The US needs to invest in our infrastructure

Discussion in 'Current Events' started by kiwiman127, Jan 26, 2011.

  1. kiwiman127
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    kiwiman127 Comfortably Moderate Supporting Member

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    I live in Minneapolis and right after the collapse of the 35W bridge that caused 13 people to lose their lives I started to look into the state of the US infrastructure.
    The best and non-biased report I found came from Popular Mechanics.
    It stated:
    And not just in Minnesota. To many Americans, the I-35W disaster wasn’t an isolated tragedy, but the latest in a barrage of infrastructure failures—from the northeastern blackout in 2003 and the breached New Orleans levees in 2005 to falling concrete in Boston’s Big Dig in 2006. Perhaps the nation had passed a tipping point and was entering a period of steep physical decline.

    When the bridge crumbled, Popular Mechanics was midway through a yearlong investigation of the country’s infrastructure, focusing on solutions being developed and put into practice right now, at locations such as a massive lock system on the Ohio River, an electric-grid research facility in Washington state and the country’s busiest port, located in California. We found promising technologies and innovative projects.

    But there are larger lessons to be learned as well. Americans need to face the sobering reality that the country’s infrastructure is in trouble. Most of it was built in the 20th century, during the greatest age of construction the world has seen. The continent was wired for electricity and phone service, and colossal projects, including the Hoover Dam, the Golden Gate Bridge and the interstate highway system, were completed—along with thousands of smaller bridges, water tunnels and more. We are living off an inheritance of steel-and-concrete wonders, grander than anything built by Rome, constructed by everyday giants bearing trowels, welding torches and rivet guns.

    To fix our infrastructure, from dilapidated levees to congested roadways and ports, the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) has estimated that the country needs to spend $1.6 trillion over five years. Only $1 trillion of that, the organization says, has been allocated or promised. Accepting those numbers, we need an additional $600 billion to reverse the slide of infrastructure, a figure that seems as difficult to produce as it is to comprehend.

    Or is it? Spread over five years, ASCE is calling for $120 billion per year. The economic stimulus package signed into law in February is sending $168 billion out to individuals to spend, in a best-case scenario, on new TVs and restaurant meals. That money could have bought a lot of concrete. While more funds are needed, how they’re spent is equally important. New information technology, fresh engineering and advanced materials can help us not just restore, but improve our infrastructure in the coming century. Planned and managed properly, next-gen projects can be smarter and more resilient than what came before. Engineers and construction workers know how to get the job done. But first, we must gather the national will.

    United States Infrastructure Investigation - Rebuilding America - Minnesota Bridge Collapse - Popular Mechanics

    Because of the state of the US infrastructure the US is losing it's competitiveness to attract and maintain businesses on the world stage.

    Transportation Infrastructure Neglect Threatens U.S. Competitiveness and "Economic Foundations for American Prosperity"

    Transportation Infrastructure Neglect Threatens U.S. Competitiveness and "Economic Foundations for American Prosperity" - Telstar Logistics
     
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  2. Meister
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    Meister VIP Member Supporting Member

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    I could have sworn that the Stimulus Bill was to "INVEST" in the infrastructure.

    I do like the word "invest", it's the new buzz word from the democrats. I read in the paper where politicians from Wa. used that word after the pep rally from the president. Now I know what that closed door meeting with the democrats was about...or part of the meeting.
     
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  3. WillowTree
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    WillowTree Diamond Member

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    Exactly, that's how he sold the first stimulus. shovel ready jobs and investing in the infrastructure. He lied then, he's lying now.
     
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  4. Sallow
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    Sallow The Big Bad Wolf. Supporting Member

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    40% of it was tax cuts..and that's after it was cut in half by Republicans.
     
  5. LordBrownTrout
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    LordBrownTrout Gold Member

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    I could have sworn that the stimulus bill that O pushed was for infrastructure. 800billion later and we're still talking about it? Sorry, he ruined that one.
     
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  6. Rozman
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    Rozman Gold Member Supporting Member

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    They,the President and VP went out into the world among the masses soon after the Stimulus went through and said to anyone and everyone that the stimulus was for infrastructure and shovel ready jobs. Biden bragged that it would create 500k jobs a month....How many speeches during his Presidential run and soon after did Obama give promising America that we must rebuild the infrastructure....now he does it again....

    Don't know about you guys but I'm getting a little tired of him talking the talk.....
     
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  7. mdn2000
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    mdn2000 BANNED

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    We need to invest in a lot more "new" politicians, all the old ones suck, hell, they work until they die, tell me how great a mind that 90 year old KKK leader, the Democrat Senator Byrd from West Virgina was, he held office until the day he died.

    We need to replace the old Senate and Represenatives, that is the infrastructure that is broke.
     
  8. kiwiman127
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    kiwiman127 Comfortably Moderate Supporting Member

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    Well, I see this has degenerated into a partisan political thread and it shouldn't.
    Our infrastructure sucks, it's that plain and simple. The Popular Mechanics article was written shortly after the 35W bridge collapse in 2007.
    The point of the matter is, fixing our infrastructure isn't a flashy and it's costly. Fixing in the future will cost more as the problem gets worse. Not only will the actual fixing cost more there's also the loss of opportunity for the US to stay competitive.
    Lowering the tax rate for corporations isn't going to keep businesses in the US or attract new businesses if our infrastructure isn't sound, it's that plain and simple. It's just common sense. Other countries, our competitors are investing in their infrastructures at a much higher rate than the US. If the safety of yourself, family, friends and your fellow Americans doesn't stir you, how about the support of our capitalistic system and our competitive place in the world?

    Also, in the end it's also not just about highways and bridges, it's about our power grid, water, hazardous waste, railway system, levees, etc.

    Home | Report Card for America's Infrastructure

    It's just like the corporations that invest in themselves prove to be more successful than those who don't.
     
  9. CrusaderFrank
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    CrusaderFrank Diamond Member

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    It turns out that putting up signs saying "Funded by Stimulus Funds" accounted for 50% of the jobs "saved or created
     
  10. Meister
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    Meister VIP Member Supporting Member

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    Sounds more like another excuse for a stimulus bill. Hell, the last one didn't work and there's another election coming up where the big "O" will need the unions again, what a better way of doing it than with stimulus money.

    Yes, the infrastructure needs to be fixed, but out of the trillion we spent already, it seems that we should be well on our way to fixing it. Problem is that the government has no credibility to get the job done...or it would have been done already....right?
     
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