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bridge collapse

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.

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Put this together with two other facts:

  • Unemployment 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