The Depressing State of US Infrastructure

in #writing5 years ago


In any major city in the United States today, you can find bridges, roads, airports, and other infrastructure that is in desperate need of repair.

Just to keep up with repairing the nation's roads alone, it's estimated to cost at least $45 billion every year.

There are tens of thousands of bridges that need to either be repaired or replaced, waterways that need to be updated, and a great deal of airports that need attention as well. According to the American Society of Civil Engineers, the US is in desperate need of massive investments to dams, railways, and other infrastructure.

It's been estimated that it could cost upwards of $3.6 trillion to bring everything up-to-date.

US infrastructure has been in disrepair for decades, and it's fueling an incredible loss in productivity.

Just recently, President Trump announced plans to focus at least $1.7 trillion toward rebuilding the nation's infrastructure over the next decade. And Congress is said to be waiting on the written proposal to be put forward.

But, just where is all of the funding going to come from, though?

An increase to the fuel tax has already been suggested. The US Chamber of Commerce CEO, Tom Donohue, is pushing for the idea of hiking the federal gasoline tax by at least 25 cents. And that increase would mark the first increase to the federal fuel tax in at least 25 years.

Some of the money they suspect might come from private investors, but the majority is ultimately going to be coming from taxpayers.

Making plans to boost spending money that they don't have, seeing as they are already trillions in debt, is only going to make their monetary situation even worse down the road.

The debt in the end is going to be much bigger and many suspect that sooner or later we could start to see a downturn.

Coincidentally, as the quality of US infrastructure has steadily eroded over the last few decades, it's estimated that the US has spent more than $5 trillion on its activities involved in the war on terror.

As they've been busy focusing on their priorities overseas, at home infrastructure crumbles and things have been falling apart in a variety of ways. The warmongering activities have put the nation's reputation into disrepute in the eyes of many, it's cost the lives of many innocent people, ruined families, and scarred hundreds of thousands for life.

Should we be surprised that such a scenario has been allowed to arise in the first place? After all, when government entities disregard the care for public property in this way, they aren't the ones who bear any loss to their personal wealth. Whereas if I neglect taking care of my car for example, I am the one who is going to suffer. We can see then how this circumstance might come about in the first place, because there isn't any incentive for them to stay focused on the upkeep.

Pics:
pixabay
via www.wokv.com/news/local/heckscher-drive-bridge-browns-creek-need-emergency-repairs-following-hurricane-irma/AJiADBAf1MLOL8bjYlmN0J/
via pbs

Sources:
https://www.citylab.com/solutions/2015/02/americas-infrastructure-crisis-is-really-a-maintenance-crisis/385452/
https://www.bloomberg.com/view/articles/2018-01-31/the-odds-of-fixing-u-s-infrastructure-just-got-better
https://www.wired.com/2015/01/time-fix-americas-infrastructure-heres-start/
https://www.cnn.com/2018/02/02/us/2018-structurally-deficient-bridges-trnd/index.html
http://www.foxbusiness.com/features/2016/01/20/thirty-years-overdue-its-time-to-rebuild-americas-airports.html
http://nation.time.com/2011/06/29/the-5-trillion-war-on-terror/
https://edition.cnn.com/2016/05/25/politics/infrastructure-roads-bridges-airports-railroads/index.html
https://www.wired.com/2015/01/time-fix-americas-infrastructure-heres-start/
https://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-trump-infrastructure/trump-raises-infrastructure-investment-plan-to-1-7-trillion-idUSKBN1FD312
https://www.cnbc.com/2018/01/31/10-us-states-most-in-need-of-trumps-1-point-5-trillion-infrastructure-plan.html
http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/nationworld/politics/ct-donald-trump-infrastructure-spending-20161111-story.html
https://edition.cnn.com/2016/05/25/politics/infrastructure-roads-bridges-airports-railroads/index.html
http://www.businessinsider.com/how-does-trump-plan-to-fix-us-infrastructure-2017-12
https://www.cnbc.com/2018/01/18/fixing-us-infrastructure-could-take-40-years-chamber-of-commerce-ceo.html
https://www.cnbc.com/2017/01/20/trumps-massive-infrastructure-defense-plans-will-lead-to-ruin-ron-paul-says.html
http://www.thefiscaltimes.com/2015/03/25/478B-Infrastructure-Bill-Blocked-Senate-GOP

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Great post but when you said:

"Should we be surprised that such a scenario has been allowed to arise in the first place? After all, when government entities disregard the care for public property in this way, they aren't the ones who bear any loss to their personal wealth."

I would take it one step further. Govt has no incentive to respect the dollar, our infrastructure or the future of our economy.

The only incentives are short term vote returns and spending today to prepare for 10 years from now is NEVER rewarded, so its never done.

Govts never have to savings, only more or less debt, so their policy rarely aids savers. 0% interest is one example, negative interest will be another example soon, just wait and see.

The state of infrastructure in many states is detestable, I agree. What bothers me about the push to fund new infrastructure and repairs (apart from what you already mentioned) is that much of that investment might be better spent (by the private sector, pre-tax) on developing the kinds of technologies that lessen our dependence on roads and bridges. If the government would legalize commercial drone use...imagine how much traffic that would free up.

And I want my flying car, dammit.

Good point. We rely on government to take care of our roads... we need to come up with better more decentralized ways to transport ourselves and cargo around. I'm not sure exactly how that would look. It might just mean returning care of roads to local groups instead of relying on distribution of taxes. Maybe there isn't a good solution.

I agree with you. Commercial drones would be an interesting concept to explore.

They need to do both. We need to invest in maintaining what works UNTIL we have a definite replacement. To invest in future tech while ignoring the current situation is a big gamble, and may not be a wise course. I believe the wise course is to invest in both.

exactly. can't beat free market to get things done right. free market caters to the people, government caters its friends.

It's actually awful. I thought there are no such problems in the United States. In Russia where I live the situation is even worse. Roads in terrible condition. The main bridge in my village is in disrepair, but nobody is going to fix it. If this bridge collapses, my village remains cut off from civilization. We can't bring food, or provide medical and other assistance. I just don't understand how can so irresponsible attitude to the citizens. To condemn them to a life in such conditions. And it turns out this problem occurs in other countries.


Don't expect it to get better anytime soon. The military and security state is front and center and the majority of the money goes there. Just listen to "Mad Dog" Mattis in his speech about the National Defense Strategy and he states that the U.S. military is underfunded. And in case you haven't noticed, the military rarely, if ever get denied funds. But this is how all empires die, through over-bloated and unsustainable military endeavors. Then you must ask yourself , what the hell are they actually protecting if the country is turning into a third world "shithole" with crumbling infrastructure? Militarism Forever!
https://steemit.com/dtube/@tgheretic/tttykrkz

In case you haven't seen it, here is the most recent report card on America's crumbling infrastructure. These grades are not worthy of a highly developed, modern country by any means. This backs up the "shithole" comment as being fairly accurate.

serveimage.png

Aret here any organisations that make report cards like that for other countries using similar criteria? It would be interesting to see how other nations compare.

Here's a chart that ranks countries infrastructure. The U.S. still rates high (in the top 10), but is higher than I would've thought with such a poor report card. Germany is number 1.

https://lpi.worldbank.org/international/global?sort=asc&order=Infrastructure

My state saw an interstate bridge fall into the Mississippi river, killing quite a few people. You would think improvements to our aging infrastructure would be a better spending choice than a racist wall, but I guess everyone has their own priority on where spending is most effective...

If the USA were to spend its money more wisely, we wouldn't be in this situation. I don't see why we need to spend more on our military than any other country, including the next three highest spenders (including Russia and China) combined.

Also, maybe we should stop paying legislators who show an inability to compromise. That would be enough to inspect a few bridges, at least.

Ugh!

As they've been busy focusing on their priorities overseas, at home infrastructure crumbles and things have been falling apart in a variety of ways. The warmongering activities have put the nation's reputation into disrepute in the eyes of many, it's cost the lives of many innocent people, ruined families, and scarred hundreds of thousands for life.

You bring up a pressing issue in our time, one that saddens me greatly. While the country at home suffers, our government is making up enemies and waging war, likely for OIL AND CONTROL. America is no longer the greatest nation- it doesn't even take care of its own people.

This deteriorating infrastructure is one of the leading reasons I've "opted out" in many ways of being a part of city life. I live in the country and of course it isn't perfect here, but I want to create something that does feel good, rather than be a part of the the wreck that is most American cities... It's a facade on Hollywood that the people of other countries see that gives them the American Dream.

The image you paint is the American Dream. Massive Debt, crumbling infrastructure and a government more focused on war mongering (and creating wars!) and posturing that even taking care of its people. The deterioration is catching up. We must create alternative societies now that are founded on sustainable ethics and practices. We must if we are to survive as a people!

Thanks for raising the awareness.

Are the infrastructures REALLY in such a bad shape? The ACES is a lobby group after all...

THat being said, if it's truly the case, all the more reason to privatize them

End the war on drugs and put the 76 billion a year saved into infrastructure

Wow. This is sad. I didn’t even realize our infrastructure was in such bad shape. I mean it makes sense and I see it everywhere but I’ve never made the connections you’ve points out here. This is a scary problem indeed.

have a good day

Thanks for sharing this.

I have personally been affected by poor infrastructure. In 2007 a bridge fell in Minnesota , a whole bridge!

Great informative article. I'm surprised more people aren't talking about this.

Two things bother me about this news. one is to see some of the most important countries in the world deteriorated, which can be expected from Argentina
and two, the large sums of money spent on wars, with the necessary needs. That is not misinterpreted I am not in agreement with terrorism, I say that we would have to see how to face these situations without investing so much money
Thank you very much dear friend @doitvoluntarily for sharing this wonderful news.
tye I wish a good start to the week

a very inspirational article, hopefully everything went smoothly and quickly improved @doitvoluntarily 😊

the world's best countries are unfortunately living in these conditions and may in fact cause major problems in the future. it is necessary to start from a place with the help of privatized companies and enter the renewal process .

Correct. They have all their free perks and don't have to worry about the little things in life. They voted for all the benefits for themselves and their families. Remember in history that the people had to overthrow the government when it was in the hands of the British, suppressing us?

sometimes a developed country difficult to read government policy, but of course all that is done for the welfare of citizens. thank @doitvoluntarily, your post very, informativ and useful

This is really calls for concern I must admit. The maintenance is necessary but will cost tax payers more. ..
With the increasing cost of maintenance, I hope taxes won't be increased too... My thought

It is impossible for the American economy to become great while it has corrupt money supply i.e. The Federal Reserve Bank.

Its very scary to think of all those bridges that need to be fixed I hate going over a bridge and I love bridges ! Hopefully all this will start during out thanks for the great post!🌹

thank you for raising this problem to the surface, so that with this kind of notice the government is speeding up. indeed as the people must care with his own country.

Almost every government in America and in the countries of Latin America has this problem regarding public infrastructure.

Hopefully soon be rebuilt. Thank you for sharing excellent information articles. You always give us insight. Good luck always for you @doitvoluntarily.

Ohhh nooo 😩😩😩😩

How about this for a 180: Back in the 1960s and '70s, the standard kill shot against libertarians was, "what about roads?" Meaning, only the government could supply the infrastructure; anyone who thought that private efforts could do a better job was kidding him- or herself.

Times have sure changed! Now, President Trump's draft plan depends upon so-called private-public partnerships.

Great post @doitvoluntarily ! I say stop spending so much on the war effort , OMG 5 Trillion !! where i live property taxes keep going up to pay for the roads etc. in town anyways . and of course the first things that get taxed the most for more money for the government are Gas / Tobacco / Liquor ! We barely survive and live paycheck to paycheck . Upped and resteemed !😀👍✌💕

@lesliestarrohara & @infidel1258 make excellent points. We are one of the most technologically advanced societies on the planet. So why are we focusing our infrastructure needs around land based transport solutions from last century? Surely we should focus on the skies.

Also, the government has no skin in the game of infrastructure. It does not directly benefit from building roads, and it outsources the right to build them to the lowest bidders from the private sector.

If quality is something we should be expecting from our road networks, or indeed any other infrastructure, it should be done by the private sector. That way those who do have skin in the game, and need consumers to come to their location, can fund the roads to fit their requirements and their consumer's requirements.

This benefits the company's involved by giving them a route for people to buy their goods, and the consumer for getting around to buy goods in general. It could also benefit two other markets - construction and maintenance, were it not for the state mandating "only company X is responsible for all road construction and maintenance".

It is especially depressing if you are aware of how much money we are spending overseas in other countries and how stupid many of those things are.

Then when we try to stop that, people whine like it is a horrible thing.

It is much like shoving food into someone elses mouth, and barely eating yourself. When you stop people complain you are not feeding that other person.

How long can you go without feeding yourself? What toll will it take on your health?

The same can be said of our people, and our infrastructure if we are busy propping up other nations at the expense of our own.

Same here in the UK are road are terrible pot holes everywhere. Reminds me of the old simcity games; you knew you city was in bad times when the roads started going! 💯🐒

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