Why This Is Exactly the Time to Rebuild America’s Infrastructure

Rebuild Americas Infrastructure

Cars are strewn on the collapsed portion of the Interstate 35W bridge, which stretches between Minneapolis and St. Paul, after it collapsed Wednesday, Aug. 1, 2007, into the Mississippi River during evening rush hour. (Brandi Jade Thomas | Pioneer Press)

Why Rebuild America’s Infrastructure?

Seems like only yesterday conservative nabobs of negativity predicted America’s ballooning budget deficit would generate soaring inflation and crippling costs of additional federal borrowing.

Remember Standard & Poor’s downgrade of the United States? Recall the intense worry about investors’ confidence in government bonds — America’s IOUs?

Hmmm.

Last week ten-year yields on U.S. Treasuries closed at 1.83 percent.

In other words, they were wrong.

In fact, it’s cheaper than ever for the United States to borrow. That’s because global investors desperately want the safety of dollars. Almost everywhere else on the globe is riskier. Europe is in a debt crisis, many developing nations are gripped by fears the contagion will spread to them, Japan remains in critical condition, China’s growth is slowing.

Put this together with two other facts:

  • Robert ReichUnemployment in America remains sky-high. 14 million Americans are out of work and 25 million are looking for full-time jobs.
  • The nation’s infrastructure is crumbling. Our roads, bridges, water and sewer systems, subways, gas pipelines, ports, airports, and school buildings are desperately in need of repair. Deferred maintenance is taking a huge toll.
Now connect the dots. Anyone with half a brain will see this is the ideal time to borrow money from the rest of the world to put Americans to work rebuilding the nation’s infrastructure.

Problem is, too many in Washington have less than half a brain.

Robert Reich
Robert Reich’s Blog

To read more about America’s infrastructure follow these links:

We Ignore Our Infrastructure at Our Peril by Carl Zimring

LA’s Reluctance to Bet on Black by Anthony Samad

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Comments

  1. says

    Reich here is truly eloquent in his brevity.

    Reich proposes – and shows how – to do exactly what commenter Wood and the rest of us want: rebuild infrastructure without any need to raid existing funds dedicated to other purposes.

    Yes (as Wood suggests) the rebuild may end up creating fewer jobs than we’d like: but it would create some. Yes (again as Wood notes) some funds already are available or should be: but in case these funds don’t suffice, Reich’s proposal to borrow from abroad makes great sense.

    In any event, infrastructure rebuild would maintain and add to the nation’s real wealth and economic base.

  2. harry wood says

    ARE THE JOBS YOU ARE TALKING ABOUT SHOVEL READY LIKE THE LAST BUNCH or are they really real. Repairing bridges is tricky and most road repairs have a few manual labor jobs and a lot of jobs where the worker is not holding a shovel but driving a machine.

  3. harry wood says

    By the way, the same thing happened to the excess social security collections. If our government wants to spend money on something, then discuss it and find the money to do it,but DO NOT TAKE IT OUT OF ANOTER FUND.

  4. harry wood says

    I looked up the federal gas tax and found that it is to go for road and bridge repairs. I also found out that 60% of it went for those projects but 40% has gone for non road projects. I do not care who is the PotUS or the speaker or what ever, that road tax money is being collected for a purpose and a lot of it was spent elsewhere and I am a little ticked. So who ever, congress or white house, spent that money for something other than roads and bridges is on my non-voting list.

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