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Alas and Alackaday
American Sclerosis, Infrastructure Edition
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  • Anthony

    “Standard & Poor’s see crumbling or poorly maintained infrastructure as a potential threat to economic productivity and an incentive for state and local governments to take on greater levels of debt.” See: http://www.city-journal.org/2015/eon1104ar.html

  • http://radical-moderation.blogspot.com/ TheRadicalModerate

    I can’t help but think that we’d be a lot better at getting projects completed, even if they were done inefficiently and oozed corruption at the seams, if it weren’t for the money being so insanely tight. It was easy to grease the skids (and palms) before most of the budget had succumbed to metastatic entitlements. But now that it has, doing these projects efficiently has become necessary. Unfortunately, we never learned how.

  • vepxistqaosani

    Two minor objections:

    1. Politicians would much rather have their photographs (or Instagrams) taken while breaking ground for new construction than while authorizing repair work on some dingy old bridge. This little observation explains much of the “infrastructure problem.”

    2. “Lefty” vs. “business friendly” is an opposition that should be retired. Both parties do all they can to procure lucrative contracts for their business allies, and those allies often engage in double dealing. Unions, of course, are never guilty of double dealing, except for the old Teamsters. Why else would that scourge of Wall Street, Hillary Clinton (a lefty and a Democrat, by the way), collect so many speaking fees and donations — both to her political campaign and to her family’s foundation, as if there were a difference?

  • Anthony

    What we have before us is an operative and a formal political-legal system (thoroughly inferred by WRM).

  • Mark Michael

    Recall that the $800 billion fiscal stimulus program of Obama, Nancy Pelosi, & Harry Reid passed in Feb. 2009 highlighted infrastructure spending. In recent laments about the crumbling state of our infrastructure, the media seldom recall or ask, “Hey, taxpayers thought they were spending a huge amount to restore our infrastructure in Feb. 2009! Whatever happened to all that money?” Political junkies then will remember Obama’s offhand remark, “I learned there are no ‘shovel-ready’ projects!” But it turns out the great majority of that $800 billion was never targeted to the infrastructure. Instead lots of it went to state governments to help pay their bills that lower state tax collections suddenly put them in the red – meet their balanced budget requirements. Pay civil servants salaries and pension inputs. Pay Medicaid bills. Also, “green” technology projects got a fair number of billions of dollars – most of which did not work out – I think 19 of those projects went bankrupt, including famous ones like Solyndra.

    Dr. John Taylor and some colleagues did an in-depth study of that $800 billion stimulus spending. I think they noted only a tiny fraction, maybe $20 billion or $30 billion actually was targeted to infrastructure spending from the beginning. Truth of the matter, Democrats historically have not been interested in roads, bridges, airports – but rather in mass transit in cities, trains for intercity traffic – while Republicans like roads, bridges, airports, since their constituencies are more likely to use those and not mass transit within cities.

  • Jacksonian_Libertarian

    We know the direction we must go, from the vicious attacks on the TEA Party conservatives by the MSM, Leftists, and Establishment Republicans. These vicious attacks are made out of fear that the graft will all dry up, if the TEA Party conservatives get their stated objectives of limited, Constitutional Government. The Parasites all growing fat off the Taxpayer, will find themselves out in the cold.

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