Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Infrastructure; the skeleton of our nation


"This dangerous scenario is not merely some abstract concern. Investment shortfalls mean that much-needed maintenance and modernization are not being done and our infrastructure systems are deteriorating. For the most part, this isn’t something dramatic you will notice overnight, but a gradual worsening of conditions over time. Your commute will become less reliable. Your shipments will take longer. You may experience more electrical outages and water issues. Occasionally, we will observe tragic events like the collapse of bridges seen recently in Minnesota and Washington. The deterioration of infrastructure has direct and indirect costs, sometimes measured in human lives. Naturally, a systemic failure presents an incredible direct cost.
Each infrastructure sector is linked to another. A failure of one adds pressure to another. For example, deteriorating conditions on our nation’s roads may shift goods to travel by rail or barge on the inland waterway system.  As we look onward over the next generation, the gap between allocated investment in surface infrastructure and the necessary funding widens. By 2020 the overall cost of deficient infrastructure will grow to $1.2 trillion for businesses and $611 billion for households under current investment trends."

Those who scream "we can't spend tax dollars!" don't seem to mind if we go back to the ages of serfs and lords, where everybody else just works to keep the wealthy  lifestyle of the elite, while the rest of us live in intolerable conditions.  The country has a need for infrastructure just like a family does.  Or a city.  Or yourself, for that matter.  If there is no basic structure underlying any of these, then all your time is spent working on what the infrastructure should be providing. Transportation, communication, water, etc. are simply essential. Not paying for them or their maintenance sets us all back.

No comments: