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Old 06-22-2012, 07:14 AM
 
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In the short term, they are since gov't spending is a variable in calculating GDP. In the long term, big infrastructure does not create jobs nor does it promote economic growth. It does not create the kind of new products and services that make lives better and attract new investment.
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Old 06-25-2012, 04:27 PM
 
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It may take another bridge collapse like I-35W to wake up this Congress. They have ignored warnings form ASCE and others who are aware of the conditions. Even if the economy were going great guns and there were jobs for everyone the work would be necessary. Since it isn't, we have the perfect opportunity to fix it while resources are available, and bids may never be lower.
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Old 06-25-2012, 04:49 PM
 
Location: Central CT, sometimes NH.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pvande55 View Post
It may take another bridge collapse like I-35W to wake up this Congress. They have ignored warnings form ASCE and others who are aware of the conditions. Even if the economy were going great guns and there were jobs for everyone the work would be necessary. Since it isn't, we have the perfect opportunity to fix it while resources are available, and bids may never be lower.
I fully agree. The interstates in Central Connecticut are in rough shape. There are huge seams open with 4 inch wide and equally deep cracks that are a potential death sentence to motorcyclists.

Many off ramps and overpasses are filled with cracks and holes and are especially dangerous at night or in the rain when they are hard to see and avoid.

Now is the time to make the repairs to our highways, bridges, electrical grid, dams, etc.
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Old 06-27-2012, 11:14 AM
 
19,337 posts, read 16,941,285 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lincolnian View Post
I fully agree. The interstates in Central Connecticut are in rough shape. There are huge seams open with 4 inch wide and equally deep cracks that are a potential death sentence to motorcyclists.

Many off ramps and overpasses are filled with cracks and holes and are especially dangerous at night or in the rain when they are hard to see and avoid.

Now is the time to make the repairs to our highways, bridges, electrical grid, dams, etc.
Those are expenses whereas damaged vehicles, hospital stays and funerals will be reported as private profit and increases in revenue.
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Old 06-27-2012, 12:27 PM
 
Location: Central CT, sometimes NH.
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Originally Posted by gwynedd1 View Post
Those are expenses whereas damaged vehicles, hospital stays and funerals will be reported as private profit and increases in revenue.
There are so many opportunities for growth in the US right within our own borders. Too much of the money taken in by the government has been transfered to select powerful groups and not enough to the citizens it is supposed to represent.
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Old 06-27-2012, 12:47 PM
 
Location: San Diego California
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There is a difference between maintaining existing infrastructure and building new infrastructure that increases efficiency.
The former is an expense, while the latter is an investment.
While there are some infrastructure projects that could increase efficiency, like a computerized traffic light system in cities to alleviate gridlock, most of what our country needs now in the way of infrastructure is repairs of existing systems.
While that may provide jobs, it does not provide growth.
Growth comes from manufacturing. The kind of manufacturing that we have been, and continue to export to other countries.
We will not see growth in our economy until we begin to repatriate these factories and reestablish our manufacturing base.
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Old 06-27-2012, 12:54 PM
 
Location: Central CT, sometimes NH.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jimhcom View Post
There is a difference between maintaining existing infrastructure and building new infrastructure that increases efficiency.
The former is an expense, while the latter is an investment.
While there are some infrastructure projects that could increase efficiency, like a computerized traffic light system in cities to alleviate gridlock, most of what our country needs now in the way of infrastructure is repairs of existing systems.
While that may provide jobs, it does not provide growth.
Growth comes from manufacturing. The kind of manufacturing that we have been, and continue to export to other countries.
We will not see growth in our economy until we begin to repatriate these factories and reestablish our manufacturing base.
I agree. Check my OP. Repair is a part. Developing the next generation transportation system/products, grid, power generation and distribution is a growth opportunity.
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Old 07-19-2012, 05:44 AM
 
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We have enough money being spent on infrastructure and this call for more spending is more about tossing money out the window and hoping it sticks to something. We need a massive reduction in federal, state and local spending. We are too far into debt and need to make cuts.
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Old 07-19-2012, 08:04 AM
 
Location: San Diego California
6,797 posts, read 6,628,173 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lincolnian View Post
I agree. Check my OP. Repair is a part. Developing the next generation transportation system/products, grid, power generation and distribution is a growth opportunity.
While I agree that infrastructure repair and updating is necessary to maintain our standard of living, we will not see the bang for the buck that we saw in the 1930 to 1960 period because the majority of the needed infrastructure dollars spent going forward will be to maintain existing structures, instead of building new ones.
Without this maintenance though we will lose ground and business efficiency as well as our standard of living will suffer.
It is certainly a better use of public funds than fighting wars that protect oil and banking corporate interests, which only makes the elite richer.
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Old 07-19-2012, 06:46 PM
 
Location: Ohio
22,798 posts, read 15,942,176 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lincolnian View Post
Infrastructure was supposed to be a big part of the stimulus package.
It was.

Perhaps you misunderstood the meaning of infrastructure. When Obama said "infrastructure" he meant the political infrastructure -- as in the people who supported him, not your highways.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lincolnian View Post
It is reported that $2.2 trillion dollars is needed to meet current infrastructure needs.
That's comparable to my sources. Additionally, you need $3.5 TRILLION to upgrade your entire electrical grid and infrastructure.

I can see why you'd want the roads repaired....no point sitting at home with no electricity.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lincolnian View Post
To bring our infrastructure up to 21st-Century standards the investment would be even higher.
You just contradicted yourself. If you want a 21st Century infrastructure, then you expand freight rail service. Building roads does not create jobs, but building freight rail lines does.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lincolnian View Post
Instead of kicking the can down the road America should show its leadership and vision by establishing a "race to the moon" charge to our society to develop the world-class infrastructure, energy systems, building technology, and next-generation transportation products that work in conjunction with a new national infrastructure.
Prove to me you'll have access to oil, or be able to afford it 25 years from now.

You're going to spend $2.2 TRILLION on infrastructure when people might not even be using them? Oh, I get it. It must be kind of like the Ghost Autobahn (a well-maintained and repaired autobahn that was never used).

That is an enormous gamble. And if you fail, then you are that much worse off.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lincolnian View Post
This mission would create more jobs for our economy than we currently have workers to support and would act as a driver for construction, manufacturing, and small businesses. It also would alleviate emigration issues since the amount of work generated would be greater than the number of people we have to fill them. Cities in decline across America could see a renaissance as new residents move in to get to work.
Nope, all that fails. Highway construction requires highly specialized people who are trained and certified. Your mother of three who got laid off from her clerical position has no chance of getting a job in highway construction, other than maybe as a flagger (and even that requires certification and training in some States now).

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lincolnian View Post
The country would also benefit from reduced dependence on foreign oil as new energy, building, and transportation systems would significantly improve our energy efficiency and could take advantage of existing resources such as natural gas that could be integrated into the new infrastructure systems.
Nope. Another fail there. There is one, and only one, way to reduce your dependence on foreign oil and that means surrendering your life-style and quality of life for a much lower standard of living. That also means destroying your pharmaceutical industry, which is heavily dependent on foreign oil to make the drugs people need to live. And then you'd lose about 5 Million jobs permanently.

If you want to change the infrastructure, then expand rail freight, eliminate the trucks that destroy your highways, and reduce your need for diesel, which will allow you to export more oil.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lincolnian View Post
Infrastructure is the key to economic growth.

Was
. Was the key to economic growth. Not any more. I'm not convinced your economy is capable of more growth. You are an advanced post-Industrialized State. I would say for growth to be more than just average, you'll need to completely overhaul all of your systems, from federal government to State government, counties and cities; you'll have squeeze out all that inefficiency. You'll have to reallocate Capital to more efficient uses, and highway infrastructure is not an efficient use of Capital. High speed rail is not an efficient use of Capital either -- not until you first get your rail freight going.

Remember the world has never seen fully industrialized States with technology operating for any real length of time. There's no logic or reason to suggest that growth must continue.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lincolnian View Post
That's why my OP called for 21st Century infrastructure. It is not just roads. It's the power grid, natural gas lines, next-generation transportation systems, etc.
That's impossible since there's no leadership from the White House or Congress. Try electing some leaders for once in your life, and maybe you can do some of those things, but for now, it's highly likely that nothing will happen very slowly.

Economically...

Mircea

Quote:
Originally Posted by Forest_Hills_Daddy View Post
In the short term, they are since gov't spending is a variable in calculating GDP. In the long term, big infrastructure does not create jobs nor does it promote economic growth. It does not create the kind of new products and services that make lives better and attract new investment.
Very good. That is exactly right. You cannot export infrastructure, and if Americans want jobs, then American must comply with all of the following three laws:

1] America must manufacture goods that are in demand globally (-- and no bombs and AWACs and Bradley IFVs don't count); or America must offer a service that is in demand (-- and no, teaching dictatorships how to set up an operate a secret police apparatus with torture rooms doesn't count either); and

2] The goods America makes or the services provided by America must be of the highest possible quality -- you have a real issue there because you have real competition; and

3] The goods America makes or the services America provides must be competitively priced -- and there's where you lose.

Americans are going to have to have their wages/salaries cut 30% to 50% in order to compete globally, or they can sit around while nothing slowly happens for the next 30 years until the rest of the world catches up in wages.

Globally...

Mircea
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