Some deep questions exist...
Twice a week I make a 76 mile one-way commute from my home in Mechanicsville, Virginia, to Quantico. I'm on the road for an hour and 15 minutes as I live close to the interstate. I work another 2 days, at least the equivalent, at home. I'm very blessed to have this type of job (and blessed to have a wife that gave me XM radio for Christmas).
However, a 77 mile commute from Luray, Virginia, in the middle of the Shenandoah Valley, to George Mason University in Fairax is insane. 90 minutes one way on a good day. 3 hours on a bad day. Every day. To make half the wage required to live in the vicinity. At least the school is trying to help as much as it can.
No, I don't know the answers as to how to rectify these types of situations. However, I view the health of these types of workers as a family values issue. I view the time spent away from family as a moral issue. I think this type of issue effects families in a way that the controversial topics the Religious Right hammer at never will.
Somehow, someway, moral discourse in this country must acknowledge and grapple with these daily and not-ideal situations.
Will it be easy? No.
Can this problem be rectified? I'm not sure.
Can we at least try and do better? You bet.
We can't operate this country in a business as usual manner. We must recognize that this is a problem and discuss why this situation exists and make smart decisions to at least prevent it from worsening and at best providing pragmatic solutions.