Ross: US infrastructure won’t maintain itself

Jul 28, 2021, 5:32 AM | Updated: 9:33 am
bridge, infrastructure...
The Brooklyn Bridge saw significantly less traffic due to coronavirus cases and fears, pictured here on March 17, 2020, in New York City. (Photo by Justin Heiman/Getty Images)
(Photo by Justin Heiman/Getty Images)

On last night’s news, there was a report about how long it’s taking to agree on the infrastructure bill – here’s a clip:

“Bridges are in trouble, nationwide. Forty-two percent are at least 50 years old, 220,000 need repair work — that includes the Brooklyn Bridge and Washington D.C.’s Roosevelt Bridge. Nearly 80,000 need to be replaced.”

This is what we’re driving on! And yet, what I still hear from some members of Congress are dire declarations that this might be too expensive to fix, and it might cause inflation.

And that drives me nuts.

We have an economy that, for better or worse, needs bridges, and pavement, and wires carrying electricity, and pipes carrying water. And none of it maintains itself.

That’s a major oversight of the information age. So many electronic miracles and basically ZERO progress on the thing that would really make life easier: self-healing infrastructure. Concrete that fills its own cracks. Pipes that can seal themselves. And how about roofs that can fix their own leaks, and siding that paints itself?

But we don’t have those things, and so we have to pay people to do it. When money goes to people who work for it, you’re certainly not encouraging indolence, and you’re not encouraging inflation – you’re keeping the economy going.

What WOULD cause inflation is a bunch of collapsed bridges that crippled the economy and throw people out of work, and which then have to be fixed at ANY price, except now you have a bunch of unemployed taxpayers who can’t afford the taxes to PAY that price.

So – approve the money, however painful it is, and then the NEXT time someone says, “Hey, let’s build more infrastructure,” say NO! Unless you include a regular pre-paid maintenance schedule. Or someone finally invents self-healing concrete.

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Ross: US infrastructure won’t maintain itself