The HispanicLatino population through its continuing growth is remaking and reconstructing the country’s population at the same time that the country’s infrastructure also needs to be remade and reconstructed.
I am often asked about the future by conscientious HispanicLatinos worried about it. For me, thinking about the future with all of its complexities and profound challenges boils down to two basic ideas: 1) For the country to survive fiscally in the decades to come, the HispanicLatino population must succeed economically, socially and politically. 2) For HispanicLatinos to succeed, they must become a more personally secure and focused people. Yet these two principles fit within a larger context: The country’s need to rebuild its transportation, water, airport, sewers and power distribution systems.
HispanicLatinos thus exist within a national imperative, and rebuilding the country – literally – is their most evident large-scale opportunity to push themselves and the country forward into the future.
HispanicLatinos should look at the country in the same way that its early populations looked at it at and immediately after its founding: A vast and promising land to be built up and made into a powerful economy. We have reached that point again. A new population should look to make the most of the opportunity to transform the country from the ground up and make it new again.
In the late 1970’s, some of the more astute observers of the country’s evolving demographics began to understand that the HispanicLatino population was going to grow and that it inevitably and directly would affect the composition of the national population. But the anemic leadership of the time did not get beyond the recognition (and endless repetition) of the same demographic data; it failed to formulate an economic development vision to accompany HispanicLatino population growth – other than to emphasize correctly the need for greater educational opportunities, which were not effectuated very well.
Now, with the national population having fastly changed and the current economic outlook not very promising, decisions regarding the future of the economy are being made with little HispanicLatino input, putting them in a difficult position of being absent from most of the mainstream economy while being the country’s fastest-growing segment of the population and constituting much of its future.
Unable to affect national political decision-making on their own, HispanicLatinos must author a new, specific and politically effective strategy. They must make common cause in a new alliance of construction, engineering and materials and products companies to create a new political initiative that insists that the country embark on a massive building program to revamp and improve the nation’s infrastructure in an environmentally responsible manner.
No one questions that the country’s economy is changing and transforming the nation into a new, technologically-driven society. But the building of that new high-tech economy can be supported by an energetic rebuilding of the infrastructure in which HispanicLatino workers participate fully so that they can improve their own economic standing and increase significantly to the governmental revenues the country needs to support itself.
Though public debt is a great concern, the lack of jobs, a crumbling infrastructure and a marginal economy should worry everyone – and HispanicLatinos more so.
Feel free to forward these blogs that deal with business topics on Mondays, politics on Wednesdays and social and personal and professional development on Fridays. Additional thoughts are published invariably on Tuesdays or Thursdays.