U.S. infrastructure: Addressing the needs

  • Article by: Myles Spicer
  • Updated: June 19, 2013 - 7:47 PM

The American Society of Civil Engineers 2013 report card on America’s infrastructure says it succinctly. The grade the ASCE gives for our deteriorating roads, dams, bridges, water and sewer systems, aviation, and other infrastructure components is a resounding … “D.” That means the facilities studied are in poor shape, and worse, that they place many Americans at risk.

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myob_STJun. 19, 13 7:54 PM

Amen, Mr. Spicer! Now, how to bring this about? There's only one answer: political campaigns must be shortened and made more affordable and then publicly financed to cut out the lobbyists. And how to bring THAT about? We need some candidates with spines! Clearly, the already-elected officials have no interest in losing their lobbying gravy trains. I read in the news lately that there's an shortage of organs available for donation. I've got a spine - and I'm not afraid to use it - and I'd like to leave mine to any politician who needs it.

pumiceJun. 19, 13 8:47 PM

Military-industrial-Congressional complex in action: "[T]here are many people employed by the contractor, Lockheed Martin, [to build the F-35 joint strike fighter] in various congressional districts; additionally, Lockheed contributed funds to 425 members of Congress last election cycle."

brotherkennyJun. 19, 13 8:50 PM

Unfortunately elections are won by appealing to the interests of low intelligence voters. Thus the emotional issues with very little real affect on our everyday lives are seen as the pinnacle of political endeavor. Bridges only get a boring practical person interested. It just doesn't appeal to the TV nation. We need political theatre.

elmore1Jun. 19, 1310:46 PM

Let's elect some moderates that will make common sense decisions on supporting infrastructure instead of spending money to buy votes.

PrivateJun. 20, 1312:57 AM

To save all you conservatives out there the trouble of thinking, let me offer a few easy responses to Mr. Spicer: "Bridges? Just socialism for People who want to cross rivers" "Dams? What right does the government have to tell the water which way to flow?" "Infrastructure? Just another excuse for the tax-and-spend crowd."

unionbossmanJun. 20, 13 6:00 AM

Revive a WPA-like program. Encourage those sitting on their backsides receiving free money to wrk on an Infrastructure project or lose their free money. It worked for our ancestors. Are we to good to be held to the same standards?

hobie2Jun. 20, 13 8:39 AM

First - Why should the government be doing this "to create jobs"? How about the governments-of-the-people that own the pieces of infrastructure fix them because the pieces need fixing?... Second, taking without question the findings of an organization that represents Civil Engineers about if they should have more work is like taking the word of the Defense Department as to whether we need a more and better military - like nodding yes to a fox who says we need a hole in the hen house to let in more air for the health of the chickens.

dschachenmeyerJun. 20, 13 9:57 AM

Even if you accept the authors premise, the math does not work. He states we can fix all of these infrastructure needs by cutting the F-35 program. The program annually costs the government $12.6B according to the author. However he also states that for roads alone, government currently spends $101B annually and should be spending $170B. That's a difference of $69B per year. And this doesn't include all of the other infrastructure needs. Even if you do completely cancel the F-35 program, where is additional $56.4B in roads investment alone going to come from?

gandalf48Jun. 20, 1310:41 AM

The stimulus (~$800 billion) could have easily fixed all these issues and then some, it's really too bad much of that money was wasted and less than 10% of that money was spent on infrastructure.

dschachenmeyerJun. 20, 1312:51 PM

Apparently doing basic math that the author failed to do gets you lots of negative pokes. Good to know.


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