Tag Archive: Infrastructure
And the grid is already stressed.
Did we just see a practice run on of an assault on a California power station?
No surprise: remove the graft and messed up government accounting. But the goal of the sequester to Democrats is to make the cuts as painful as possible to the public to preserve the bureaucracy and graft.
So TED has produced a major initiative to reinvent cities for modern global needs. That’s fine, and I’m fine with others being excited. Good for them. But unfortunately, I expect that this will once again fail in the exact same way that most other city-reinventing initiatives fail – they’ll be trying to fix problems caused mostly by bad government with other top down solutions, which will inevitably fail to properly see and address citizen’s needs, be siphoned off into corrupt embezzlement, and otherwise just generally compound the problems.
The fact of the matter is that there are very well known techniques that accomplish many of the goals just about every city-improvement initiative has: cleaning up waste, improving and maintaining infrastructure, providing better housing, increasing the education and wealth of the populace – and the techniques that work are almost never the techniques applied. Simply put, getting government out of the way and privatizing services to competing markets has a proven track record, and it oftentimes even accomplishes its goals at a profit to the city. But it requires city planners, bureaucrats, and vested politicians to get out of the way, give up the power they desire, and actually let the population thrive.
The latest debacle in Massachusetts is serving as yet another great illustration of how badly government manages things. And keep in mind, this is while Massachusetts citizens pay more for our roads and simultaneously get less service than pretty much every other state in the union.
And how do I know that the private sector can do better? Because pretty much everywhere they’re allowed to, they do.
What’s not to like? Increased service, accountability, and transparency for the public, increased revenue for government…
I sure wish Boston and Massachusetts would start doing this…if a corrupt, liberal bastion such as Chicago can, maybe there’s hope to one day see it out here, too. And if states and the Federal government started privatizing more, maybe we wouldn’t have so much infrastructure absolutely failing around the country.
Popular Science just ran an interesting series of articles on what our country’s next generation infrastructure could look like. Very neat, but there’s just one major thing standing in the way: politicians.
Our system is falling apart not because we don’t have the technology, but because of several reasons, all directly the fault of our politicians:
- It’s sexier to spend money on new projects rather than maintain the projects previous regimes created
- Why spend money on maintaining existing infrastructure when you could funnel that money to your own private interests?
- Politicians hate losing power, and so steer most the maintenance to uncompetitive unions and public employees
All of these problems are widespread, and there are easy solutions for them. What public infrastructure has had the maintenance and investment pried from political hands and been sold off to private companies not only generates revenue for the state (from the sale), but inevitably IS maintained with state of the art technologies such as the type Popular Science is highlighting. The rest of the infrastructure becomes a financial leech on society while continuing to fall apart due to political negligence.
Since so much of our infrastructure is in critical condition. Essentially, our entire political class is failing us, and we’re failing to uphold them to the standards we need.
Privatization of our infrastructure could drastically help things, but publicly managed infrastructure also should be failing.
Just give our infrastructure to private management that will actually be held accountable for keeping things in repair, already!