Repairing Infrastructure Can Help Economy


My Sunday Business Washington Post column is out. This morning, we look at repairing the infrastructure of the US, and the impact it could have on the ailing economy.

The print version had the somewhat alarmist (but accurate) headline The public investment we need to make now, for our competitiveness, our jobs and our safety; the online version is the brief but also accurate hedder Repairing infrastructure can help repair economy.

Here’s an excerpt from the column:

“If you have spent much time traveling around the United States, you likely have noticed that our infrastructure looks a bit worn and tired and in need of some refreshing. If you spend much time traveling around the world, however, you will notice that our infrastructure is shockingly bad. So bad that it’s not an exaggeration to declare it a national disgrace, a global embarrassment and a massive security risk.”

The Post also included a scorecard of the US infrastructure from American Society of Civil Engineers —  seeing it laid out like this is very telling:
click for ginormous version of print edition


If we are going to be deficit spending — and that is the US history of the past 40 years — then let’s leave behind an infrastructure that the private sector can build on. That is far more productive than giving trillions of dollars to reckless bankers, tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans, or a war of choice in Iraq.

Instead, we can create a country that equals the best of Germany, Japan and China. The alternative is the sort of Austery that is leading to an entire continental recession in Europe.

The choice is ours . . .


Repairing infrastructure can help repair economy
Barry Ritholtz
Washington Post, October 23 2011

Washington Post Sunday, October 23 2011 page G6 (PDF)

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