“A big infrastructure package involving direct government spending would, politically and economically, be a slam-dunk compared with other misguided investments and policies, like building a border wall or cutting taxes for the wealthy. Experts say that the United States needs a huge increase in spending on public works after years of neglect and to prepare for the increased threat from climate change. The American Society of Civil Engineers gives the country’s infrastructure a grade of D+ and says that $3.6 trillion in spending is required by 2020.
Mr. Trump would also bolster his popularity, something he clearly craves (55 percent of voters disapprove of his job performance, according to a Quinnipiac University poll released last week). Three-quarters of people surveyed by Gallup last year said that they wanted the federal government to increase infrastructure spending. And there would be little political opposition because many Democrats, including liberal stalwarts like Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont, are practically begging the president to work with them on this issue. Last month, Democratic senators introduced a detailed $1 trillion plan.”
No mention of how to pay for it, or a single Republican on board.
Here is a top comment:
Larry Lundgren Sweden 8 hours ago
Let me tell you about hidden infrastructure that if added in the USA would put many people to work, people of many skill levels, and would make city by city better.
The only way for many readers to understand this hidden infrastructure would be to visit me here in Linköping or Göteborg because once these elements of the infrastructure are hidden there is nothing, of course, to see.
1) All electrical lines and now fiber optic cables are buried even quite far out into the countryside to the outer edge of areas where apartment complexes are being put up.
2) Most, perhaps all, cities are heated by the “fjärrvärme” system, literally distance heating but usually called district heating in English. A network of insulated pipes, the largest perhaps 0,5 – 1,0 m in diameter extends from each solid-waste incinerator plant about 1 m below ground surface to reach every building in the network. Water as hot as 100 C leaves each plant, distributes heat to every endpoint and returns, then at a lower temperature.
3) Ground-Source Geothermal Heat Pump systems (Champlain & Saint Michaels Colleges, VT). A completely invisible system of drill holes instead of, for example, a coal fired power plant.
These invisible networks mean far fewer power shutdowns in storms, more pleasing environment, and a heating system that has kept me warm 24/7 365 for the past 15 years without fail.
That is what I call Public Works that work.
Dual citizen – US SE
President Eisenhower got us the interstate highway system by correctly labeling it a defense project. One of the seeds for this effort was planted in 1919 when he was part of a convoy testing feasibility of military movement by convoy from Washington DC to San Francisco. That trip took 62 days and was fraught with difficulty.
Having a huge military footprint is useless if no one can supply their state-side bases or the water is undrinkable or the base is underwater.
We won WWII in large part not because of our military force but because of the industrial capacity backstopping the military. Infrastructure is not sexy but maintaining it and rebuilding it where necessary is a powerful force multiplier which also makes our country eminently more livable for non-combatants.