Wednesday, October 06, 2010

Our Failing Transportation System

U.S. investment in preservation and development of transportation infrastructure lags so far behind that of China, Russia and European nations that it will lead to "a steady erosion of the social and economic foundations for American prosperity in the long run."

So said a report released Monday by a panel of 80 transportation experts.  The panel concluded that we need to spend an additional $134B to $262B each and every year between now and 2035 to get our roads, rails, and airways up to snuff.  That's certainly not chump change and is a good barometer of how bad our transportation systems have become.

If we start right away we can even get a big head start on it.  As Ezra Klein pointed out the cost of labor and materials in the construction biz is extremely low right now.  Why?  Because no one is building anything.  So not only does the U.S. get the bonus of improved transportation for our future economical benefit, we will put idle people to work.  More people with more money to spend might just get our economy going again.

Combine the low costs of labor and materials with the extremely low costs of borrowing right now and it becomes criminal not to start work!  Buying capital goods that improve production when the cost of the purchase price is low is the kind of decision any competent business man would make.

Oh wait.

Republicans running for governor in a handful of states could block, or significantly delay, one of President Obama’s signature initiatives: his plan to expand the passenger rail system and to develop the nation’s first bullet-train service.

Election day is November 2nd.  Do you know where your polling station is?



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