organization (WWF) today supported a protest by the local community and veterans’ associations held over the Great Waterfall, a natural phenomenon for which Plitvice Lakes National Park is known throughout the world. The protest briefly stopped traffic on the wooden bridge near Plitvice Selo, which has a carrying capacity of 3,5 tons. One of the reasons for this protest is precisely in that bridge – dozens of trucks weighing up to 40 tons pass through it every day, which completely jeopardizes its survival.As the only area in Croatia inscribed on the UNESCO World Natural Heritage List, the Plitvice Lakes National Park is threatened with erasure from the same list due to overcrowding, hasty and unplanned construction. Based on the data on the number of visitors so far, it is unquestionable that this year’s record attendance of the park will be surpassed this year. The number of overnight stays in the villages of the National Park has increased as much as 12 times compared to 2010 and records over 39.000 overnight stays, which directly affects the state of nature in the park. And the new 35 building permits for the construction of private apartments, accommodation for rent and catering facilities issued by the Ministry of Construction over the past year further benefit this great threat.”Due to a series of wrong decisions, the natural values of the largest natural pearl in Croatia are endangered! If such a negative impact of man on nature continues, we will endanger the survival of tufa, as well as indigenous plants and animals of the Plitvice region. When we look at what Veliki slap looks like today, it is clear what consequences the overcrowding has in Plitvica Selo, a settlement that was built so much in just eight years that the number of beds increased from 16 to 230! There, the water supply system is extremely poor, and wastewater flows directly into the stream and into the Great Waterfall. With the disappearance of the natural phenomenon of the park, the only world-recognizable symbol of the protected nature of Croatia, which has an important role in the development of tourism, will disappear. This will eliminate the jobs on which the entire local community of the area depends, as well as the potential of the park for the development of the entire area.”, Said Irma Popović Dujmović from WWF Adria at the protest.WWF calls on the Ministry of Construction and Physical Planning to work urgently with the Ministry of Environmental Protection and Energy to jointly prevent the devastation of Plitvice Lakes. The national park is fully included in the ecological network Natura 2000, which protects it and European regulations. Therefore, construction in the park area should be limited. “We call on the Government of the Republic of Croatia to support the management of the Plitvice Lakes National Park in its efforts to connect with its local community as soon as possible, and to involve stakeholders in the planning and decision-making system, which should be a sustainable way of managing the park. If they plan development together and make decisions that affect protected natural values, they will ensure their social and economic development.”, Concludes Popović Dujmović.WF’s report “Protecting People through Nature: World Natural Heritage Sites as Drivers of Sustainable Development” published last year as part of the “Common Natural Heritage” campaign pointed out that almost half of the world’s natural heritage is endangered due to harmful industrial activities. These are places that provide vital services to people and the environment, and contribute to economic and social development through the protection of nature and the environment.The report also points to shortcomings in the protection of these areas of outstanding value and sets out five global principles for good management of the World Natural Heritage: proper valuation, investment decisions, governance, public policies and implementation. If the Plitvice Lakes National Park is guided by these principles, the sustainable development of the Plitvice Lakes region will be the only outcome.
We are constantly talking and emphasizing that the quality of services and products in tourism is crucial, and that we must focus on quality, not mass.And one of the first preconditions is precisely the quality infrastructure, from accommodation capacities, arrangement of tourist destinations, facilities, and thus marinas, when we talk about nautical tourism.Precisely from the above, the good news is that in July, all marinas within ACI became holders of as many as three ISO certificates. These are ISO 9001: 2015 quality management system, ISO 14001: 2015 environmental management system and ISO 50001: 2011 for energy management systems. The introduction of the fourth one related to information security (27001: 2013) is also underway. An additional recognition to ACI for sustainable management and management of the sea and coastal zone are the “Blue Flags”, which were awarded this year in as many as 18 ACI marinas.By the way, the daily consumption of sailors in 2017 averages 126 euros per day, and is 40 percent higher than the daily consumption of the average Croatian tourist. A third of that amount is spent by boaters on catering services, sports, entertainment and culture, which clearly shows that through nautical we can build all other forms of tourism and grow from a country of seasonal tourism to a destination of year-round tourism.ACI: Business results in the first nine months more than successfulIn the first nine months of 2018, the operating revenues of the Adriatic Croatia International Club (ACI) increased by 11% compared to the same period last year and amounted to HRK 173,7 million. Revenues from the annual berth service increased by 8%, from the monthly berth by 12%, from the daily berth by 6%, from the rental service by 17%, from other services provided to boaters by 16% while other operating revenues increased by 184%. The largest increase in operating revenues compared to the comparable period was achieved by ACI marinas Dubrovnik, Veljko Barbieri (Slano), Split and Korčula. Total expenditures decreased by 1%.Photo: ACIIn the observed period, the Company achieved a positive gross financial result in the amount of HRK 48,2 million, which is an increase of HRK 14,7 million or 44% compared to the comparable period. EBITDA increased by 22% and amounted to HRK 88,3 million. The physical indicators of the annual relationship remained at the level of last year, so on September 30.09.2018, 3.416. There were 91 vessels in ACI marinas, while 8 ships were on daily berth, which is a decrease of 10% compared to the same period last year. For the monthly berth in the reporting period there was an increase of XNUMX% in the ship for months.”During 2018, ACI dd is primarily focused on raising the quality of service provision and to that end is making a number of larger and smaller investments. The quality of service provision was also confirmed through the awarding of the CNTB – Tourist Flower – Quality for Croatia awards, in which the Dubrovnik and Split marinas received the award in the category of the best medium marina this year (2nd and 3rd place).”Point out the ACI.Investment cycle in raising qualityThe most significant investment project is the complete reconstruction of the ACI marina Rovinj, which is planned to open by the end of 2018, and will be the most modern marina on the Adriatic, characterized primarily by safety, luxury, advanced technologies and, of course, the ultimate beauty of architectural vision.As pointed out by ACI, the started investment cycle will follow with the reconstruction of ACI marina Korčula in 2019, for which the main and detailed design is underway, and for which purpose the land with the building next to ACI marina Korčula worth 4,7 million. Other significant investments in the reporting period include the reconstruction of the service mule plateau and the purchase of a 30-ton crane in the ACI marina Pomer, worth HRK 3,1 million, extension of piers in the ACI marina Pula, worth HRK 1,3 million, reconstruction of the complete pool plant in the amount of HRK 856 thousand in the ACI marina Dubrovnik and the construction of an additional parking lot in the amount of HRK 173 thousand. This season, the anchorage in the bays of Vozarica and Srednja Draga near the ACI marina Skradin has started operating, which has provided boaters with additional capacity to moor vessels up to 15 meters long.RELATED NEWS:/ / / ZIZOO: CROATIA IS STILL THE MOST DESIRABLE DESTINATION FOR SAILING AND VESSELS ON BOAT/ / / CALCULATION OF RESIDENCE TAX FEES FOR BOATERS IN 2019/ / / RESEARCH RESULTS PRESENTED “ATTITUDES AND CONSUMPTION OF NAUTICIANS IN CROATIA – TOMAS NAUTIKA YACHTING 2017.”
Applications for all public calls are accepted until February 11, 2019. See for more details HERE or attached. Support for destination management company programs in 2019. Attachment: The subject of the Public Call for Grants to Destination Management Companies in 2019 is the allocation of grants for programs for the development and introduction of complex tourism products for the market of special interests that contribute to goals such as activating unused tourism resources and creating new motives for tourist arrivals. throughout Croatia, enriching the tourist offer, developing innovative products that extend the tourist season and reduce seasonality and increase tourist traffic, especially in the pre- and post-season and on the continent, creating a recognizable image of Croatia as a destination of special interest tourism and market valorization of complex tourist products. reasons for the arrival of tourists to a particular destination in Croatia. “This year, we announced public calls in January because we want to provide the entire tourism sector with enough time to prepare projects, apply for them and, finally, for the implementation of all planned activities. Ahead of us is a new tourist year in which we must enter as ready as possible, which is why we invite all interested parties who meet the prescribed conditions to apply for their projects because only further investment in infrastructure and facilities can keep the positive trends., said the director of the CNTB Kristjan Staničić, adding that the results of the announced tenders are expected during the first half of 2019. Support to tourist communities in underdeveloped areas in 2019 The total available funds within this public call amount to HRK 4.000.000,00, and will be approved through four purposes which include the development and improvement of the tourist offer of the destination, education, support for projects co-financed from EU funds and improvement of activities and activities of tourist boards. The subject of the Public Call for Grants to TOP events is the award of grants for events that are the main motive for tourists to come to the destination and that contribute to goals such as promoting Croatia as a tourist destination, improving and enriching the tourist offer, extending the tourist season and others. Grants will be approved for the organization of events that have been held at least twice in the last five years with a strong promotional effect in the country and abroad and which are estimated to be motivated by the arrival of at least 10.000 visitors. The total available funds within this public call amount to HRK 2.500.000,00. Support funds can be allocated and used exclusively for programs of development and introduction to the market of complex tourist products, and it is a total of 2.000.000,00 kuna. The subject of the Public Call for Grants to Tourist Boards in Underdeveloped Areas in 2019 is the award of grants for programs and projects of tourist boards in underdeveloped areas. Funds can be requested by county tourist boards, mainly in underdeveloped tourist areas, and tourist boards in underdeveloped tourist areas. This is a public call for awarding grants to tourist boards for programs (projects) in underdeveloped areas, Public call for support for TOP events te Public call for grants to programs of destination management companies. TOP events De minimis support program for the development of the tourism sector in 2019 Grants to TOP events Support for DMK programs Support to tourist boards for programs / projects in underdeveloped areas in 2019. The Croatian National Tourist Board (CNTB) has announced three public calls through which grants will be awarded in 2019 with the aim of improving products, creating a recognizable image of Croatian tourism and the country as a whole and enriching the offer in the pre- and post-season.
Today, “Kvarner Family” is the best project for branding and improving the quality of family accommodation in Croatia, and includes more than 500 facilities that offer accommodation of standardized quality. As many as 60 facilities are marked “Pet Friendly” as a sign of welcome and pets, and about 20 facilities are adapted to the needs of lovers of active holidays and carry the label “Bike Friendly” and “Hike Friendly”, which means that they are adapted for accommodation and meet the specific needs of cyclists and guests hiking or mountaineering. TRENDS IN FAMILY ACCOMMODATION: THE MOST IMPORTANT THING IS FOR THE HOST TO FIND THE RIGHT BALANCE IN RELATION TO THE GUESTS Behind the “Kvarner Family” label is the recommendation of the Kvarner Tourist Board for proven tourist quality, standard and recognizability of branded apartments, holiday homes, camps and rooms of private renters in the region. Or in the true sense of the word hospitality with a guarantee However, Kvarner Family is certainly the best example of branding family accommodation in Croatia and a real correct concept for its development at the national level, which went the furthest with its branding story and quality labels for family accommodation. Unfortunately, other quality labels in family accommodation in Croatia are lagging behind and are developing too slowly, dealing more with form than content. Perhaps this action could have been expanded / enriched a bit, except with a discount on accommodation, through focusing on the motives of arrival, because the motive of arrival is never accommodation but destination. Several segmented packages for certain target groups of tourists, which, in addition to accommodation, also include visits to museums, restaurants and other activities within one tourist package and the Kvarner Family brand. RELATED NEWS: Find out more about Kvarenr Family: Family Package HERE The label “Kvarner Family” is a proven place for a holiday in a well-kept environment, pleasantly equipped interior, recognizable facility, respect for tradition, loyalty of guests and the experience of home and family atmosphere. In the market and global competition, those who want and engage in market development succeed. So this success story in our backyard is a great example of how to develop family accommodation in Croatia, and not to stifle it, destroy it and blame it for all the problems of our tourism. INVESTING IN QUALITY IS THE KEY TO THE COMPETITIVENESS OF FAMILY ACCOMMODATION In order to further contribute to the “Kvarner Family” facilities in increasing occupancy during the period before and after the season, the Kvarner Tourist Board has designed the action “Family Package”. This marketing campaign lasts from May 15 to June 30 and from September 1 to October 15, and through the campaign connects renters, agencies and various providers of tourist and catering services from the Kvarner area who offer a 10 percent discount on tickets for one of local attractions (museums, panoramic boat rides, sports activities, restaurants, etc.). Family, ie private accommodation, in Kvarner can boast of more than 170 years of tradition of hospitality in the manner of a good host. Therefore, it is not surprising that this type of accommodation in Kvarner has the most loyal guests. The project also includes about 30 travel agencies that emphasize the promotion and filling of capacities with the labels “Kvarner Family”.
The most important factor for choosing a destination for 78% of respondents who plan to travel is the budget, while for 48% of them it is the recommendations of family and friends. Followed by tourist offer (38%), distance to destination (36%) and online reviews (34%). When asked what they take into account when choosing a destination, most respondents pointed out the price-quality ratio. Respondents have the most trust in specialized travel websites (31%), but also in random articles on Croatian websites found by searching the Internet (29%). Advice related to travel on blogs and social networks of domestic influencers is trusted more (6%) than advice from foreign ones (2%). Cash is less and less used to pay for travel expenses Most respondents have not traveled anywhere in the last 12 months The percentage of respondents planning to travel abroad this winter has dropped by more than half compared to last year. Thus, only 21% of those who are still hoping for travel opportunities, while almost half of the respondents (48%) do not plan to travel abroad this winter, with 31% undecided. At the same time last year, the percentages looked significantly different – almost half of respondents (48%) planned to travel abroad, with 27% of those not planning to. When choosing a destination, the most important thing for us is the budget and the recommendations of our loved ones In the last 12 months, the number of trips has dropped significantly compared to the results from 2019 – tourist trips are 19% less, and business trips even 38% less. Respondents traveled on average three (3,4) times as tourists, compared to 4,2 times in 2019, of which two (2,4) times within Croatia, once (0,6) within the euro area and even less frequently (0,4). , XNUMX) outside the euro area. Encouraging data that is certainly an opportunity for continental and rural destinations, but which must be intended and positioned. Furthermore, those planning a trip intend to primarily use debit cards to pay for accommodation (40%, compared to 36% last year). Moreover, it is arguably the most popular payment method among young people aged 18 to 29. To a lesser extent, respondents think to use cash (22%, compared to 26% last year) and credit cards (18%, compared to 15% last year) to pay for accommodation. Cash is paid primarily by older respondents. The main reasons for this reduced interest in foreign travel are the financial situation of the respondents (42%) and the fear that the trip could be canceled due to the epidemiological situation (33%). Fear of non-compliance with epidemiological measures at the destination is prevented in travel planning by 16% of respondents, primarily younger ones, while only 9% of those who think that epidemiological measures make travel less pleasant. In the total number of trips, tourist trips are more than the results of 2019 showed (68%, compared to 62% in 2019), due to a significant decline in business trips (with 38% of respondents who went on business trips in 2019 at 32% this year). Half of the respondents certainly do not plan to travel outside Croatia this winter, primarily due to the financial situation Of the respondents who plan to travel, most are those who plan Advent trips to one of the European capitals (11%, as opposed to 25% in 2019). This is followed by skiing and New Year’s Eve with 5% each. Most Advent, ski and New Year’s trips within Europe will take up to a week, which means that only a few will travel longer. Generally, trips of up to four days are planned, only slightly longer ski trips are planned. Leading Dalmatians (55% of respondents plan such a trip), Istrians (51%) and Zagreb (46%), and at the bottom of the list are Slavonians (37%). 25% of respondents will not travel, while the rest are undecided. According to the respondents, the average costs of their last tourist trip abroad amounted to HRK 6.113, which is significantly more than the average in 2019 (HRK 5.153) or 2018 (HRK 5.929). In terms of foreign travel, in the last twelve months, respondents mostly visited closer destinations such as Ljubljana (28%), Sarajevo (17%), Vienna (16%), Budapest (14%), Belgrade (12%) and Munich. (11%). It is interesting that Ljubljana is the most popular destination among the respondents of the oldest age group (50-55). In contrast to the 2019 results, debit and credit cards have shifted to a more popular way of paying when shopping on trips (52% of respondents, compared to 39% of those who used cash) and paying for accommodation (36% compared to 27% respondents who pay in cash). Respondents are more likely to use cash when it comes to paying in restaurants, paying for tickets, transportation, and nightlife. Airline tickets are traditionally most often paid with cards. Respondents are primarily concerned about the impact of the pandemic on financial status, dynamics in family relationships and happiness, and social ties and relationships. This is followed by health, with older respondents being more concerned about how the pandemic will affect their physical health, while younger ones are more concerned about mental health. As expected, the survey data show that the number of trips in the past 12 months has dropped significantly compared to the same period a year earlier, and in accordance with the uncertainty, the number of respondents planning to travel this winter is falling. At the same time, most respondents are afraid that they will lose their jobs due to the pandemic (46%). This is followed by a decline in the quality of health care (45%) and rising prices (33%), but also the possibility that respondents will infect family members (32%), while only 12% of them worry about whether they will be infected. Travel restrictions are a concern for 31% of respondents, a decline in the quality of education for 30%, and a decline in living standards for 14%. When it comes to travel within Croatia, 46% of respondents plan it. We spend more on travel than in previous years The coronavirus pandemic is affecting the habits of consumers around the world, including in Croatia Cover photo: Public institution Rakovica – Barećeve špilje In September and October this year, Mastercard, in cooperation with the market research agency Improve, conducted its regular online research. MasterIndex on the habits of using financial services among bank clients in Croatia aged 18 to 55. They are followed by music festivals and concerts (40%), family gatherings (30%), theaters, cinemas and exhibitions (25%), sporting events (23%), going out and nightlife (18%) and recreation (10%). Family gatherings are more missed by older respondents, sporting events by men, and outings and concerts by women. On the other hand, in the past year, the average respondent was on one to two (1,6) business trips (compared to 2,6 in 2019), most of them within Croatia (1,1). Zagreb residents traveled the most within Croatia for leisure – on average three times in the last 12 months, while respondents from Northern Croatia traveled the least (1,8 times). As many as 59% of respondents have not traveled outside Croatia in the last 12 months (compared to 40% in 2019). For those preparing to travel this winter, the most commonly planned way of booking accommodation is through the booking website or travel agency website (62%), then directly on the destination website or accommodation provider (28%), in person at the travel agency (8 %) and by phone call or e-mail to a travel agency (9%). On the other hand, to a much lesser extent (6%) respondents plan to find accommodation on the spot. The results show that older respondents, the highly educated and those with higher incomes spend a bit more on travel. In addition, those from Lika (HRK 7.329), Dalmatia and Zagreb spend the most, and respondents from Northern Croatia spend the least (HRK 3.570). The results show that cardholders pay 45% of the cost of traveling abroad with cards. Cards abroad are used to a greater extent by men, those with higher socio-economic status and credit card users. Whether it is a tourist or business trip, the main source of information about the destination is the Internet (93%). He is followed by friends and family members (41%) and travel agencies (11%). Interestingly, the Internet is used for this purpose to an even greater extent (97%) by members of the age group 50-55, while the younger ones rely more on the advice of friends and family. Those traveling will book accommodation online and pay with cards Travel is at the very top of what the respondents miss the most in the “new normal”. They hold the second place in this ranking with 41% of the votes of the respondents, while 57% of them point out that they miss socializing the most. Most respondents are from Istria, Primorje and Gorski Kotar who plan to travel abroad this winter – 31%. They are followed by Dalmatians and Zagreb residents (22%).
This isn’t the first time that the president has spoken — and tweeted — about his apparently sky-high IQ.It’s hard to deny the grim entertainment value of the latest Trump spat.But the idea that an IQ score is just a bragging aid for egotistical politicians threatens to trivialize a genuine field of research.It doesn’t help, of course, that IQ tests hardly have a good reputation to begin with.Steeped in controversy, by far the most common reaction whenever the topic arises is the oh-so-droll refrain: “IQ tests only tell you how good you are at doing IQ tests!”In fact, IQ tests tell us much more than that, as a mountain of evidence from the fields of psychology, sociology, neuroscience, genetics and epidemiology attests.For instance, we know that people who do better at IQ tests tend to do better at school, in work and in terms of their physical and mental health. Second, nobody would argue that IQ is strictly biologically determined: The environment still has a crucial influence.Indeed, scientists don’t all share the fatalistic view of many IQ critics; rather, a great deal of IQ research is focused on how we might boost people’s abilities.For example, we know that factors like iodine deficiency are linked to lower IQ scores (a brilliant charity, the Iodine Global Network, is dedicated to doing something about this) and growing evidence appears to show positive effects of education on IQ.Research continues on whether improved physical fitness, among other influences, might help older adults stave off the decline of their mental abilities as they age.Another reason psychologists wince at self-satisfied crowing about IQ is that the tests can — in the right hands, and despite the immoral ways they have often been used in the past — serve a useful social purpose.After all, they were first invented to identify children in need of extra educational attention, and they can still serve that purpose.A terrific study from last year also illustrated how IQ tests can level the social playing field, finding that the use of objective cognitive tests — as opposed to referrals from parents and teachers, who aren’t always reliable at spotting talent in certain groups — improves representation of poor and minority children in gifted education programs.(The study is “Universal screening increases the representation of low-income and minority students in gifted education,” by David Carda and Laura Giuliano.) Categories: Editorial, OpinionMost scientists feel a certain nervousness when the topic they research appears in the news.Overstatement is par for the course, misunderstanding a near-inevitability. But what could be more cringe-worthy than the president of the United States engaging in a macho contest with his secretary of state over the area you research? I am, of course, talking about IQ testing.After Rex Tillerson allegedly called him a “moron,” Donald Trump this week suggested that he and Tillerson “compare IQ tests.”Naturally, Trump could “tell you who is going to win.” On average, they even live longer — and this doesn’t seem purely due to education or social class.Studies continually appear in top neuroscience journals linking MRI measures (such as the overall volume of the brain) to IQ scores, and some of the first IQ-related genetic variants are now being uncovered.Yet controversy around IQ tests and scoring remains.Some of it is due to the fear of immutability, or the worry that a low IQ score is set in stone, dooming a person to a life of failure and embarrassment.But this is misplaced.First, IQ is only one of a whole constellation of reasons, including hard work and sheer chance, why people get to where they end up in life.And as the writer Scott Alexander has recently noted, the findings discussed above are all averages and tendencies and trends at the group level: they absolutely don’t apply to every individual person who gets a particular score on the test. Treating IQ as a frivolous, point-scoring game makes it easier to write off perfectly serious research and ignore the useful information we can get from cognitive tests.It contributes to the mistaken notion that, with IQ tests, psychologists are trying to sum up the worth of a person, rather than develop useful tools to understand the mind and identify different levels of ability.Most importantly, it fails to recognize what many scientists in this field already do: that the mere possession of a high IQ score isn’t what matters. We don’t admire history’s great scientists, mathematicians, composers and artists because they were intelligent per se; we do so because they used their intelligence to produce something worthwhile in the world.Those who would bandy around their high IQ as if it in itself entitled them to respect should take note.Stuart Ritchie is a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Edinburgh. More from The Daily Gazette:EDITORIAL: Urgent: Today is the last day to complete the censusEDITORIAL: Thruway tax unfair to working motoristsFoss: Should main downtown branch of the Schenectady County Public Library reopen?EDITORIAL: Beware of voter intimidationEDITORIAL: Find a way to get family members into nursing homes
So Democrats will watch the State of the Union hoping that President Trump will change course — by emphasizing the need for a major, direct federal investment in infrastructure.Since the days of Henry Clay (who was a Whig, the predecessor of the modern Republican Party), the federal government has always put direct dollars into infrastructure. Clay proposed a program of “internal improvements” such as roads and canals to link together a growing America. The greatest expansion of the federal highway system occurred under Republican President Dwight D. Eisenhower. Even President Ronald Reagan sought to keep federal investment in highways from decreasing.These Republicans understood that direct investment of federal resources was the best way to maintain and build our nation’s infrastructure. The same is true today. Only a plan with direct investments can properly address the scale of the challenge we face. Direct investment provides support for both new projects and ongoing ones. It helps all parts of America. And it allows for new construction without the need for profit sources such as tolls, or higher taxes and fees.Unfortunately, initial indications are that the president’s proposal will rely on capital from private companies or states and localities in lieu of real investment.Such a plan would have several flaws.It would leave out large parts of America, particularly rural America, where local governments don’t have the money or the traffic to attract private-sector investment. Small towns and cities throughout the heartland have waited too long for upgrades to their municipal water systems and schools and roads, as well as access to high-speed internet. Just as Franklin D. Roosevelt said that every rural house should have electricity in the 1930s, Democrats today believe every rural house should have access to high-speed internet. A private-sector-driven infrastructure plan wouldn’t get the job done.Even in the most populous areas, many projects would not move forward if they hinged on private-sector investment. A plan based on private-sector gimmicks and giveaways would also result in tolls — Trump tolls — across the United States. Hedge funds and wealthy investors will want projects that generate a profit by charging middle-class Americans hundreds of dollars a year in tolls, taxes and fees. Our nation’s roads, bridges and tunnels would become tools for wealthy investors to profit off the middle class rather than the job-creating public assets they ought to be.What would lead the president toward a plan like this instead of one consisting of real investments?The reason is that hard-right special interests, which have dictated much of the policy in the Trump administration, have the president in a vice. They hate spending any government money, even on something as time-honored as infrastructure, and they apply pressure not to increase the deficit — even though just a few months ago, the president and Republicans in Congress gave away $1.5 trillion to provide tax breaks for mammoth corporations and a handful of wealthy people. Imagine how much more productive it would be to put those resources into infrastructure instead.That’s why the president faces a choice: The hard right doesn’t want him to expend federal resources, but to effectively rebuild our nation’s infrastructure, he must.On Tuesday, if President Trump chooses a real, direct, federal investment in infrastructure, he will have a chance to pass an effective, bipartisan bill. We Democrats will gladly work with him on it. But if he caves to the hard right once again and proposes a scheme driven by private developers — a scheme that leaves out rural America and asks middle-class families to shoulder the costs — he’ll have squandered an immense opportunity.Democrats want to work with President Trump to rebuild America’s infrastructure. And we hope we can. But we shouldn’t ask the middle class to pay $1 trillion in new tolls and local tax increases to get there.More from The Daily Gazette:Foss: Should main downtown branch of the Schenectady County Public Library reopen?EDITORIAL: Urgent: Today is the last day to complete the censusEDITORIAL: Beware of voter intimidationEDITORIAL: Thruway tax unfair to working motoristsEDITORIAL: Find a way to get family members into nursing homes Categories: Editorial, OpinionWhen President Donald Trump addresses the nation in his first official State of the Union on Tuesday night, he should urge Congress to deliver a substantial investment in our nation’s infrastructure. On this issue, Democrats agree with the president: America’s physical infrastructure is the backbone of our economy, and we have fallen behind. If we do not quickly repair and modernize our infrastructure, we risk ceding the next century of global economic leadership to China or India.But the big question is: How do we do it?The president promised a trillion-dollar investment in our infrastructure on the campaign trail. But since he took the oath of office, Congress hasn’t heard much about his plan, and what we have heard isn’t promising. The president’s budget proposal slashed infrastructure investments, and, more recently, the proposals we’ve seen from the administration rely on private companies or states and localities to put up the lion’s share of the money. In turn, those entities would have to either charge local taxpayers new tolls or raise taxes and other fees to pay for the infrastructure.That would end up leaving out large parts of the country and most major, urgent projects.
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