There is a very simple solution to solving this nation’s ailing economy. And no, it does not involve giving millionaires and record profit earning, record bonus taking, tax avoiding corporations another round of massive tax cuts. To stimulate the economy, the federal government has to create jobs that pay more than minimum wage that the business community has thus far refused to do so. This is the ultimate catch 22 situation in that the private sector will not create jobs until demand of consumer goods increases, however, the demand of consumer goods will not increase until decent paying jobs are created. The straightforward solution in which to turn around the U.S. economy is to significantly invest in our rapidly deteriorating infrastructure.
In the past several days, major water mains breaks have occurred in Atlanta, Baltimore, St. Louis, Honolulu and the New York City/New Jersey metropolis region. Every day, seven hundred water mains break throughout the nation, with corrosion being the leading cause due to the age of the system and the type of ground in which it was laid. These breaks cost billions of dollars annually to repair, not including the cost of emergency equipment, traffic disruptions and time lost from work as drivers are stuck in massive traffic jams. The American Society Of Civil Engineers recently give the nation a D- in the quality of our drinking water. The total cost to fix the U.S. water system has been estimated to be nearly $350 billion and expected to take 20 years to rebuild.
In addition to replacing our aging water system, America needs to replace its outdated and deteriorating system of highways and bridges. The American Society Of Civil Engineers also gave the nation a D rating for our highway, rail and air infrastructure. Road usage is expected to increase sixty percent in the next twenty years while sixty percent of our roads are rated poor or substandard. Maintenance costs just to keep up with needed repairs are expected to cost upwards of $200 billion annually.
By heavily investing and updating our entire infrastructure system, which all are in extremely poor condition, America would put millions of its citizens to work earning a decent wage. The price of raw materials are once again inexpensive due to the faltering world economy. Borrowing the necessary money to pay for such an investment would be inexpensive as well due to record low interest rates. Yet, just the opposite is happening as cities and states are finding their highway construction projects delayed for ten years or longer due to lack of funding.
Replacing our entire national infrastructure is how you stimulate the entire economy, this is the trickle down effect that tax cuts to the upper one percent of the nation do not, and did not provide. This is how you put America back to work.
Steven H. Spring