|"....Like so much else that plagues the U.S. economy, decay of the U.S. infrastructure has been building for decades. That's in part because policymakers at the local, state and federal levels have been more interested in building new stuff than in keeping the old stuff in good repair. It's also a product of the magical thinking known as out-of-sight, out-of-mind, or in budget-writers' parlance, deferred maintenance.|
Bridges don't fall down when the first rivet rusts through. Roads don't become unusable when the first pothole appears. A rotting rail bed merely slows trains down; it doesn't stop freight or passengers from moving altogether. But deterioration from deferred maintenance is cumulative. What starts out as an easily fixed, relatively cheap repair becomes a gigantic, hugely expensive rebuild, often sparked by a killer catastrophe that spurs a duh moment for the media and many citizens, who inquire: how could this have happened? There is, obviously, the short-sightedness of politicians and other civic leaders, but the anti-tax attitude that has permeated so much of the populace plays a large part. Examples of this myopia abound. Americans shudder at that poor education so many of our children receive, but the desire to get them out of schools that can only be described as ramshackle frequently collides with the attitude that no taxes should be raised to change the situation...."
September 13, 2010
Can't have it both ways: