The American Interest
Analysis by Walter Russell Mead & Staff
WRM in WSJ: Less High Speed Rail, More Telecommuting

WRM has an op-ed on infostructure in the WSJ today. He writes:

Lobbying for more highways and high-speed rail misses the point. What’s needed instead is support for advancing the Information Age economy. Government policy could reward companies that promote telecommuting and teleconferencing, for example, or otherwise facilitate the transition. (Greens take note: These and other business-friendly policies would reduce greenhouse-gas emissions.)

There is still much work to do to build the information superhighways we will need to compete in this century and the defense systems that can protect them against cyberattack. Government will have a significant role to play in creating a suitable regulatory structure and policy framework to accelerate this process. Yes, our existing roads, bridges and highways should be maintained, and in some cases enhanced. Even so, more physical infrastructure isn’t our main need at this point.

We don’t want to build the 21st-century equivalent of a new and improved national canal network. Infostructure rather than infrastructure should be the priority.

Check out the full piece here.

Published on October 16, 2012 11:58 am