Friday, August 15, 2014

The Name of the Day... buried deep within a really good piece about the depressing state of American infrastructure (my emphasis):

America's transportation structures look all the more frayed next to those in advanced economies in Europe and Japan, or in China, which has been busily constructing high-speed rail and new airports.

U.S. spending for transportation and other infrastructure accounts for 2.4% of its economy versus about 12% for China, says economist David Dollar, a former China director for the World Bank. Europe's infrastructure spending is about 5%.

Dollar, now with the Brookings Institution, says visiting Chinese officials and business leaders frequently remark how surprised they are at America's declining infrastructure, sometimes asking whether they can help finance improvements.

Seriously, when my son and I drove across the country two years ago I told him there was no way -- no way! -- that the Interstate Highway System could be built in today's tea party environment.

Infrastructure improvements, according to Leonard Lardaro, an economics professor at the University of Rhode Island, "are investment-oriented activities. They generate future growth."

That makes sense; Alexander Hamilton and Abraham Lincoln knew as much. So how on earth do we get out of this predicament?

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