Not So Fast on Infrastructure Binge

The U.S. spends far less on its infrastructure than many other countries, which some say will hurt the nation's competitiveness. The U.S. needs to build infrastructure, but as Neal Peirce argues, with a few caveats.
January 25, 2011, 10am PST | Nate Berg
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"[T]he United States falls behind in global competition for strong and reliable infrastructure. We're willing to spend $100 billion a year on a debatable venture like the Afghanistan conflict, but expend a mere 2 percent of our Gross Domestic Product on infrastructure while China expends 9 percent and the European Union 5 percent. Other rising economic powers - India, Brazil, Mexico and others - are also investing significantly more than the U.S. - leaving us on a path, says Sen. John Kerry (Mass.) "towards a secondary competitive status."

But - we need to add a big "but." In fact, several buts."

Peirce argues that the nation needs to align its priorities about which projects even need to be built, and which should be built first.

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Published on Sunday, January 23, 2011 in Citiwire
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