Posted by: Bill | November 1, 2008

Highways and Byways

A couple months ago, I was in NYC and my friend Dave L. was lamenting the lack of attention that the U.S. was paying to our transportation infrastructure. He was also predicting “a depression-like” economic future (he works in commercial lending). His instincts look to be on the money. Our economic problems don’t scare me half as much as a world where he is so prescient. But I digress…

It’s hard to disagree that investment in transportation infrastructure is a bad thing. Today, two NYT (don’t think less of me, I just read it for balance sometimes) columns written by gentleman (David Brooks and Paul Krugman) who normally don’t share common ideology were basically saying the same thing. If forced to summarize in one sentence, I would say the economy is in serious trouble and all your normal political “stimulus” tricks aren’t going to help so, Mr. Future President [they both think it will be Obama], show some leadership and, if you must spend hundreds of billions, take the long view.

If the 44th POTUS proposes this or something similar in his first 100 days, he will have gone a long way to reduce my hard-won cynicism. Infrastructure is not politically sexy. When History (which in my world is always capitalized) passes judgment, infrastructure will be remembered more fondly than some rebate checks (see Eisenhower, Dwight D.).



  1. A sage man that Dave L., a sage man. And for anybody who has been forced to sit on the TZ bridge at any point in their lifetime (especially in the last few weeks with the addition of those metal plates–that may very well be holding the entire bridge together), I think a rebate check is nothing compared to the hours of your life that you will never, ever get back.

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