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7 Ways To Fix The Economy - #5 Massive Infrastructure

Posted by Digger Cartwright
Digger Cartwright
Robert “Digger” Cartwright is the author of several mystery stories, teleplays, and novels including The Versa...
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on Wednesday, 27 June 2012
in Digger Cartwright

7 Ways to Fix the Economy


Anyone with half a brain can see that the U.S. economy is in a malaise. It’s just muddling along.

Unemployment is still high. Economic growth is low. Prices are rising for goods and services (just think

gas prices and food prices). Job creation is low (people you know that have been unemployed are still

unemployed). Small businesses are still struggling to survive given decreased demand and tight credit.

The real estate market is in the tank; house prices are still falling and foreclosures are likely to spike

this year. The banks are still in trouble, despite what the Fed says and does. Federal budget deficits

continue to be the norm, requiring additional increased in the national debt. There’s still a risk to the

U.S. economy from the economic crises in Greece, Portugal, Spain, Italy and so on. All of these factors

paint a pretty bleak picture for the health of the economy.


I wholeheartedly believe that the U.S. economy is on the brink of a double dip recession. I would even

argue that the current environment is still recessionary even if it doesn’t meet the technical definition

of a recession. I suspect if you’re one of the millions of Americans struggling right now you’d probably

agree with that. If you’re doing well, you probably haven’t been impacted too much or noticed what

everyone else is going through. Sadly, it’s a situation of those that have a job prosper while those who

don’t have a job suffer, which on a side note is a sad reflection on President Obama’s class warfare

strategy that is attempting to divide this country. While we may not be able to stop the economy from

slipping back into a recession in the short term, we can take some actions to fix the economy for the mid

and long term horizons. I think there are seven actions that need to be taken to get the economy back

on track:

#1  Lower Taxes

#2  Cut Federal Spending

#3  Abolish Minimum Wage

#4  Confidence in Leadership & Administration

Massive Infrastructure



Infrastructure projects are great. We do need to have some massive

infrastructure projects, and I don’t think that should be limited to roads. We need to be looking

at infrastructure in terms of rail, power grids, hydroelectric power generation, wind farms,

bridges, nuclear facilities, ports, oil development, and research facilities.


The Chinese are making massive investments in infrastructure. They spent $900 million on

the Tianhuangping hydroelectric project. They’re spending $6.3 billion on the Xiangjiaba

Hydropower project, $5 billion on the Shanghai-Hangzhou maglev railway, $7 billion on the

Xiludou Dam, $14 billion on the Harbin-Dalian Highspeed Railway, $18 billion on the Jiuquan

wind farm, $33 billion on the Beijing Shanghai Highspeed Railway, and $44 billion on building

highways to connect China, India, Southeast Asia, and Europe. Look at what these projects

mean and look at what we’re doing here in America. We’re falling way behind.


The I-73 project is a highway project that would go from Michigan to South Carolina. They’ve

been talking about this for decades, and it still isn’t done. When it comes to roads, we need

to get on it. We need a lot of road projects to make the flow of goods and people a lot easier

throughout the entire United States. Let’s expand I-95, I-10, I-40, and all the major highways.

If they’re six lanes now, let’s make them ten lanes. Let’s go ahead and start getting ahead of

the curve. Our population is going to continue to grow, creating more strains on the ability to

move goods and people easily. Let’s get the road projects going. Have crews working twenty-

four hours a day seven days a week if we have to, but let’s get them done. It wouldn’t take the

Chinese decades to build a road. And while we’re on transportation, let’s work on expanding

our ports. We’re going to have more and more goods coming into the United States, so let’s get

ready for it.


While we’re expanding our road systems, let’s go ahead and spend money on a high speed


railway that connects east and west and north and south. Not only would we be able to more

efficiently move goods and people but we would alleviate congestion on our roads and in our

skies. It should be a pretty easy concept; have the high speed railway follow the major highways

and branch off to other markets as well. Let’s get the project built quickly. Let’s not wait years.

And I’m not talking about the rail to nowhere out in California that people in L.A. need to drive

over 100 miles to get to before boarding to go to Las Vegas. That project isn’t going to do a bit

of good.


Let’s work on some wind farms and hydroelectric power projects and on updating our power

grid. Let’s work on offshore drilling, open up ANWR in Alaska, and build the Keystone Pipeline.


But let me throw in another idea with all this. Let’s privatize some of this. We can’t privatize

all of it, but we can certainly privatize a good deal of it. The projects that are worthwhile will

get funding from the private capital markets; those that aren’t won’t fly. Infrastructure has

long been an industry on which governments have monopolies. There are numerous examples

throughout the world of private infrastructure projects from toll roads and bridges to ports to

power plants to railroads. Privatized projects would get built in a fraction of the time as federal



We need to get on these infrastructure projects now—not tomorrow, not the next day, not next

year, not five years from now. We’re getting farther and farther behind. There’s a much larger

public good to be served by doing all these projects. We need to have the courage to just move

these projects forward and to hell with the lawsuits and the protests and the years of studies.

Let’s streamline the whole approval process. It’s embarrassing that the world’s superpower has

an antiquated infrastructure system. 

~ Digger



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