Tuesday, May 17, 2011

America's Third-World Transportation Infrastructure

The U.S. is going to have serious problems generating wealth for its citizens for the remainder of this century if it can't effectively deliver goods to markets.  The public infrastructure of America's transportation system is degrading without remediation.  The BRIC bloc will soon have so many shiny new airports and railways between them that exporters just won't be able to stay away.  Multinational firms will have no difficulty avoiding the U.S. if we make the choice easy for them by not investing in transportation here at home.

This bad news cries out for a remedy.  The administration wasted a golden opportunity to fund a new golden age of mass transit funding.  Instead of promoting compact urban cores that favor trains over cars, we blew stimulus dough on median strips and traffic controls. 

The rest of the world might laugh at us for our national shortsightedness, but they're too busy building infrastructure to notice our foibles.  We can do better than this as a nation.  All we have to do is spend the $2T on infrastructure instead of on middle class entitlements, Wall Street bailouts, and open-ended occupations.