So our national infrastructure gets a D+ from the American Society of Civil Engineers — and we have millions of unemployed people eager to work modernizing it. If we contracted with private enterprises to hire them to do the work those people would stop drawing government checks and start paying taxes and their added income would juice up their consumption and boost the economy.
Repairing bridges is so much cheaper than fixing them once they’ve collapsed (what with adding 4 hours to everyone’s commute for eight months, and stuff like that) . . . but the Republicans in Congress refuse to pass the American Jobs Act or anything else that would take advantage of today’s long-term interest rates to make this completely crucial investment in our future.
To my way of thinking, their refusal to do this falls little short of treason, but they don’t much care for my way of thinking (even though Lincoln and Eisenhower, both Republicans, were two of the nation’s greatest infrastructure presidents ever, and the business community and rich people would so benefit along with everyone else if we got to work getting back into shape) . . . so at least, now, there’s an app for that: I’m Stuck!
You put it on your phone and, if enough of us use it, drive Congress CRAZY until they finally cave in to blindingly compelling common sense.
(Enough of us probably won’t do it, but we should try anyway. And how do we report the giant problems we don’t see until they happen, like that bridge collapse, levee breach, dam burst or power black-out? The good news, for those of us long-term holders of GLDD, is that our inland waterways and harbors need a lot of dredging.)
McKinsey — no left-wing consultancy — estimates that we’re falling $160 billion short in our spending on infrastructure. Aren’t the Republicans supposed to be the stern parents who get you to do your homework and eat your vegetables while the Democrats smoke weed? Well, the economic equivalent of doing your homework and eating your vegetables is: maintaining your infrastructure. Delaying gratification to invest in a brighter future.
Quote of the Day
You see those charts that say if you put away $500 a year starting at age 20, by the time you're 50 you'd have a gazillion dollars. It just makes you ill that you didn't do it. You almost want to grab young people and shake 'em and say, 'Please don't make the same mistake I did. Please.'~James Carville
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