( All credit for this image goes to Alfred Twu - http://www.alfredtwu.com. )
The issue of infrastructure spending has been sidelined lately given all the talk of spending cuts. A few mentioned it in my other thread about austerity, but I think the infrastructure issue is important to discuss in its own right. In particular, I would like to focus on high speed rail.
Do you think it's worth the resources to construct something like this? Do you think it's a waste? What might be some unintended consequences?
My take on this:
Government spending on infrastructure projects is probably the best option to foster long term growth. It truly is an 'investment' and without it, rising costs associated with transportation, deteriorating roads and traffic inefficiencies will cost our businesses trillions of dollars in the coming decade (according to the American Society of Civil Engineers).
I am personally in favor of a high speed rail network; at the very least along our coastal cities. It will be expensive, but worth it.
General posts about other infrastructure improvements/projects are welcome here as well. The ASCE just released their ratings of America's infrastructure back in March. They claim that a $3.6 trillion investment is needed over the next decade to get the US infrastructure up to par. Here are the grades: