Friday, March 10, 2017

"Decaying infrastructure" -- who decides?

Again there is a news story about America's decaying infrastructure, this time saying instead of Donald Trump's $1 trillion we need to invest $4.6 trillion over 8 years.

This sounds like the country is falling apart around us. The American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) gives the nation's infrastructure a grade of D+, not even a passing grade. Yet we seem to survive and some even think we prosper with this abject failure around us.

Before everybody panics, consider the source of these estimates. The D+ grade and $4.6 trillion estimate come from the civil engineering professional group. What do civil engineers do? They design, build, and repair infrastructure. What happens when infrastructure spending increases? More jobs for civil engineers!

We've been hearing about decaying infrastructure in the United States for years and years. The report cards all seem to give a grade of D and tell us how much more money we need to spend. However, while there is certainly infrastructure in need of repair in the United States, relying on a group which has a financial interest in fixing infrastructure seems the wrong way to judge.

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