The US Fails to Invest in Infrastructure

United States spending on infrastructure pales in comparison to other countries, where infrastructure and public transit are high priority. The money that goes toward keeping us in our cars should be used to create connectivity between cities.
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Tuesday, December 4, 2012 15:40 EST | 6
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Simon Hersom
Simon Hersom  
12/5/2012 12:54:21 PM
User Rank Urban Legend
Re: Depressing
Maybe something does need to happen before such things get on to a political agenda.

I always understood that the reason for the huge run of utility privatisations in the 80's by Margaret Thatcher was not political dogma, nor the desire/need to raise cash but the realisation that many of those utilities had invested nothing in the decades since WW2.  By selling-off the gas. water, telecoms, and rail utilities the problems of time-expired equipment were transferred to the new shareholders who could transfer the replacement costs to their customers.

Certainly it was true that a huge investment in the London Underground network was kicked-off by a fire at Kings Cross that killed 31 people in 1987.  Complacent management and untrained staff conspired to create a lethal situation, but one that was found to be easily replicated across the network

Nicole Ferraro
Nicole Ferraro  
12/5/2012 11:14:16 AM
User Rank Staff
Re: Depressing
Toby, interesting points... so what you're saying is you think that the constant battle to either define ourselves as "rural" America or "urban" America is at least in part responsible for holding us back here?

12/5/2012 10:52:55 AM
User Rank Urban Legend
Re: Depressing
@Nicole: I have to say, while some aspects of the US urban landscape have conspired to bring natural advantages (younger cities with less complex zoning, street systems etc) there are many aspects of urban advancement now in evidence around the world where the US has simply been left behind, inter-city rail being a perfect example.

I am not sure but it seems that the vision behind urban investment which led to the development of the great American cities may have been lost in struggle between to redefine the American heartland as the the small farm owned by the self suffcient, self made and and self focused homesteader rather than the urban metropolis and it's varied and mixed inhabitants.



Nicole Ferraro
Nicole Ferraro  
12/5/2012 9:36:20 AM
User Rank Staff
Re: Depressing
@tbulone: You echo my concerns, fears, and sadness here. Our lack of investment in infrastructure and education is worrying and disgraceful.

I, too, don't see the US making proper investments unless something big and bad happens. Who can feel secure about the future if that's the case? You mention "third-world" status, and I think you're spot on. I'll take it a step further and say that the US will eventually be looking to catch up to innovations implemented in the third world where we'll see better advancements in areas like solar energy happening than we're seeing here.

12/4/2012 10:25:18 PM
User Rank Urban Legend
Re: Depressing
Nicole, it is depressing to see such a pitiful investment in the lifelines of our cities.  One of the fastest ways the U.S. can get to third-world status is to neglect its roads, bridges, pipelines, and electric grids.  Unfortunately, I don't think anything will be done until a major catastrophe occurs.

By the way, if you think that's depressing, federal spending on education in this country is somewhere around 3 percent, and federal spending on the space program is less than one-half of 1 percent.  With such anemic levels of investment in the future, the very tapestry of America's future will surely unravel.

Nicole Ferraro
Nicole Ferraro  
12/4/2012 6:52:31 PM
User Rank Staff
Another great video blog from Mayor Manny Diaz, but I am depressed after watching this. Less than a half of a percent investment in infrastructure? Will the US wait until everything built and funded by previous generations is destroyed before learning to invest again for the future?

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