Thursday, June 17, 2021

Commentary: The Right Way to Modernize Infrastructure

Everything these days seems to count as infrastructure. Child care is infrastructure. Elder care is infrastructure. Even court-packing is infrastructure. But in a world where everything is infrastructure, nothing is infrastructure, and our existing infrastructure suffers as a result. Take, for example, President Biden’s recently revised American Jobs Plan, a $2 trillion boondoggle that prioritizes pretty much everything except for the roads, bridges, ports, and waterways that constitute actual infrastructure. The plan comes after we already appropriated $605 billion for infrastructure and transportation in the last three COVID-19 relief bills. 


  1. I don't think that this is a new thing. Wasn't it a known fact that the sea walls defending the New Orleans area from tropical storms were in a state of disrepair for years before the place was destroyed by a tropical storm? Nobody was held to account for negligence even though the disaster could have been avoided by doing timely maintenance on the levies. I suppose that the problem with infrastructure is that it requires people with useful skills to build it. government spending isn't needed to provide employment for people with useful skills, those people can always find employment. What is needed is government spending that provides employment for people without any useful skills.

    1. Yes, the levees were very much in disrepair, though the money was allocated and went to the various levee districts. Where, then, the money went into people's pockets and not into levee maintenance and hardening.

      One of the biggest things to come out of Katrina was the Corps of Engineers attempting to wrest control of all the levee districts from the locals.

    2. "What is needed is government spending that provides employment for people without any useful skills." We have that already. It's called "Congress". Of course they've expanded into a number of 3-letter subsidiaries.

  2. That timely maintenance was, at least in part, blocked by our friends in the Audubon Society and Sierra Club, among others. The corruption in the Levee Board was also nothing short of spectactular - to the point that even African dicators and South American juntas were offended by it.

  3. The problem runs deeper than this. The Republican party was formed to promote "internal improvements" i.e. infrastructure. This was a scam whereas congress used citizen's money to pay for said "improvements". Who got the contracts? Well, the money-men who paid for the politicians of course. It was a win-win-lose proposition. The money-men won. The politicians one. The citizens lost - at least to the extent of overpaying for substandard "improvements". Fast forward to modern times.

    Maybe someone can explain why after decades of massive spending, all of a sudden our roads, bridges, etc. are falling apart. As with everything else in government, revenue is not the problem. Spending is the problem. The politicians were sent to DC to buy a loaf of bread and they come back with candy. Politics is poison. Our nation is dying a slow death from it.

  4. A simple solution to the infrastructure Financing problems, Return the Gas tax money to the highway funds account. If they would return that money this conversation about infrastructure funding bill would be a moot point. Fat Chance of that happening.


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