Wednesday, February 14, 2018
The American Society of Civil Engineers estimates that there is a backlog of $4.6-trillion investment infrastructure spending needed by 2025. Trump has proposed $1.5 trillion, of which $200 billion would be Federal money. Trump's plan intends to privatize our infrastructure. Trump's infrastructure plan says that in order to qualify for public funding, states have to abolish its regulatory framework, environmental laws and restrictions on private funding. Just as the hedge funds robbed Chicago blind on the parking meters, getting a huge rate of return that probably will force Mayor Rahm out of office at the next election, local governments have to let privatizers come in and vastly increase their cost of living for the infrastructure they need. Trump's plan will have the effect of destroying America's competitiveness instead of improving it. It would raise the cost of living and doing business rather than making things easier for the population.
I thought Trump's infrastructure proposal was positive thing, until you study the dirty details. Trump's finance plan will triple the cost to $22 trillion. It's a Thatcherite privatization scheme. Its economic philosophy reverses the last 150 years of public infrastructure in America. Look at the Indiana Toll Roads. They were done by a Trump-style private and public infrastructure. The tolls are so high, to try to pay off the hedge fund backers, that people don't use them.
Infrastructure is a fourth factor of production. But it's not like labor, land, and capital, because the role of public infrastructure is not to make a profit. It's role is to provide public services that are basic for the economy's living standards and capacity to produce, and to provide these at a subsidized rate. That's how America got rich and came to dominate the world industrial economy.
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