Well get a load of this:
The collapse of the 1-35 Bridge in Minneapolis, Minnesota, in August 2007, and the breach of the levees in New Orleans during hurricane Katrina in 2005 are just two examples of widespread weaknesses in the infrastructure of the US. In regular reporting the American Society of Civil Engineers dutifully catalogues numerous others. In published research the Society states that America's infrastructure overall is close to 'failing' and warrants a grade 'D'. It also states that around 30 per cent of America's 590,750 bridges are 'structurally deficient or functionally obsolete' and that it would require spending Of US$9.4bn a year for twenty years to put them right. This is just for bridges.
The American government's role in paving the way for entrepreneurship and economic growth by laying down infrastructure dates back to the days of the cowboys. In Bold Endeavors: How Our Government Built America, and Why It Must Rebuild Now, Felix Rohatyn makes a lucid and compelling argument for the role of government in providing infrastructure. He details how government policy led the way for the public works which played an integral part in shaping America's economic destiny, from the Transcontinental Railroad, to the construction of the Erie Canal, the Reconstruction Finance Act, the Tennessee Valley Authority and the creation of the interstate highway system that modernized America; to the extent that in the nineteenth century the US army was deployed to protect the workers who laid down the infrastructure.
While there is growing acceptance that, as Rohatyn puts it: 'America's roads and bridges, schools and hospitals, airports and roadways, ports and dams, water lines and air control systems - the country's entire infrastructure is rapidly and dangerously deteriorating', the question that must be asked is where is the money going to come from to remedy this situation, and remedy it fast? Indeed money for infrastructure - certainly private cash - seems targeted towards vanity projects, leaving many New Yorkers hard pressed to name the last time Manhattan or any of the five New York boroughs had a new bridge or tunnel. Yet the city's sports teams - the Mets, the Giants and the Yankees - have each recently built a new stadium.
It is not just the US that is suffering from a dilapidated and debilitating infrastructure. According to Britain after Blair - a Liberal Agenda, UK businesses argue that the state of Britain's transport infrastructure is not just one of the principal obstacles to improved productivity, it is also a clear impediment to business investment. In a survey for the Confederation of British Industry (CBI), 51 per cent of companies said that the reputation of the UK as a place to do business was being significantly harmed by transport problems.
The Obama administration's American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 includes US$45bn to spend on transportation infrastructure projects, doubling the federal budget for this purpose, and the private investor Warren Buffett's 2009 US$27bn bet on US railways are steps in the right direction, but relatively SMALL steps all the same. After all, the 2009 American Society of Civil Engineers' Annual Infrastructure Report estimates that the US will need at least US$2.2tn over the next five years to remedy the structural failings and deficiencies across the country's public works system. Worse still, in 2008 the Society said it would cost US$ 1.7tn to fix what's broken; that's a US$500bn increase in the price tag (from US$1.7tn to US$2.2tn) in just four years - a very disturbing trend; and one likely to gather momentum in the years to come.
From the book "How the West was Lost" by Dambisa Moyo
Now tens of BILLIONS (if not One Trillion dollors) was supposed to have gone into fighting the recession and getting people back to work in the USA. Then you read what you have just read above. Then Mr. Obama says he wants to fight and bring down the 14 Trillion dollars of debt the USA is in. Somebody's got to be joking. Sadly it is no joke - the USA is literally and physically falling apart.......to fix the literal falling apart, to pay for future health care (with the coming huge 65 years and over population the USA has ever experienced in its history), and to bring down the massive debt.......somebody must be in a dream world to rival Alice in Wonderland.
For more mind-bending truths of the situation the West (especially Britain and the USA) are in you need to buy for yourself and maybe as a gift to others close to you, the book "How the West was Lost" by Dambisa Moyo.