Small Government = Bridge Collapses

1 comment February 16th, 2010at 11:28am Posted by Eli

This is what happens when you view taxes and government spending as the enemy:

Two years ago, a bridge inspector who had stopped for lunch in Philadelphia’s Port Richmond neighborhood happened to glance up at a viaduct that carries Interstate 95 over the neighborhood. He noticed a 6-foot crack in a 15-foot column that was supporting the highway. His sandwich was quickly forgotten. Two miles of the highway had to be closed for three days for emergency repairs to prevent a catastrophe from occurring.

These kinds of problems are not peculiar to Pennsylvania. New Orleans was lost for want of an adequate system of levees and floodwalls. Lawrence Summers, President Obama’s chief economic adviser, tells us that 75 percent of America’s public schools have structural deficiencies. The nation’s ports, inland waterways, drinking water and wastewater systems — you name it — are hurting to one degree or another.

Ignoring these problems imperils public safety, diminishes our economic competitiveness, is penny-wise and pound-foolish, and results in tremendous missed opportunities to create new jobs on a vast scale.

Competitors are leaving us behind when it comes to infrastructure investment. China is building a network of 42 high-speed rail lines, while the U.S. has yet to build its first. Other nations are well ahead of us in the deployment of broadband service and green energy technology. We spend scandalous amounts of time sitting in traffic jams or enduring the endless horrors of airline travel. Low-cost, high-speed Internet access is a science-fiction fantasy in many parts of the United States.

Even if the magic of the free market were somehow to address this, it’s hard to imagine that rural areas would get a whole lot of help, as they just wouldn’t be profitable enough to be worth the trouble.

Entry Filed under: Economy,Republicans

1 Comment

  • 1. Ol'Froth  |  February 17th, 2010 at 10:41 am

    Much of rural america would still lack electrical connections, because its not profitable to build power plants andrun power lines to so few customers. That is why rural electric coops were created in the 1930’s, via federal intervention. The coop principle could also be applied to broadband, but the federal government would have to be a partner in that, which the republicants in congress will never allow.

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