Infrastructure and Regulations
The focus of many politicians and citizens these days is on infrastructure, is that focus though on the right concerns?
Many say our infrastructure in Michigan and throughout the country is falling apart and we must do something about it. Fair point, a good infrastructure is very important to our economy and way of life.
The question is why has our politicians allowed our infrastructure to degrade so much? Is it due to cost or spending on other non-essential government programs?
Or can we add a third reason and that is regulations.
The Michigan Capitol Confidential has written an interesting article, one in which it makes you think differently about this problem. In the article they state:
Since the U.S. built the Golden Gate Bridge, Hoover Dam, interstate highway system and most of our water and wastewater utilities, the country has changed dramatically, and these changes profoundly affect our ability to build or improve infrastructure and utilities, especially large projects.
The number of regulations that need to be met, the time it takes to comply with these regulations, and the ability of these regulations to stymie projects have all increased over time. Environmental reviews and activism can shut down projects or delay them interminably. These developments have dramatically increased the amount of money and time it takes to build infrastructure and utility projects. So much so that today we’d be unable to build the iconic projects that once defined the American can-do spirit.
It does certainly make you think. I bet if the great infrastructure projects of the past where attempted today, they would meet the same fate as many of our projects do today.
We have to decide on a good balance between what our society needs to function and what our true environmental concerns are. We cannot have one side of the debate hold up what is good for our society for some non-consequential, in the grand scheme of things, reason or thing.
So in the end I believe why politicians have not improved our infrastructure needs over the decades is due to cost, driven partly by regulations, and spending too much of our taxpayer dollars on non-essential government programs.
So they have no one to blame but themselves, but of course in the end we pay for it.