My daughter has discovered American Girl Dolls - and she is in LOVE.
She has a doll - handed down to her my by our niece. This doll goes everywhere with us - from the grocery to soccer practice and then to bed with my daughter at night.
Somehow, the American Girl Corporation figured out that I had a five-year old daughter - who might be interested in American Girl Dolls and sent us a catalog. The catalog has everything a little girl could ever want for her doll. From horses to tents to clothes for every occasion - the doll can have it all.
And my daughter wants it all.
And she's having a hard time understanding that she can't have it all. We're trying to teach her that unless she uses her own money (which totals about $5) to pay for things she can't have them.
That's a tough lesson for a five year old.
But it's not just a tough lesson for her - it's a tough lesson for all of us. And it's not just true for the things we want - like a bigger home or a newer car. It's also true when it comes to some of the basic transportation services we all expect.
We all want our roads and bridges, airports and riverports, and our rail lines and transit systems to be perfectly maintained and improved before we know we need to maintain and improve them.
And - we can have all of that - if we pay for it.
The difference is that, while my daughter only has $5, she also has doting grandparents, The Easter Bunny, Santa Clause, and birthdays where gifts of her choosing are abundant.
For all of us who depend on safe, reliable access provided by the transportation network there are no holidays that provide new buses to our transit systems, no birthday celebrations for our highways and bridges that bring revenues for maintenance and new construction, and no doting relatives to bring improved rail lines, riverports and airports.
For all of us to have access to the safe, reliable transportation network we depend on - we all must pay for it.
And if we don't pay for it then we don't have it.
And if we don't have it, we stand to lose a lot more than an American Girl Doll.
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