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21 Facts About America’s Decaying Infrastructure That Will Blow Your Mind

You can tell a lot about a nation by the condition of the infrastructure.  So what does our infrastructure say about us?  It says that we are in a very advanced state of decay.  At this point, much of America is being held together with spit, duct tape and prayers.  Our roads are crumbling and thousands of our bridges look like they could collapse at any moment.  Our power grid is ancient and over a trillion gallons of untreated sewage is leaking from our aging sewer systems each year.  Our airports and our seaports are clogged with far more traffic than they were ever designed to carry.  Approximately a third of all of the dam failures that have taken place in the United States since 1874 have happened during the past decade.  Our national parks and recreation areas have been terribly neglected and our railroads are a bad joke.  Hurricane Katrina showed how vulnerable our levees are, and drinking water systems all over the country are badly outdated.  Sadly, at a time when we could use significant new investment in infrastructure, our spending on infrastructure is actually way down.  Back during the 50s and the 60s, the U.S. was spending between 3 and 4 percent of GDP on infrastructure.  Today, that figure is down to about 2.4 percent.  But of course we don’t have any extra money to spend on infrastructure because of our reckless spending and because of the massive amount of debt that we have accumulated.  While the Obama administration is spending more than half a million dollars to figure out why chimpanzees throw poop, our national infrastructure is literally falling apart all around us.  Once upon a time nobody else on the planet could match our infrastructure, and now we are in the process of becoming a joke to the rest of the world.

The following are 21 facts about America’s failing infrastructure that will blow your mind….

#1 The American Society of Civil Engineers has given America’s crumbling infrastructure an overall grade of D.

#2 There are simply not enough roads in the United States today.  Each year, traffic jams cost the commuters of America 4.2 billion hours and about 2.8 million gallons of gasoline.

#3 It is being projected that Americans will spend an average of 160 hours stuck in traffic annually by the year 2035.

#4 Approximately one-third of all roads in the United States are in substandard condition.

#5 Close to a third of all highway fatalities are due “to substandard road conditions, obsolete road designs, or roadside hazards.”

#6 One out of every four bridges in America either carries more traffic than originally intended or is in need of repair.

#7 Repairing all of the bridges in the United States that need repair would take approximately 140 billion dollars.

#8 According to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, our decaying transportation system costs the U.S. economy about 78 billion dollars annually in lost time and fuel.

#9 All over America, asphalt roads are being ground up and are being replaced with gravel roads because they are cheaper to maintain.  The state of South Dakota has transformed over 100 miles of asphalt roads into gravel roads, and 38 out of the 83 counties in the state of Michigan have transformed at least some of their asphalt roads into gravel roads.

#10 There are 4,095 dams in the United States that are at risk of failure.  That number has risen by more than 100 percent since 1999.

#11 Of all the dam failures that have happened in the United States since 1874, a third of them have happened during the past decade.

#12 Close to half of all U.S. households do not have access to bus or rail transit.

#13 Our aging sewer systems spill more than a trillion gallons of untreated sewage every single year.  The cost of cleaning up that sewage each year is estimated to be greater than 50 billion dollars.

#14 It is estimated that rolling blackouts and inefficiencies in the U.S. electrical grid cost the U.S. economy approximately 80 billion dollars a year.

#15 It is being projected that by the year 2020 every single major container port in the United States will be handling at least double the volume that it was originally designed to handle.

#16 All across the United States, conditions at many of our state parks, recreation areas and historic sites are deplorable at best.  Some states have backlogs of repair projects that are now over a billion dollars long….

More than a dozen states estimate that their backlogs are at least $100 million. Massachusetts and New York’s are at least $1 billion. Hawaii officials called park conditions “deplorable” in a December report asking for $50 million per year for five years to tackle a $240 million backlog that covers parks, trails and harbors.

#17 Today, the U.S. spends about 2.4 percent of GDP on infrastructure.  Meanwhile, China spends about 9 percent of GDP on infrastructure.

#18 In the United States today, approximately 16 percent of our construction workers are unemployed.

#19 China has plans to build 55,000 miles of highways by the year 2020.  If all of those roads were put end to end, it would be longer than the total length of the entire U.S. interstate system.

#20 The World Economic Forum ranks U.S. infrastructure 23rd in the world, and we fall a little bit farther behind the rest of the developed world every single day.

#21 It has been projected that it would take 2.2 trillion dollars over the next 5 years just to repair our existing infrastructure.  That does not even include a single penny for badly needed new infrastructure.

So where did we go wrong?

Well, one of the big problems is that we have become a very materialistic society that is obsessed with short-term thinking.  Investing in infrastructure is something that has long-term benefits, but these days Americans tend to only be focused on what is happening right now and most politicians are only focused on the next election cycle.

Another major problem is that there is so much corruption and waste in our system these days.  The government certainly spends more than enough money, but very little of that money is spent wisely.  A lot of the money that could be going toward rebuilding our infrastructure is being poured down the toilet instead.  For much more on this, please read my previous article entitled “16 Sickening Facts That Show How Members Of Congress And Federal Workers Are Living The High Life At Your Expense“.

Unfortunately, it is probably appropriate that our infrastructure is decaying because we are decaying in just about every other way that it is possible for a society to decay.

We are decaying economically, politically, mentally, emotionally, physically, morally and spiritually.

We are a complete and total mess.  So why shouldn’t what is happening to our infrastructure on the outside match what is happening to us as a nation on the inside?

And sadly, we simply do not have the money that we need for infrastructure because of all the debt that we have piled up.  The federal government, our state governments and our local governments are all struggling to stay afloat in an ocean of red ink, and unfortunately that means that spending on infrastructure is likely to be cut even more in the years ahead.

So get used to rotting, crumbling, decaying infrastructure.  What you see out there right now is only just the beginning.

  • James

    I think it is silly to invest money into an infra-structure that depends on the availability of Oil and Gasoline. The gig is up, oil is not going to go back up to pre-70s levels and prices. We should be planning our infra-structure, or the lack thereof, towards rebuilding the rail systems with local transportation based on electric cars, buses, bicycles, and just plain walking. The airports are in a death spiral unless fuel based on algae, plant, or other materials can be produced at the rates that allow for consumption at the current rates. This isn’t going to happen anytime soon. May the best man win a prize for this.

    • liberranter

      The gig is up, oil is not going to go back up to pre-70s levels and prices.

      That’s because the steady destruction of the dollar through inflation guarantees that prices will continue to rise. It has nothing to do with the availability of oil supplies.

      We should be planning our infra-structure, or the lack thereof, towards rebuilding the rail systems with local transportation based on electric cars, buses, bicycles, and just plain walking. The airports are in a death spiral unless fuel based on algae, plant, or other materials can be produced at the rates that allow for consumption at the current rates. This isn’t going to happen anytime soon.

      No, it’s not going to happen anytime soon because these alternative energy sources are primitive and inefficient and cannot yield the power that petroleum-based fuels can for the same economy. They are also unnecessary. There is more than enough abiotic energy –a.k.a. petroleum– to supply mankind indefinitely. As a renewable energy source (there are plenty of recent examples of once-depleted oil fields yielding new supplies), it is self-sustaining. Add the continuous advances in technology that make burning of petroleum-based fuels more efficient and environmentally friendly, and there is no basis for worrying about “peek oil,” one of the most pernicious myths to grip the mass imagination.

      • Gay Veteran

        “There is more than enough abiotic energy –a.k.a. petroleum– to supply mankind indefinitely. As a renewable energy source (there are plenty of recent examples of once-depleted oil fields yielding new supplies), it is self-sustaining.”

        provide links supporting this load of garbage

        • Malcolm Reynolds

          try googling ‘depleted oil fields refilling’ and do the work yourself.

      • 0UTS1DER

        Yeah, that combined with the fact that because of the recession, the fact that we’ve most likely already passed peak oil has been concealed.

        We’re now at Oil Price 2.0. This is the new normal, and the US economy isn’t designed for this. You need to wake up and move away from petroleum based infrastructure. A half decent rail network would be a good start.

        The American century is over. Lucky you’ve got by far the biggest military in the world. Which is also based on the idea of cheap, abundant fossil fuels….

    • John W.

      Get real. There is enough oil for another three hundred years. What is lacking is a will to get it. Algae and other things are pie in the sky.

      • Me

        Yes and the Tooth Fairy gave me a credit card because I have a Manifest Destiny.

        Serioulsy? Abiotic oil? You sound like the guys in the late 1800’s that thought we had the right, nay, obligation, to wipe out the Indians.

        There is no evidence of self-regenerating FOSSIL fuels.

        The Russan experiment (singular) of which you speak has been debunked.

        • Gay Veteran

          we’re in bigger trouble than we thought:

          Saudi oil well dries up
          By Ambrose Evans-Pritchard

          http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/finance/ambroseevans-pritchard/100019812/saudi-oil-well-dries-up/

          If Citigroup is right, Saudi Arabia will cease to be an oil exporter by 2030, far sooner than previously thought.

          A 150-page report by Heidy Rehman on the Saudi petrochemical industry should be sober reading for those who think that shale oil and gas have solved our global energy crunch.

          …The basic point – common to other Gulf oil producers – is that Saudi local consumption is rocketing. Residential use makes up 50pc of demand, and over two thirds of that is air-conditioning.

          The Saudis also consume 250 litres per head per day of water – the world’s third highest (which blows the mind), growing at 9pc a year – and most of this is provided from energy-guzzling desalination plants….

      • Gay Veteran

        “There is enough oil for another three hundred years”

        at what price to extract??? much of the remaining oil will be extremely expensive to extract

        • John W.

          What do you care? It will not be your problem. Maybe we should have thought through the decision to have China become the worlds big industrial power while at the same time doubling our own population through immigration. Sure eats up the oil.

        • liberranter

          At no higher price to extract than any other existing sources – something not worth wasting the time explaining to deluded, scientifically ignorant, enviro-retards like you.

          • Gay Veteran

            speaking of retards (liberranter): guess you don’t know that drilling in 10,000 feet of water is more expensive than drilling in 1000 feet of water

          • Malcolm Reynolds

            Oh please Gay, Then explain to us why the hell your messiah has been denying American drilling in the ocean and SENT MONEY TO BRAZIL to drill in DEEPER water. You frakking retard

    • paul

      Yes, the key is traffic planning. Why take a car to work, if you can walk there?
      And what is wrong mixing shopping areas with residential areas, schools and businesses?
      If you can order by internet and have things delivered, you don’t need a car for shopping.
      Or just go shopping as you are used to and tell the cashier. Deliver. to

    • 1madmomma

      Have you ever been to a rural area? Not gonna get “public transit” here. Electric cars? Where does that electric come from? Are you growing all your own food and don’t need the farmer with a diesel truck to haul all of your food to the store? We don’t all live in towns or cities so we need other options.

      • paul

        Rural area? That’s easy. Put all that manure and sewage into a tank, collect the methane and either burn it in motors or in a power plant to create electricity and hot water.

        And where there is no supply but big demand, there is a possible source of income. (Public transport)

        Electricity can also come from roofs decked out with solar cells, and from wind turbines. Farmers should have lots of barn roofs.

    • Me

      Oh that’s easy.

      Step 1: make a bunch of thorium reactors
      Step 2: crack hydrogen off of seawater
      Step 3: pretend to profit

      I say “pretend” because let’s face it, we are dealing with a closed system here. “Profit” means making half the bathtub hot while the other half gets cold. There’s no extra bathtub, big picture speaking. In a closed system it’s all just gradients. It can all be lukewarm or part of it can be hot at the expense of the rest of it being cold.

      Same goes for solar, still a closed system. Sorry. The amount of solar energy exposure per day remains quite constant. So, as you increase efficiencies… will it be better than today’s standard of living? Not at first but I could envision a day 150 years from now when we magically find a way to harness it at 80% efficiency, and then, yes it will be better. And it will still be “pretending to make a profit” because it’s still a closed system.

      But back to the tech available today…

      Thorium reactors… fizzle fizzle. Sewater bubble bubble. Jet fuel, ta-da.

      Since we have absolute boatloads of both thorium and seawater… we can “pretend” for a very long time with that one. Several thousand years, possibly.

    • http://www.povertylinejournal.blogspot.com/ the optimist

      I am surprised to see such disagreement with your ideas. I’m very much in agreement with you. But the rural areas are a different story. There just isn’t the money or the will to bring public transportation to them. I know, lived 6 years in Appalachia. Now I’m in a suburban area and do not have a car. It takes a little more effort, but it works.

      But for most people STILL–“the Amurrikan way of life is not negotiable”. They are unable to think outside of the box.

  • Newton

    Ha!

    Your comparisons to China are laughable.

    Go there sometime

    It will take them 100 years to get where we are now.

    If that does’nt do it, travel around Mexico or South America for while.

    I’ll guarantee you’ll change your tune there meistro

    • DaytoDay

      Why are you comparing Mexico and South America with the US???

      Try Europe, England, Italy, France, Germany, Switzerland… How about Canada, South Africa, Monaco…

      You miss the point greatly… No, we do not have 3rd world infrastructure YET, but we are obviously on our way…

      • John W.

        Considering that in twenty years the majority of the US population will be from the third world everyone will feel right at home. Just like Americans did fifty years ago when alot of homes did not yet have televisions.After a couple of years no one will notice or care.

    • liberranter

      It will take [China] 100 years to get where we are now.

      Get where? To a state of national stupidity, corruption, and bankruptcy?

      No, if China follows Amerika’s map for getting there, it will take them a lot less than 100 years. It’s only taken us about 25.

      If that does’nt do it, travel around Mexico or South America for while.

      I’ll guarantee you’ll change your tune there meistro

      Where did the heck did you pull Latin America from anything Michael wrote here? Go back to watching American Idol. That way you can ramble about something you know about.

    • Mondobeyondo

      China hasn’t totally gotten their act together and “connected the dots” yet – still tens of millions of their citizens that are dirt poor. But they are advancing.

      Mexico? Well… they have Acapulco and Cancun. That’s an advantage, I guess.

    • paul

      I lived there for 15 years. It is much safer there. No mugging. Walk wherever you want, whenever you want, raise your hand and a taxi stops. They dont speak English, but if you are humble they will help you to get wherever you want to go. Except in Beijing, of course. They want to see money. In the mid nineties the streets were dark at night. now everything is lit up, too much light, if you ask me. But the food is still good. And the sauna is hot and you can relax there after a hard days work or traveling.

      • Malcolm Reynolds

        You’re outta your mind. I’ve been to China as well.

        safer there? You meant to say it’s safe unless you say something that displeases the govt and they’ll stop by in their mobile execution van to put a bullet in your head, or you get pregnant and the gestapo stops by in their mobile abortion vans.

        An BTW, you’re walking wherever you want, whenever you want because the poverty is so HORRENDOUS and you cant afford the use of some kind of vehicle.

        Try going shopping for food in China. The open air markets are super quaint. If you can get past the god awful STENCH of the fly coated (literally), unrefrigerated, hanging meat long enough to buy some, then maybe it’s better, but I don thin so Lucy.

        Aww, dont like the barf meat du jour. Try the fish market. They’ve got the 3 eyed special daily. Freshly caught in the green watered, chemically laden bay thats so polluted you’re warned not to touch the water.

        Aww. cant handle that. lets go out for dinner. YUM! Awww, they dont serve Americans. Yea that actually happened to me.

        street lights!? Are you serious with that garbage? It’s good to know that China caught up to America 40 years after we mastered the damn street light.

        ooh, lets go shopping. Yea, you can get every american movie. Pirated of course. You can get all the latest in computer gear. Pirated of course. You can haggle and get a great price on leather goods. Or so you thought until you stood around long enough to hear someone else get an initial offer much lower than yours, because they werent white. I was told that by a Brit that was also standing there and spoke chinese.

        What the hell is it with you lefties and your attraction to poverty, misery, racism and totalitarianism?

    • Nexus789

      That is true. However, continued lack of investment will result in a failure to replace and a potential systemic failure of key systems. So you can pretend you have ‘exceptional’ infrastructure but it will collapse if it not maintained/improved, etc.

    • Vendetta91

      Laughable, really. Mr Newton I really think it would be wise to apply for a passport and travel to China soon. Once you arrive you’ll be blown away by their advanements in transit and civil infrastructure. I travel to Hangzhou for business every quarter and im my honest opinion China’s infrasture has already surpassed ours. Their interstate is continually expanding with longer, wider and smoother surfaces. Many of the bridges there make the Golden Gate look whimpy and dated. Michael is right when he says the US is in need of spending 2.2 trillion dollars on repairs let alone advancement. We really need help and we are falling behind fast.

  • ScoutMotto

    This should be a lesson to those people who think federal income tax goes to fund roads. I’ve not heard of any new highways being built, ever. If someone can point me to a site, I’d sure like to check out whether new roads are even being built. Since federal income tax goes to pay the stockholders of the private Fed, it certainly wouldn’t go to any roads in the first place. No level of government is handling our tax money honestly. We should all be disgusted over the waste of our hard-earned money.

    • Jim

      In California, the politicians loot the tax money specifically designated for roads and infrastructure to fund their pet projects or keep the monster alive, the monster formerly known as the “golden state”

      I have never heard of a single politician going down for fraud or misappropriation of funds and you don’t hear any cries for it from the supposed opposition party here–because they are dipping into the till themselves.

      • Jim

        I forgot to mention “The Brown Streak”, the insanely overpriced not-so high speed train to nowhere which will never be built and is only another bullet into the septic tank.

    • GodDoesNotExistDealWithIt

      Dude, there are definitely new highways being built, for example WV48/US55 outside of Wardensville WV.

      I’m not sure where the funding comes from, of course, just as I’m not sure how you could possibly think you’d know about the status of highway building across the entire nation.

      • John W.

        You would not believe the amount of freeway construction in So.Calif. Amazing as is all the other construction.

  • http://www.prepper-resources.com PJ Prepper

    Michael,

    I couldn’t agree more, our infrastructure is absolutely crumbling with no real “fix” in sight. Just drive around any major metropolitan area and you will see construction cones. But are the workers actually re-engineering and fixing things, or are they applying band aids to problems which will need to be re-addressed in short order…

    The high life is coming to a close. There simply isn’t enough money to go around to support all of these projects, nor will there ever be.

    Might be time to buy that truck you were looking at. :)

    Cheers

    PJ

    Prepper-Resources.com

    • liberranter

      Just drive around any major metropolitan area and you will see construction cones. But are the workers actually re-engineering and fixing things, or are they applying band aids to problems which will need to be re-addressed in short order…

      They appear to be doing neither. In fact, I can’t remember the last time that I’ve seen a road construction crew do anything other than move equipment around and take extended “breaks,” taking months or years to do what could –and would– easily be done in a matter of days or weeks if they were being paid by someone who demanded results for the money paid (in other words, anyone but government).

    • paul

      Not enough money around? When was the last time you had a look at the list of the richest people in the US?

      Bill Gates alone has 60 billion for himself. And even with some charity spending, he got 7 billion richer last year.

      • http://www.prepper-resources.com PJ Prepper

        So what are you suggesting, we simply confiscate money to fix our problems? Tony Robbins shot an interesting video about that very topic. I think you’ll enjoy it.

        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jboTeS9Okak

        There isn’t enough money out there…

  • Mondobeyondo

    This is very sad to see this happening in the U.S. Especially when you see pictures of those sparkling new skyscrapers going up in Shanghai.

    If we had spent our money wisely, we could have fixed our falling bridges, crumbling roads, aging electrical grid, and decaying water and sewer systems. That freeway bridge that collapsed in Minneapolis several years ago is only the beginning.

    The absolute utter shame would be listening to government officials in India and Bangladesh laugh at us. Some of them probably already are.

  • Me

    Wait I thought we weren’t supposed to be materialistc.

    So we shouldn’t care about this, right?

    (tongue in cheek).

    See, it’s all about who’s getting scr*wed. You learn this fact when you work your ass off for a cause, and the person on the recieving end simply takes and takes and takes and won’t help and even goes so far as to insult you that you’re not doing your part hard enough.

    So if you stop, throw your hands up, and say *************** it, who’s selfish in that picture?

    Answer: both parties. Isn’t it?

    This is why the argument about materialism sounds great on paper but is in reality circular. It’s also why everyone says “yes yes how horrible” and then goes out and buys *********** once again.

    Nothing will ever happen with such a broad argument, you need specific acceptable terms and conditions.

    • k

      Materialism means obsessed only with materials and ignoring everything else.

      Here even essential materials (bridges and roads)are being ignored :) and this is a problem too.

    • terry

      1 .stop giveing the money to other countrys.
      builb usa needa it first
      2. close feb forever.
      3.brning all soldiers home.this is killing the usa best young people and ptsd plus sucide is wild so wall street good old boys can stick another penny in piggy bank at home.did you see the asses standing with drinks in hand laughing at wall street protest. the low life bankers shows off and toast a drink to the robbing of the american people.
      4.goggle how are the biggest drug dealers and weapons in the world

    • Nexus789

      Consumerism has little to do with core infrastructure except if infrastructural is not there it is hard to a be consumer. It is pretty hard to confuse consumerism with shared’ infrastructure. Consumerism is private activity whereby YOU make a decision to personally buy more useless stuff which can be viewed as needless materialism. Infrastructure is a public investment whereby we ALL benefit from what is a collective public investment. We all benefit as a community from having clean water, regular and consistent electricity and gas supplies, modern roads and rail to move goods and people.

      The point being that at some point the failure of public infrastructure means that business also fails as they cannot get goods to market, etc. Can’t do much without the power grid for instance. The vast majority of people take what provides cohesion and underpins our society for granted.

  • Timothy

    In Michigan the road conditions are pretty terrible, d- if you will(lol). The county I live in the road commision uses a loose tar mixture and let the vehicles compact it, cost savings I suppose but it makes an absolute mess. Our parks are actually pretty well kept and most are in beautiful locations, It’s the corrupt DNR you have to watch out for though. Enjoyed the article.

    • John W.

      Michigan is the poster child for what the rest of the US will look like in ten years.

    • http://www.prepper-resources.com PJ Prepper

      I’ve heard Michigan has terrible roads, I wonder how much of that is due to the frost heaves? NC/TN/GA has some of the best roads I have ever drive/ridden on. Yet, all of those pale in comparison to the Autobahn.

      I’m writing this post and I just watch Cam Newton score a TD on Thursday night football. I wonder how much longer the bread and circuses can last…

      PJ

      Prepper-Resources.com

    • TJ

      I agree. Michigan does have nice parks but our road & railroad infrastructure sucks.

  • nowwthen

    So suppose that somehow we won some kind of worldwide infrastructure lottery and were awarded billions of dollars to improve our roads, bridges, airports etc. Our hidebound bureaucracy and politicians would waste many years arguing over how to spend it, many more years doing environmental impact studies and another twenty years challenging the design plans in the courts. If you’ve ever seen how long it takes for a proposed new highway exit to go from idea to completion you know what I mean.

    • Michael

      That is an excellent point.

      Michael

    • John W.

      Why do all you whiners always use we? I don’t ever remember any elected official ever giving a crap what I or the rest of us wanted.

      • nowwthen

        What word would you prefer in place of we to describe “I or the rest of us?”

        • John W.

          It’s not the word but the context in which it is used. We had little to do with most of the stupidity that govt. has engaged in. The bullet train was Arnies brainchild.

    • liberranter

      The only way to solve this problem is to privatize infrastructure. As things now stand, we suffer from the proverbial “Crisis of the Commons.” In other words, if “everybody” owns it, then NOBODY owns it. This would explain why no one feels that they have the responsibility to fix what is broken or build what needs to be built.

    • Nexus789

      That is perhaps a bit negative as the US road system, the gas and electrical grids, etc, were historically large government supported projects. I thought Americans had ‘can do’. The last thing America would want to do is spend to rebuild and hand all the work over to Chinese constructors.

    • Orange Jean

      I agree with you on that one. I used to work as an environmental planner (back in 1989-93) and a lot of the projects I worked on were for road improvement projects… they take forever to get started and the price goes up every year due to various delays, rework, etc.

      • John W.

        I was reading a story where a bridge which was scheduled for replacement saw the work delayed for ten years in which time the price increase was astronomical. Eventually the town where the bridge was located simply hired a local contractor leaving state and Federal involvement out and the price droped from a million and a half to fifty thousand.

  • Donna

    All of the tornadoes, floods, and wild fires certainly haven’t helped.

    I also think that there comes a point-whether it’s someone’s house, business, garden, whatever – where things become too big and expensive to maintain.

    • paul

      Plant some trees. There are no tornados in the Amazone Rainforest.

  • Sierra Dave

    I blame our trade imbalance. 1975 was the last year we were positive. My best guestimate is in the mid teen in Trillion$$$ lost. Add to that the unrestricted immigration. Short the funds and then over burden things. A double whammy.

    IMHO, the next Constitution should implement a requirement that our economic trade should be neutral or positive. Your household has to be neutral or positive. If it’s negative, soon you miss bills til you’re evicted.

    The only reason America has gotten this far is because we print up money. And that eventually ends when it becomes worthless.

    Stock up on food while you can!!!! After the collapse, the New America will not make the same mistakes. At least for some decades.

  • Loop Garoo

    Local government wants to build dog parks, bike lanes, and libraries; when they have more important stuff to do like purify drinking water, fire trucks, electric sub-stations, and sewerage. All of which is too mundane for the reality TV mommies of suburbia. And the men in office are too emasculated to stand up to the PC silliness in local budgets.

  • JF

    Too much transportation money being diverted/spent on other government budgets. Can’t look at New Orleans as an example of the condition of levees. They built that city in low ground didn’t they? What did Jesus say about building your house on sand?

  • Disgusted_with_Pols

    You said: “#2 There are simply not enough roads in the United States today. Each year, traffic jams cost the commuters of America 4.2 billion hours and about 2.8 million gallons of gasoline.”

    Are there not enough roads or too many cars? Given #12 (Close to half of all U.S. households do not have access to bus or rail transit), I’d say the latter.

    Materialistic = selfish. The lack of civic-mindedness in many of our elected officials is deplorable. “We the people” seems to have been replaced by “Me, my cronies, and nobody else”…

  • Evie

    If they do not fix the highways people will be forced onto high speed trains as per the plans of the elite. But wait, there are no high speed trains,see why above.
    Materialism is not the problem the lack of leadership and a corrupt political system is the problem.
    They all would watch the whole country decay before any will do anything that will not cut in the global crocks and cronies known as the elite. If they cannot make millions you cannot make a dime.

  • Gary2

    The republicans are standing in the way of a second stimulas for infastructure. With intrest rates at record lows we should be borrowing and spending on this big time. Should also be taxing the rich for this.

    We are in this mess soley due to the GOP blocking everything in the mistaken hope mittens will win. The conservatives are so yesterday. Progressives are the future. Simply look at demographics to see I am correct. GOP=Grandpa’s Old Party

    • nowwthen

      A quote from Obama while seated at the right hand of Jeffrey Immelt the head of Obama’s Jobs council and CEO of General Electric which paid $0.00 in taxes while outsourcing jobs to China.

      “Sho . . .Shovel ready was not as, ah, shovel ready as we expected.”

      And you think all that’s missing is more stimulous money? What’s that word you like to use so much? Dolt?

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O55aRrvXtio

    • Malcolm Reynolds

      “We are in this mess soley due to the GOP blocking everything ”

      LMAO!!! Yea, it was them damned evil republicans that blocked everything the first 2 years Obama was in office.

      Reality. Dumba$$es like Gary were on their knees praying to Saint Bamster to deliver them from all evil while DEMOCRATS were literally bribing each other to get it passed.

      Much like, what’re those words you like to use so much Gary? Oh yea, ‘low information’ idiots like Gary and the brokeback vet like to claim democrats were the ones that finally liberated blacks with the civil rights act of 1964. Yea, the one that democrats were filibustering and republicans were rallying around.

  • Gary2

    Michael–I thought you said things were being held togfether with prayer???should not this be enough? How’s that praying thing workin out to fix the infastructure?

    • DB200

      Ora et labora – pray and work. Forget one of them and things start moving in the wrong way. Compare it to a rowing boat that always needs two peddles, one on each side, to make progress. Use only one and you’re making circles in the water but not much progress.

      Therefore: ora et labora.

    • Malcolm Reynolds

      Ahh yes. Here’s Gary once again mocking faith and not 3 threads ago claimed to be a church goer. l.i.a.r.l.i.a.r.p.a.n.t.s.o.n.f.i.r.e

  • Banderman

    One thing we never receive any more: good news.

    • DB200

      Every day that the sun comes up is good news. And no, I don’t need a newspaper for that.

  • GSOB

    I see the main point, at least one of them, and that is, the roads, bridges and highways are going to get neglected even more. Our economic situation is not one to be supporting a overhaul on these travel lanes, though we all depend on them.

    I see it slipping further into decay and up until some earthquake forces the issue to the forefront, I don’t expect to hear much on the MSM about the publics saftey. Britain led the world in the development of railways and this acted as a stimulus for the industrial revolution, by facilitating the transport of raw materials and manufactured goods.

    Until God decides to shake things up (not mother nature), we still have the setteling in of the QE3 type of money printing… this will cause prices to go up for street sweepers and your parking citations will increase for cities to try and cover the cost…, increase cost for labor, everywhere on everything, even the cost for the basic pothole maintenance of roads, snow removal and painting lanes. The repairs will go on during rush hour and increase your spending on petro for all the time that idles away through your running engine.

    Either way you look at it, we are in for the ride. All the costs will get passed on to the shrinking work force that struggles to stay employed, even if they don’t have a car. The government gets the top portion of most of these workers paychecks by taxes, and be sure they’ll continue to get their cut out of your payday check long before you get what’s left of it. Just as it is now.

    If you have not been outside this US of A, you can not really appreciate
    what we have or had and what it’s becoming,… because we invented the car to go on these roads, the rest of the world follows in pursuit.

  • Roger Smith

    Anyone in the market for a new vehicle, I would consider one that does well off-road (perhaps a donkey) because as bad as our roads are right now, they are only going to get worse. On the bright side, the way fuel prices are going’, we won’t be able to afford to drive on these crappy roads anyway. At that point, we’ll at least be able to say that we’ve finally become a more “Green” country….as we watch raw sewage spill into our rivers….

  • http://OgallalaAquifer Lazy Ike

    Two areas where the money has gone. (1) Useless wars and defense spending for outdated missions and the cost of the volunteer army and their dependents. (2) interest on the federal debt which is ballooning caused by a structural deficit instituted in 1981 by Ronald Reagan which instead of being corrected, has been exacerbated, all of this after the big sucking sound as described by Ross Perrot which has skewered the national income of the US through reduced wages of workers which were transformed into capital gains of the rich and taxed at a lower rate. That’s why the US is broke. The only way out is to devalue the petro dollar and start over as soon as possible.

  • Eisenkreutz

    Did anyone see the movie The Day? If so, did you like it?

  • Roger Smith

    Oh, while we’re on the subject of transportation, let me vent on the idiocy of high-speed rail. Actually high-speed rail was an excellent idea…..40 friggn’ years ago. We missed the opportunity on that one…but trying to play catch up to the Europeans is completely stupid. We need to skip it and just move onto the next technology (leap frog it). Building a high-speed rail system requires that you build your entire nations’ other transportation systems to be compatible with it. Think about it, our cities, like it or not, require a car to get around in them. Take, as an example, this moronic rail line they want to build from L.A. to Las Vegas. Are you going to pack up your car in Huntington beach, drive through L.A. traffic all the way to Victorville, unpack the car, board the train, ride another hour and a half to Vegas, then rent another car or pay a cab to get to where you’re going? Please…., you’re just gonna drive the whole way and have your own car when you get there…for less money. Building highspeed rail in the U.S. would be like going to a village in Africa that has never had telephones and building a copper wire phone system. Don’t re-invent the wheel. Just skip to the next technology and build a wireless system. America needs to skip the trains and look toward high-speed, automated, smart highways. Of course, this is all hypothetical because we can’t afford either.

    • nowwthen

      Comments like this make me wish there was a thumbs up or a like button.

  • Mustard Seeds

    #14 It is estimated that rolling blackouts and inefficiencies in the U.S. electrical grid cost the U.S. economy approximately 80 billion dollars a year.

    I have a relative that works for a major utility company here in the U.S.

    • Mustard Seeds

      Let’s try this again

      #14 It is estimated that rolling blackouts and inefficiencies in the U.S. electrical grid cost the U.S. economy approximately 80 billion dollars a year.

      I have a relative that works for a major utility company here in the U.S. He is warning everyone in the family to be prepared for major grid problems this winter. The utilities have cut back the crews to bare bones and they say more cuts are possible soon. Preventative maintenance is non existent. Obvious problems are not being addressed until they cause an outage. Equipment is not being maintained or replaced as needed. The crews are doing more with less. What used to take a day or two to fix can take twice as long now. If a major storm happens, be prepared for AT LEAST a week without power.

      • Mustard Seeds

        One more thing. All this Fed QE isn’t going to help rebuild anything. Our infrastructure will continue to decline. Our jobs will continue to disappear. The money will be used to buy up Treasuries and mortgage backed securities. Anything that has been mortgaged will be bought by the banks with money the Fed prints out of thin air….for free. The Fed (whoever they are) will own everything on paper, and they will succeed in devaluing the dollar to death. And the American people are expected to pay the bill.

        How will you survive in a dead economy?

  • paul

    Not enough roads?
    Roads don’t solve traffic jam problems.
    Why is there traffic in the first place?
    First: avoid traffic
    Second: channel traffic into the fast lane – railways. China has built high-speed railways in the last 20 years. The express between Canton and Shenzhen goes every 10 minutes. Very convenient.

    Berlin’s subway system is 100 years old, but together with the tram and busses handles commuter traffic really well. No need to own a car if you live in the city.

    • Mondobeyondo

      You’re right. More roads won’t solve traffic jams.

      Highway engineer builds a road. People like it and start driving on it to shorten their commutes. Road gets jammed. Transportation department decides to widen road (and that costs $$$.) Widened road attracts even more traffic, creating even bigger jams. Highway engineer decides to build even bigger and longer highways. How do you think LA’s freeway system became such a nightmare?

      That is a major problem in wide open, car-dependent, spread out Western cities like Los Angeles and Phoenix. There are no major transportation alternatives like most Eastern cities have – NYC, Philly, Chicago, etc. have. You have a choice between cars, cars, driving, and cars. Unless you walk (how about a nice, leisurely 30-mile walk between Glendale, Arizona and Apache Junction, Arizona?!), you have no real reliable alternatives other than driving.

      • paul

        How about taking the bus? Compare the space used by 30 people in a bus and 30 people in 30 cars. Remove the 30 cars and the bus gets really fast.

        Can also scrap 2 lanes of the highway and build a tram there and then watch from the speedy tram the faces of the jammed car drivers.

        Get some private investors – maybe Chinese, if Americans don’t want to invest in their own country – and build what is needed to reduce waste and improve competitiveness.

        • DB200

          Far better: build priority lanes for buses only. Everybody standing still, the persons in the bus moving nicely and get to work really early. For those in the USA: these systems actually exist.

          • Malcolm Reynolds

            Did you get that idea from the resounding success (*cough* not so much) of HOV lanes eliminating traffic?

            Lets see.

            I can drive from my home to downtown when I want, right when I want in about 30-35 minutes listening to what i want with whomever I want.

            or

            I can drive to the nearest idiot station. Wait for 20 minutes to get on the idiot mobile that’s going where I want. I MUST sit next to some smelly, lunatic with chronic halitosis that wont shut the F up. I get to listen to the idiot mobile ROAR over halitosis man the whole way. I get to stop every 1/4 mile. I get to take three different transfers and wait EVERY TIME for the correct idiot mobile to arrive. So now it’s 2 1/2 hours later, I’m FINALLY at the idiot station closest to my destination and I still have to walk 4 blocks to where I wanna get to. DAMN! The buses dont run past midnight, so now I have to CALL a cab, wait for that clown to show up and then I get to fork over $45 to have a MANIAC drive me home at half the speed of light.

            Thanks, but I’ll pay the $5 in gas and just drive myself. Read the responses above – in particular the one about leap frogging the europeans. Buses were great in the 1930s, but not so much any more.

  • http://www.facebook.com/nikiwonoto nikiwonoto

    I am from Indonesia.
    This article is the Truth.

    A few good quotes along with this excellent post :

    “People often need DRAMATIC (or TRAGIC) examples to shake them out of apathy.”
    – Batman Begins

    “It’s always darkest before the dawn.”

    ~warm regards from Indonesia~

  • paul

    You know where your money is going, do you?

    “Defense”

    Guns, ammunition, soldiers, ships, missiles, anti-missile shields, super weapons, space weapons, high tech weapons, tanks, airplanes, submarines, etc. Etc.

    It’s your choice, but is it a wise choice?

  • the ragged trousered philanthropist

    I have never been to America so cannot comment on the state of your infrastructure, but reading your article it seems similar to ours in the UK.
    I also read somewhere that when COLLAPSE comes, (as it surely must) TPTB will want an intact infrastructure. With this in mind it’s state of upkeep can or could be used as a barometer for when Collapse is likely.
    THEY will not need as comprehensive system as now exists and already have it carefully planned.
    Consider this.
    Our rail network is badly in need of upgrade with allegedly no money available and yet a project (that will cost billions) to build a high speed passenger line the 100 miles from London to Birmingham is almost certain to be agreed. There is no desperate need for this line in fact it will only cut minutes off what is already a very quick and efficient service. Yet we the public are expected (compelled) to pay for this frivolity. This is tantamount to a man in rags with holes in his shoes having to pay for a $5000 Rolex watch for a multi millionaire and will be of as much use to him (the poor man). I have heard of a similar scheme in California (perhaps someone could illuminate me).
    This is not unique however, I’m convinced the PIGS nations of Europe are in such dire straits by indebting their populations to similar hair brained schemes.
    Don’t just look where money is not being spent on infrastructure – look where it is, that will give a better idea what’s happening.
    As per usual thanks for another thought provoking and interesting article.

    • paul

      And after HS2 is finished you still need a car, because there is no bus to bring you home from the station.

  • http://www.survive2balive.com GA

    Just another symptom of our continued voyage into the 3rd world!

  • K

    Let`s face it. If it is not for the rich, the military, or DHS. It is just not important anymore. If it was not for our military, we are already a third world country. As you have said in the past, just look at the cities. And as I have said in the past. If you can find anyway to afford it. Get out of the cities soon.

  • William

    Surely you do not think that Americans would want to spend money to improve their lives and provide the necessary infastructure for business, do you??? No, NO, Americans want to spend money on unnecessary wars of choice based on the LIES of evil Satanists. The current cost of the illegal and immoral war in Iraq, which killed over a MILLION innocent Iraqi civilians, is about ONE TRILLION DOLLARS. The final cost, according to Nobel economist Stiglitz will approach FOUR TRILLION DOLLARS.
    The Smirking Chimp and war criminal Bush is not so funny now, is he??

    • John W.

      What killed the million Iraqis? It sure was not our troops. There was actually very little in the way of large battles. Not saying I agree with the whole thing but at least be accurate and not make things up.

      • Malcolm Reynolds

        You’ll get no answer from any lefty that touts bull crap like ‘illegal and immoral war’ and ‘millions of civilians killed’. The dolt you responded to blames America for EVERY DEATH in Iraq.

        I read about this story a few years back. This is the kind of thing that dolt blames us for, much the same as he’ll blame the Israeis when Palestinians use children as human shields. The leftist mind is a very fragile and delusional thing.

  • blueridgeviews

    Not to worry. Obama’s worldwide depression will alleviate the traffic problem.

  • Rowell

    It all depends on the state in which you live. Connecticut, for example, has excellent roads that are resurfaced often. Highways, primary roads and secondary roads rarely have any problems, and I can’t recall the last time I hit a pothole. Construction crews are always visible on Route 95 (the major interstate), and they do the bulk of their work at night, when there’s little traffic. But, if you move one state over, to either Rhode Island or New York, both states have terrible roadways.

  • steve

    After world war II we were building a nation and the infastructure to support it. We also produced much more than we do today and were, in fact, net exporters of all that production. Today, the US produces about 30% of worldwide consumption and is a net importer. Unlike China, whose economy is growing, we in the US have seen the end of the American Dream and become merely 14 trillion in consumption. So, infasctucture, while important, is dwarfed by exponential growth in population, exponential growth in energy demand and exponential growth in the need for food and water. Unfortunately, the time to plan for these things is past. It doesn’t happen over night. HOLD ON TO YOUR SEATS FOLKS. The pyramid is about to implode.

  • pete

    For a society that lives as we do and has done as we have done….you don’t get crisp sparkling brand new state of the art infrastructure.

    For people that have done and acted as we have, you get crumbling, falling apart and caving in.

    In order to have new stuff that is in good repair you have to act responsibly and use good judgement. Those are not exactly how we would describe our most recent behaviors…now are they?!

    So, once again….Mr. Snyder has written an excellent piece….but only shocking and mind blowing to people that never read Mr. Snyders articles, and never would.

  • Cleo

    More government intervention via rules and regulations as they attempt to upgrade our infrastructure certainly won’t work well….just look at the new world trade center which still isn’t finished after 11 years.

    We have developed an amazing distribution system over the years, but it is based on highways, especially the interstate highway system that was initiated by President Eisenhower modeled after the defense oriented German Autobahn put in place by Hitler. Our system enabled us to expand economically to what we have today.

    I drive cross country a lot. Granted, there are stretches of roads that are for the most part really poor. But for the most part, they’re not in too bad a shape.

    As the economy continues to self destruct, fewer and fewer people will drive and fly. I fly a lot and very seldom are the airports crowded like they used to be, except around major holidays. You don’t even need a motel reservation to travel cross country unless you are near a popular tourist destination.

    But, unless our economy improves drastically, our current infrastructure is adequate….for now.

    So, what do we do? Gravitate to UN Agenda 21 and force the folks into the big cities all in the name of saving the planet? Well, that’s already where a lot of folks live.

    A free people and a free market, free of the market manipulation of an out of control government will always make the best decisions for themselves. Right now, our government is spending and printing ourselves into oblivion. Horrible inflation, maybe even hyperinflation is just around the corner. And higher interest rates are looming too, as no one wants to purchase our debt. The government is trying to inflate our currency to ay off this debt.

    Only when the economic reset button is pressed, and we sink to the bottom, will we be able to start to better ourselves again.

    Prepare yourself for the coming perfect storm. And prepare yourself mentally, emotionally,morally, and spiritually for what is coming. Come to the realization that if you are a Vet, anti abortion,a prepper,pay cash for anything, believe in small government,a gun owner, conservative, and demand a return to Constitutional values and the Republican government that we originally had,and that you are the enemy of the state and have been determined to be a threat.

    God wants free people, and set us free through Christ’s sacrifice. I suggest you read Galatians 4 vs.21 to 5 vs.1 , titled slave versus free.
    We must, with our prayers and God’s help, free ourselves from the bondage that we are certainly headed toward…we are moving “forward” to a fundamental transformation of America to a socialized state that redistributes your successes.

    The vote in November is extremely important. How will you vote?

    • Gay Veteran

      “God wants free people”

      dude, have you actually read the bible???

      • DB200

        Where else can you find Galatians 4 vs.21 to 5 vs.1?

      • U’ll find out soom

        This is liberalism mentality at it’s best.

        Democrats have absolutely no standards (but then thats redundant) and LOVE to try to beat conservatives over the head at the slightest moral failing.

        In other words, you’re over here trying to trump him for soemthing you havent done.

      • Malcolm Reynolds
  • Martman

    We just spent our summer vacation in nd, sd and wyoming your road are great. Come here to canada if you want to drive on crap roads. Sure some secondary roads may have some gravel patches but these roads are being pounded to bits by heavy truck use servicining the oil and ag business.

  • Syrin

    But I thought our Fuhrer spent billions on shovel ready jobs to fix our infrastructure. You know, between rounds of golf and drinking $2500 bottles of champagne while maligning the wealthy.

  • Svetlana

    Same thing happened back when the USSR began to fall apart. I remember seeing it happen in my country at that time.

  • http://www.thebackyardprovider.com Michael Patrick McCarty

    All true, no doubt. Then why is it that work is so hard to find when there is so much to be done? It is apparant to me that it is all part of the plan, and that the planned collapse is right on schedule. At this point it is more than difficult to turn the Titanic.

  • http://back2theland.com Old Timer

    Rats are increasing.

    OT

    • Mondobeyondo

      Rats are a good source of protein. (ick!!)

      • paul

        I don’t like the taste, and there are too many small bones. Yes, I ate mouse in China. They have experience with famine and have more choices than just beef, chicken or pork.

  • Ed

    I live in Illinois. We spend millions to run empty buses around town all day that no one wants to use. We don’t fix existing highways, but have plenty of money to build new ones. Similarly we don’t fix existing public buildings and monuments, but we always have a new one in the cooker to placate the construction unions. Our interstate highways here, meant to be limited access roadways, have been practically turned into city streets with the abundance of exits and entrances and it seems every municipality now runs radar so as to increase the municipal revenue regardless of the safety hazards these speed traps . The way I see it complete failure is what we need. While I will hate to see it unfold, there seems to be no other way

    • paul

      I lived in Hong Kong. The buses were always full. You could get a bus any time of day and night, and on public holidays the frequency was increased.Slow buses were cheap, fast busses cost more. ALL buses had their customers.

      I lived in_England. Last bus at 11pm. Sunday first bus at 8am.Not good if your job starts at 8am. Reduced service on Sundays and public holidays. Buses always late or broken.

      You NEED to have a car in England.
      In HK a car is a liability.

  • Quiver

    With respect to rail what I don’t understand is why the profit motive hasn’t caused the industry to devolope high speed freight. Must be due to regulations and unions.

  • Kevin2

    When you compete with the third world at their level you become them. Decaying infrastructure is but one example of the downward move the US is taking.

  • TJ

    Michael,

    Great article. Our infrastructure here in America does sucks. Michigan roads are just filled with potholes & our bridges our crumbling badly. For example, Michigan Route 1 (Woodward Avenue) is the main street/arterial for Detroit & some of its upper echelon suburbs. It is filled with potholes, lumps & garbage alongside the curbs. Another example is US Route 12 (Michigan Avenue) or the main street of Michigan. Near its terminus in Detroit, the road is filled with potholes, unevenly bricked, worn out ashpalt & crumbling curbs & sidewalks. The county & the state does a horrible job maintaining the roads here. We still have bridges inservice from the 50’s 60’s. All the state does is just patch them up.

    Also, the railroad infrastructure here in the US sucks times 10. The average passenger train speed for the country overall is 55mph. Our politicians always talk about high speed rail, nothing is really being done about it.

    For example, On a majority of Amtrak’s Northeast Corridor (NEC) the caternary is nearly 100 years old. Michael, Did you know the caternary on the Northeast Corridor used to be gray ? Amtrak Acela only does 150mph on only 35 miles out of the 457 miles of the Northeast Corridor. What a real accomplishment ??? -_- Our rail speeds on North America’s fastest rail corridor CANNOT even match European & Asian High Speed Rail Standards.

    It took Amtrak TEN years to upgrade a 45 mile railine that it owns in Michigan to 110mph after having it at 95mph. Meanwhile in Canada, it took Via Rail Canada ONE year to upgrade their 44 mile line between Windsor,ON (across the river from Detroit,MI) & Chatham,ON to 100mph. They are also improving stations on the line too like its terminus in Windsor,ON. Michigan or Amtrak has really done nothing about the seven hour plus train time between Chicago & Detroit. The previous railroad owners trains used to take under six hours to get between the same two cities on the same lines. The Chicago to Toledo line takes a hour less to travel the same distance as the Chicago to Detroit line & at slower speeds. MICHIGAN is the worst state to take the train in after Indiana.

    Trains in the United States were faster & more reliable way before Amtrak came along. Matter of fact, Amtrak takes just about the same time as the previous railroads owners passenger trains or even longer to get between cities. For example, Atchison Topeka & Sante Fe’s Super Chief (Chicago to Los Angeles) took 36 hours to get between both cities. Amtrak’s Southwest Chief which travels between both cities on a more direct route takes 43 hours.

    We need to fix everything with our infrastructure, instead of patch it up. Michigan really needs to fix its infrastructure bad.

    • Michael

      Great information. I really enjoy when readers add extra points in the comments like this. I certainly learned a lot from your comment.

      What is happening to this country?

      Michael

      • Piglet

        [Trains in the United States were faster & more reliable way before Amtrak came along.]

        Passenger train travel had, in fact, been in a state of decline since the end of the Second World War and the freight railroads were anxious to unload it. The unstated (and still largely unknown) role for Amtrak was to attempt to make a go of it for a few years, and then the feds would say, “Well, we tried, but it just isn’t working, so we’re going to put an end to long distance passenger trains.” They hadn’t counted on congressmen determined to keep rail service in their home districts. Unfortunately Amtrak has remained underfunded and has been limping along ever since. Having ridden trains in Europe and Asia, the level of service we have in this country is downright embarrassing in comparison.

        • TJ

          I agree with you Piglet.

          Train travel in the US really went into decline is because the Interstate Commerce Commission in 1951 limited our trains to top speeds of 79mph without cab signaling or Automatic Train Stop. Keep in mind, the US is the only country in the world that runs its trains under 100mph on coventional CTC signaling. The technology at the time was expensive for railroads to install or maintain. The railroads that installed cab signaling eventually removed it. Also, the railroads handed over their passenger service to Amtrak for a fee because they knew they would make more money charging Amtrak rent to run on their rails (no matter how horrible track conditions are).

          Amtrak is VERY unrealiable, underfunded & the level of service sucks. Canada even provides better levels of service than Amtrak. The current Amtrak equipment constantly breaks down while in service (especially in the Midwest US). The states in most cases bought or funded Amtrak’s new passenger cars & trainsets. Most Amtrak equipment (besides the Superliner Cars & Acela Express) does not look cool or innovative. Most of Amtrak equipment looks like paper towel tubes & cracker boxes.

          People liked riding the trains because they had innovative reliable equipment & they gave a real rail experience for its passenger. For example, Via Rail Canada has a lot of tourists customers because the tourists like riding in the 1950’s stainless steel dining cars, dome cars, sleeping & observation cars. Its gives them an unique rail experience. Amtrak’s Heritage Fleet Cars (the cars metioned in the sentence before the last) disappeared in the 1990’s on the east coast medium to long distance trains because Amtrak did not want to renovate them like Via Rail Canada. This had led Amtrak to an equipment shortage in terms of sleeping cars & dining cars on the east coast since Amtrak does not have the funding to get new equipment. For example, there are only 50 sleeping cars & 13 dining cars (14 if you count that ugly Viewliner Diner) to service the entire East Coast of the US on Amtrak’s single level trains.

          Amtrak is example of how government monopolies sucks at running things. It won’t be long until monopolies come to bus & airline service.

      • TJ

        Michael,
        Our country is decline. The infrastructure here is a clear sign of that next to our education system. For example, Can you tell me a country that has torn dorn, abandoned, or converted many of its great train stations from its original use ?

        Next year Michigan Central Station in Detroit would be 100 years old. Within the last Twenty-five of those great one-hundred years this station is abandoned & is an eyesore for the city of Detroit. If this station was in another country of the world, I am willing to bet you it would restored landmark in its origanal use.

        Just look how we let great buildings & skyscrapers in our major cities deteriorate. As a country, we have been gutting our infrastructure since the late 50’s because contractors said our infrastructure will last 100 years when they built it (under the conditions BACK THEN). So why fix it when it can last 100 years ?

        This event started when we got rid of the streetcar/trolley routes in most of our major cities & replaced them with freeways that run through neighborhoods to reach our downtowns. How great did turn out with the major traffic jams during rush hour. Notice how most European cities thrive because they kept the streetcar lines downtown & the freeways near the outskirts of thie cities. Our country is just going to work our infrastructure to it collaspes instead of investing to make our infrastructure better. It is ashame that third world countries have better infrastructure than the USA (the supposedly richest country in the world) !

  • A.Men

    obummer said he repaired all the roads and bridges with all our deficit spending!

    Romney/Ryan 2012.

  • Orange Jean

    Good work Michael! It’s an interesting topic, there are definitely two sides to the story and it’s all very expensive and very much politically driven.

    I would prefer to see most (if not all) of our taxpayer money that is currently being sent to foreign countries to build up their infrastructure etc. used to improve ours. Where I live we had a big “disaster” of sorts just last weekend, when VDOT (Virginia Dept of Transportation) started delayed work on a large number of road and bridge maintenance projects all at the same time, which was very poorly planned – because they did all the work during the day (at least weekend not workweek), but did not coordinate. In this area (Hampton Roads/Tidewater) there are many bridges that connect various smaller bits of land; most of us have to travel across multiple bridges daily to do anything, but the two largest land masses are on the north vs. south side of the James River. There are three ways to cross that river in this area – the James River bridge, Monitor-Merrimack and Hampton Roads Bridge Tunnel. Last weekend TWO of those were closed at the same time….in at least one direction. The plan was to do this every weekend for between 5-9 weeks in a row. MANY of the other bridges in this area were also closed at the same time… and will continue to be for weeks.

    The resulting traffic jams this past weekend were so bad (people reporting sitting in traffic for 5+ hours) they’ve put a halt on the projects for 2 weeks to figure out Plan B. In the meantime though, we really do need to get those things fixed, least we have a real disaster – because there are major problems on all those bridges and tunnels they need to fix and hopefully before winter. They already postponed a bunch of them because it was tourist season, and people complained about losing money. At the same time there is a big (and unpopular) push to start charging tolls on many of these and push to build some silly light rail – that does NOT connect the main places where people live to the places where people work, only to connect a few tourist destinations. My understanding also is a lot of those projects are being done by foreign companies, not US and not necessarily hiring US citizens.

    On the plus side? As a kid one of my fondest memories is the summer they finished I-95 near my home. They had done the paving but hadn’t opened it yet and for months my brothers and I got to ride our bikes on PERFECT roads with no traffic…. WHEEEEEEEEEEE!!!!!!!!

  • Tom

    The idea of the “Sovereignty Plan” that was floating around many state legislatures several years ago needs to be passed by congress. They would have the treasury directly fund projects for schools and infrastructures to the states and over a set time span repayment with a slight service fee would be paid back,instead of floating bonds for projects which would save us considerable money for the projects.

  • Zeke

    A major contributor to decay, often overlooked; War & empire. Be honest about how this system operates. Fascism mixed with socialism is a rotten mix. Don’t look to the outlaw federal government for the solutions. Remove consent. Vote with every dollar. Rebuild this country one community at a time, and start with your own.

    • paul

      Start by electing other parties than dem or rep. Get youself informed. Or get an independent. Who really gets involved in her community.

  • Gabriel

    I am reading the US Fed is going to inject $40 billion per month into the US economy. Of course this will go to the balance sheets of the banks which of course won’t loan the money out but of course massive bonuses will be paid.

    I’m not sure why the US government doesn’t use this “money” for a massive infrastructure repair project instead. At least the money will be paid to workers who will turn around and spend the money in the local economy.

    Oh wait, the system’s completely fucking rigged. That’s why they won’t do that.

  • prahalad

    How to live a happy life
    1)do not enjoy with borrowed money. spend your own money for anything you buy, a car, a home, food,
    clothing, and eveything. If you cannot buy with your own money, then differ it to a future date
    2) do not watch more than 10 minutes of TV, watch News only
    3)Work out every dayfor 40 minutes, you can walk, you can practive Yoga, special breathing, etc
    4)Do not talk about anyone in their absence , bad or good
    5)forget the past and future, just live in the present moment
    6) Everyone in the past, rich, poor, educated and uneducated, good and ugly, have one day left this world
    without taking anything they made with them
    7)Get out of the rat race,love all like you love yourself

    Be happy for ever

    • GSOB

      Very good prahalad
      Reminds me of some of the teachings found in scripture too.
      Very cool

    • A.S.

      Don’t watch news period…100% are lies anyways!

  • Washington

    Gallup Poll: Number Of Americans Who Don’t Trust The MSM Hits All-Time High, 60%…

    http://weaselzippers.us/2012/09/21/gallup-poll-number-of-americans-who-dont-trust-the-msm-hits-all-time-high-60/

  • Ron

    The reason that we do not have the money for infrastucture is because our leaders saw fit to spend money on attempted nation building and needless wars. How many trillions have these wars cost us? I think the Federal Reserve secretly created 23 trillion dollars to give to banks and other cronies around the globe. Just think what we could have done with that money.

  • Harold

    I’m in complete agreement with the first poster.
    Our countries priorities have been screwed up for many years.
    The biggest problems, imo, are our focus on military solutions to our problems, combined with, we ‘no new taxes’.
    Both sound good, but give lousy results.
    I spent some time in Washington DC prior to the subway system, and more recently I visited and used the metro. The difference was incredible. The metro makes it such a better place. Not only that, but the politicians are better able to move about in their limos because of the metro below ground! I think that’s why it was built.
    Seriously, America has been focused on the wrong thing way back to Vietnam. That focus was, ‘maintain our oil supply’ regardless of cost.
    We need to raise taxes back to pre Reagan levels, reduce military spending greatly, and spend on our nation’s future, that is, infrastructure. This will create jobs also.

  • Amerikagulag

    But see, ‘infrastructure’ doesn’t help gain control of resources in other countries. Resources like OIL and GAS and OPIUM. We’re too busy taking over other countries and stealing their natural resources to be concerned about ‘infrastructure’. You’re living in a PRE-911 world! Infrastructure does nothing to increase our stock portfolios.

    • Malcolm Reynolds

      “We’re too busy taking over other countries and stealing their natural resources”

      Please cite where, when and how. I’m not holding my breath tho.

  • thisisajoke

    How about all those ghost cities that China is building?

    How about the massive glut of materials sitting at China’s docks decaying?

    How about the massive property bubble forming in China?

  • Terry

    As I recall, the stimulus was sold in part on the premise that at least part of the money would be used to fix our crumbling infrastructure and then in that news conference Obama made a joke of some projects not being as shovel ready as they thought. They might as well have burned the money for all of the good it did.

  • Drax

    Guys, dont worry your government is not going to change anything at all. Most important thing is oil and military power, so why the army is building all those military bases around the world especially middle east and asia. It’s like the Soviet Union just before collapse, when external policy becomes more important then internal, country collapses.

  • Barn cat

    #12 Close to half of all U.S. households do not have access to bus or rail transit.

    That one doesn’t matter. Public transportation is all done at a loss anyway. It would only make sense that small towns and rural areas would lack them.

    A lot of roads are crowded because people live in the suburbs and work in big cities. Sorry. I don’t feel sorry for people who do that.

    The biggest concern to me is the sewer systems.

    • paul

      public transport in Hong Kong makes profit. Price rises need to be approved by parliament.

  • http://www.surviving12-21-2012.blogspot.com doctor buzzsaw

    I was a truck driver for about 15 years. I had a route I ran quite often that every time I went across this one bridge in Eldorado Arkansas I would literally shudder. The bridge was an old steel span across the Red River and was rated at 48,000 pounds I always was weighing near 80,000 pounds but that was not what scared me, what really scared me was almost every time I crossed that bridge I would be on the center span with as many as 5 (FIVE) OTHER TRUCKS and probably all loaded near 80,000 pounds. It scared me so bad I would STOP and hold up traffic until I could time it right so I would be the only truck on the center span. Now that scred me more than anything. Yea they FINALLY replaced that OLD bridge and just about the time I quit driving truck. figures…
    And that was after that bridge collapsed in Tenessee that killed 5 people including a truck driver. I crossed that bridge a week to the day before it collapsed killing all them people and I crossed it weighing in at 80,000 pounds. That was another close call. But the creme de la creme was when I crossed a wood span bridge weighing 70,000 pounds I crossed it at an idel in the lowest gear I had. I was told it was OK to cross so I did. After I crossed the bridge I saw a sign in my rear view mirror, I went back to read it and it said “(10,000 load limit by order of Sheffield Police Department)” I SWEAR…..

  • Scott in Texas

    Had Obama used the jobs stimulus funds toward rebuilding our crumbling infrastructure, his reelection would be all but guaranteed now. Instead he (and the Congress) chose to follow their Elitist New World Order Masters and continue the greatest looting and plundering in the history of the world (that began under Bush).

  • SmallerGovNow

    Michael, the numbers are staggering. Just to put it in perspective, the US Army Corps of Engineers annual civil works budget is $5 billion. We are going to spend nearly $80 billion this year on the food stamp program, $800 billion on SS, and another $800 billion on Medicare/Medicade. We can’t be the socialist nanny state that we’ve elected and been promised. The math doesn’t add up. No amount of taxes can pay for the ponzi…

    • paul

      how much you pay for weapons?

      • Malcolm Reynolds

        And which one is constitutional you idiot? Which one is a ponzi scheme you idiot? Which one protects America you idiot? which one mires Americans in poverty with hopie changie you idiot?

        • Darien

          You are the idiot!
          We get ZERO rate of return on killing some peasants in Crapistan or numerous other ******* holes.

      • SmallerGovNow

        Roughly $800 billion Paul. Yes, cut it in half too, pull out of the middle east and only have a handful of strategic bases around. Guess what, still have to cut the federal government down to nothing. Cutting military alone does not solve the problems….

    • paul

      Just think about it. Every dollar spent on SS is pure spending power for the economy, while from every dollar spent on war 50 cents go to profit.

      • Malcolm Reynolds

        LMAO! Uh no. You stupid lefties are so backwards. The govt is not ‘pure spending power for the economy’.

        Do the math on those stupid SS statements they send you. If you add up all the money stolen by the govt from you for SS over your life (completely disregarding higher rates for higher income and just plain higher rates as your life goes on), by the time you’re eligible to collect SS, using average life expectancy, you’ll collect something like 2% of that money back. The rest went down the black hole of govt waste.

        Now whom did we pay for those weapons? American companies? And what did they do with that money? Paid interest to their American investors? Paid their American workers? Paid their American suppliers?

    • Don Duncan

      SmallerGovNow: NoGovNow. Problem solved. I trust the people, working in a Capitalist system, i.e., an economic system without gov’t interference, to provide peace and prosperity for themselves.

    • Nathan

      That nanny state includes though is often ignored is the constant nannying in the waging of wars to police the world. All entitlements pale in comparison to the various conflicts and money shelled out to defense contractors, the C.I.A., N.S.A. and other defense liabilities that we have heaped upon ourselves.
      Everyone keeps crowing about medicare, S.S. and the like. Well at least that is American money taking care of Americans.
      What about the money going into nation building foreign governments. Bribery blood money to buy foreign governments’ loyalties as this nation rots from lack of U.S. nation building.
      And the worst resource in the country being wasted is the Human Resources. Honorable young men and women who would be tomorrows less corruptible leaders of America being killed and maimed in wars that are brought on by dishonorable bureaucrats. The left over clowns too cowardly and greedy to serve and risk lost of life or limb.

      We are being greatly deceived when we fall into the trap about socializing in America. Arguments that serve as psychological blindfolds to the fact that we have been used as a tool to socialize the entire world. We are family when we take care of one another as a nation. We are socialists when we attempt to police and control or even take care of the whole world.

      • SmallerGovNow

        Wrong Nathan, that arm of the Fed Gov is $800 billion. All social programs including SS/MC/MC and food stamps is $1.7 TRILLION. Do the math, don’t come in here with petty sound bites that do not examine the scope of the problem…

  • Joe Rocket

    Newton-
    Perhaps you think we’re supposed to be in a competition with the rest of the world for the best infrastructure. News flash: we’re not. The rest of the world doesn’t matter. America is for Americans, first and foremost. You can’t excuse infrastructure neglect by comparing our (still) superior systems to substandard or developing systems. That’s like apologizing for Stalin by pointing out Hitler’s inadequacies. I can only assume your moniker is drawn from “Fig Newton” and not “Isaac Newton”.

    • Tom

      Bwhahahaha you obviously have never traveled or seen anything outside of US borders. We are not superior your ignorant comments are plain for all who have traveled a little to see. you are typical of most redneck morons

      • Malcolm Reynolds

        here, lemme regurgitate it back atcha. Bwahahaha, I’ve spent a great deal of my life outside America, And lemme tell ya Toto, America is light years ahead of EVERYONE. You’re response it typical of anti-American democrat morons.

        • Victor

          Not sure what developing nations you spent time in, but having lived in six countries (including the US) I can easily tell you that the US’s infrastructure critics are well-justified.

        • xDD

          Hahaha, this is too funny xDD
          “light years” ahead. Yes. Sure xD

    • http://JeffreyAlan5@aol.com JEFFREY

      …I HAVE TO AGREE WITH JOE ROCKET ; WAY TO BE BRO !

  • estamos jodidos

    “You didn’t Build that!” BHO, When will we hear “I didn’t maintain that!”?

  • http://endzone2.weebly.com Craig

    #15 It is being projected that by the year 2020 every single major container port in the United States will be handling at least double the volume that it was originally designed to handle.

    That one I would question. Merchant shipping is down all over the world. Companies now regret their orders for the huge 12,000 TEU containerships. World trade is down.

    But, all the new highways being built here in TX are toll roads–they are all over the place in the DFW Metroplex. This is truly a sign of collapse because in the 50s and 60s and 70s, the U.S. government paid for all these interstates.

    I-820 expansion around Fort Worth will be a toll road. It is being built 100 yards from where I live:
    http://www.pbase.com/craig_c/i820

    • Bay of Pigs

      Hey, I recognize you from Mish’s blog. How you doing friend?

      Peace and Aloha…

      • http://endzone2.weebly.com Craig

        Hello. I can’t sign in on Mish’s blog anymore. Don’t know why. Thanks for the greeting.

    • DB200

      In France they have another system. After a new high way is built, it is toll road for 20 – 30 years. The old infrastructure is still in place and maintained, and can be used as a free alternative albeit that the trip takes longer than the new toll road.

      • Malcolm Reynolds

        Those tolls are on top of the sky taxes they pay on every gallon of their wonderful $7-10 a gallon gas.

      • indyjonesouthere

        The Boston big dig is one reason that no matter how much money you pour into infrastructure it will never be enough because political corruption, crony capitalism, and greedy government can chew up money faster than the ability to come up with more funding for “infrastructure”. I will drive on dirt roads and ford streams before I will pay more to these corrupted souls.

  • eric taylor

    Since the 30 year stimulus began
    we have been shifting private debt
    to the government, and sabotaging
    building our infrastructure; Our
    government was not trusted anymore,
    as power to the government is considered big government! The invisible hand did not
    want to carry on with Big Deal policies,
    and this is the reason that many feel
    that capitalism is failing America!

    • Don Duncan

      America has never been a Capitalist country. It has always been a mixed-economy. Think of it this way: We are a living machine (Capitalism) with brakes applied (gov’t). Previously, our unique, only in America locomotive of progress made us the envy of the world because it could overcome the brakes. In the last four decades the locomotive has been slowing down, coasting to a stop, propelled by its previous momentum. We can take the brakes off, i.e., abolish gov’t, or limit gov’t or increase gov’t. The latter two choices spell collapse. Stop gov’t or it will stop us.

  • DB200

    #21 It has been projected that it would take 2.2 trillion dollars over the next 5 years just to repair our existing infrastructure. That does not even include a single penny for badly needed new infrastructure.

    Compared to what the saving of the banks have cost, it is a bargain because these 2.2 trillion dollars will really jumpstart the economy.

    • Don Duncan

      No. Jumpstart the economy is the wrong analogy. First, there would be no immediate economic progress. Resources would be consumed for long term progress. Second, we already paid for the infrastructure many times over but the money was wasted. It would be insane to keep paying and trusting gov’t. It is time to de-nationalize the infrastructure. It should have been left to the private sector from the beginning. Where it was, no problem exists. Learn, change, or collapse first, and then start over making the same mistakes. The latter is the rule. The myth that the state is protection dies hard. Our future depends on giving up this superstition. Peace and prosperity would be our reward.

      • SmallerGovNow

        Spot on Don, decentralization is king….

  • markthetruth

    Michael: If you read you own post you know the answer. we are only interested in growth, new things, instant gratification ,and ourselves. So grow expand make new roads and bridges to new places and to new homes and communities, leave the old and buy new, put up the new mall forget about fixing the old one it’s faster and feels instant when it opens. And the the #1 reason is nobody wants to be inconvenienced, we are greedy and in a rush to get to our graves and will run our future over to get there.

    the end.

  • Dave

    You honestly think the roads are the problem? News fer ya! Obama has already put in place a forced (militarily) 3 gallon rationing plan for when he has to enforce the public to obey his commands. There is a dictatorship coming. Having good roads with no way to purchase gas doesn’t really do us much good, now does it?

    • SmallerGovNow

      Dave, you have a source? This is seriously scary stuff…

  • Piglet

    [Another major problem is that there is so much corruption and waste in our system these days.]

    While living in South Carolina a couple of decades ago a major scandal erupted when it was learned that a heck of a lot of people in the state government, to include the legislature, were taking kickbacks from construction contractors to ensure they were selected for building and maintaining highways. They’d cost many millions per mile and throwing a thousand or so to various government officials was seen as both the cost of doing business as well as a good investment. (Frankly, having lived in the DC area, I was amazed at the cheap prices for which government officials would sell themselves. In DC, the corrupt city and federal pols charge much more.) One official, having taken bribe money, was secretly caught on camera shaking hands with those who had bribed him (who turned out to be FBI) and laughingly said, “It’s a business doing pleasure with you!” Ha-ha, very funny, especially when it ran on the TV news programs and everyone got to see exactly what sort of people are in government.

    By the way, this sort of thing was (and is) by no means limited just to South Carolina. With all the money changing hands out there, you can bet government officials in your own area are looking for way to make some extra money on the side and know how to work the system to get it. Outside of DC in a suburban Maryland county some government officials have been arrested and convicted for running “pay to play” schemes. If you wanted to get anything done (construction, new business, etc.), you had to “pay to play,” and this went on for many years. Probably still does, but just with different faces. There’s just too much money and too much temptation for it to ever stop.

    As for infrastructure in general, people should travel to places such as Germany and Korea to see what’s possible vs. what we have here. My last trip to Korea in May 2011 left me in awe. Trips around my own country leave me depressed and wondering how we fell so far. For most people, their own nationalistic arrogance centered around chanting “USA! USA! USA!” and “We’re No. 1!” blinds them to the reality beyond our borders.

    • Don Duncan

      Patriotism has been blind ever since public (gov’t) schools took over education and lowered literacy from 98% to the low 40s. A patriot used to be a person who distrusted gov’t and valued self dependence (independence). Remember, it was patriots who overthrew their gov’t in the late 1700s and started over with a new gov’t with very little power. Jefferson supplied the intellectual theories. These men would be called terrorists today subject to kidnapping, torture, and murder by their ‘representatives”. Even life under King George was less oppressive. This turn around started with the American counter-Revolution of 1787-89. While Jefferson was in France the statist/collectivist forces engineered a sneaky coup by pretending to meet to amend the Articles of Confederation but instead replace it with a new document which gave much more power to the federal gov’t. And Lincoln extended the power by abolishing state sovereignty. The present police state was inevitable.

      We can fix everything by simply refusing to support gov’t on principle. Self governance starts with the individual. Self responsibility by each of us means insisting on self reliance, not dependence on an elite ruling class who we exempt from morality. That way has been tried for 10,000 years and failed.

  • Tatiana Covington

    Most folks know who Kim Kardashian is. But almost none know about Miguel Alcubierre.

    Now why is he important? Is he a reality star? A politician? A singer?

    No, he has found a way to achieve a faster-than-light drive.

    • James

      No he didn’t. He proposed a theory. There is a big difference

    • Tom

      who cares! its people like you that slow down things that actually need to be accomplished and talked abotu with your off the wall projects that are always touted as being the last thing that will save humanity!!! Rable!!!

      • Victor

        What a stupid comment.

    • Mondobeyondo

      Kim Kardashian is my heroin.

      Oops. HeroinE. Heroine, with an E.
      Slight typo there.

      Don’t insult my girlfriend like that. Heh!!

      • DB200

        I actually had to google for Kim Kardashian as I thought it was some kind of wrestler.

    • JasonD

      I can take the square root of a negative number and the results will be imaginary – the same as the Alcubierre drive! :)

  • Jar Binks

    BILL CLINTON AND THE DEMOCRATS LEFT GWB AND THE REPUBICANS WITH 1TRILLION DOLLARS IN SURPLUS. THEY SPENT IT ALL AND MORE IN LESS THAN 1 YEAR. IT GOES TO PROVE THAT IT’S THE REPUBICANS WHO HATE BALANCING THE BUDGET.

    • Pissed Off

      ‘Bill Clinton and the Democrats’??!?!?!? Are you HIGH? It was Bill Clinton and the REPUBLICAN CONGRESS genius. And all they did was raid the SS Trust Fund to make it LOOK like there was a surplus.

      Wake the hell up.

    • SmallerGovNow

      Binks, what a false misrepresentation of the FACTS. Clinton did this by compromise with a Republican Congress. You dems had complete control of congress for two years with a dem president under Obama and NEVER PASSED A BUDGET!!!! Dems don’t know how to do the math, and while I agree GWB spent too much money, it was mostly his last two years with the dems in control of house and senate. Be honest…

    • tdb3

      Stop blaming the 2 parties that have been running the country for 150 years and have gotten the country 16 trillion dollars in debt.You and everyone keeps voting for these lunatics don’t you?Blame YOURSELF!STUPID IS AS STUPID DOES AND STUPID DESERVES WHAT HE/SHE VOTES FOR!

    • Washington

      You are full of no sense!

      Washington has a spending problem. Tax cuts don’t increase deficits anymore than tax increases decrease deficits. Deficits are decreased by spending less. I wonder how many of the folks who quote this nonsense have ever budgeted their own money. If they find they are spending more than they take in, do they demand raise from their boss?

      No President of the United States can create either a budget deficit or a budget surplus. All spending bills originate in the House of Representatives and all taxes are voted into law by Congress. This means Bill Clinton did not balance the budget, the Republicans did.

      Democrats controlled both houses of Congress before Barack Obama became president. The deficit he inherited was created by the Congressional Democrats, including Senator Barack Obama, who did absolutely nothing to oppose the runaway spending. He was one of the biggest of the big spenders.

      Well, well, well…..since the Democrats have controlled the purse strings of congress since 2006, it would appear that Obama is merely continuing the slow destruction of our economy that was started by the democrat’s. Why is it they can’t take the blame for things when they go badly as fast as they take the credit “if” things go better? Oh, and by the way, unemployment was under 7% near the end of the Bush administration, the deficit was actually only about $400 billion, and the government wasn’t in the car business!

      • Gay Veteran

        “Tax cuts don’t increase deficits”

        wow, is the sky blue in your world?

        • Malcolm Reynolds

          Wow, just as blue as the sky in your world that doesn’t have the slighest clue about the difference between spending and taxes.

    • McKinley Morganfield

      “… 1TRILLION DOLLARS IN SURPLUS…”

      I’m not a fan of democrats or republicans or GWB in the particular; but you need to put down the crack pipe and the beer bong. Meanwhile, please provide a reliable source to back up this absurd assertion. Can’t find one? Didn’t think so.

  • http://thegreatrecessionconspiracy.blogspot.com James Taylor

    Same story, different slant.

    The Great Recession Conspiracy
    A simple explanation of how the economy really works, and a story about how Wall Street banks have taken over the U.S. Treasury (and much more of the U.S. government).
    Monday, September 10, 2012

    This Is So Easy And So Obvious, You Would Think That Even The Fools In Congress Would Know It!! And So Where Are Obama And Romney?

    How To End The Great Recession In Six Months, Or Less!!

    Facts:
    1) At least 75% of the 45,000 miles of our crown jewel, the Interstate Highway System is desperately in need of repair.
    2) The Society of Engineers says we have 10,000 bridges in need of major repair or replacement.
    3) We have hundreds of thousands of miles of oil (and petroleum products) pipelines in need of replacement or repair.
    4) We have hundreds of thousands miles of water pipelines that are up to 150 years old that need replacement or repair.

    5) The deterioration of our infrastructure is costing hundreds of millions of dollars in delayed shipping, excess inventories, wear and tear of equipment, etc., and people are dying (California, Colorado, Maryland, Minnesota, etc.)

    6) We will HAVE to make these repairs sooner or later. No Escape!!

    Solution:

    Issue Infrastructure Repair Bonds. Interest costs are 1% or less. The costs will NEVER be lower.

    Make the money available to individual cities and state highway departments directly on a first come, first serve basis. No Federal Government filters, allocations, etc.

    The only conditions are that the money must be spent on the above projects and must begin in six months or less. In addition, each proposal must include an estimate of how many jobs are directly produced, and a progress report at six, twelve and twenty-four months to qualify for progress payments. Absolutely no new projects are allowed, i.e., No Mob Museums,
    Bridges To Nowhere, High Speed Trains To Nowhere, etc.

    Reasons Why?

    1) Reduce unemployment payments
    2) Increase tax revenues
    3) Increase revenues for small businesses that create 70% + new jobs
    4) Each dollar spent has a 1.5% multiplier
    5) Restore infrastructure and improve safety of citizens
    6) Reduce distribution costs and improve GDP
    7) Restore international competitiveness

    Reasons Why Not?

    1) Elephant clowns

    Now go back to Sept. 8, 2012 and take a good look at that graph!!

    • Malcolm Reynolds

      Facts –

      We will HAVE to make these repairs sooner or later. No Escape!!
      – The money will be eaten by left wing unions, left wing enviro nutbags, and contribute at great expense in very little ways to very few people.

      Issue Infrastructure Repair Bonds. Interest costs are 1% or less. The costs will NEVER be lower.
      – Bond are ALWAYS the most expensive form of financing bozo. While the costs may low (RIGHT NOW), given that we are now in QE to infinity, they MOST DEFINITELY will be MUCH higher soon.
      http://www.fmsbonds.com/Market_Yields/index.asp Oooh look at that, they aren’t really 1% either.

      http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/taxpayers-are-paying-for-roads–twice/2012/05/04/gIQADPIL2T_story.html Ooh we’re already paying for them twice.

      Make the money available to individual cities and state highway departments directly on a first come, first serve basis. No Federal Government filters, allocations, etc.
      – Ahh yes, cognitive dissonance. I’ll bet you dont even understand you contradicted yourself dummy.

      Try researching reality. The depression of 1920 was deeper and more severe than the great depression – that was great only due to left wing solutions. Yea, that 1920 depression was handled by slashing govt and taxes and it was GONE within the year.

      Reasons why this wont happen?

      1) a bunch of asses that are obviously trying to put America in a coffin.

  • Newton

    Well, according to the author of this article; our infrastructure is in total
    State of disrepair and we’re doing nothing in comparison to the likes of
    china.

    It wasn’t my comparison brainiac.

    I simply pointed out a few FACTS.

    I have been to China many, many times and their roads and bridges outside major metro areas SUUUUUCK.

    Where exactly you start drawing comparisons between asphalt, gravel and cement too a couple of diabolical maniacs should provide the readers here with ample evidence of your current state of mind.

  • Peter

    In Europe, you find a lot of brick roads. Initially it’s more expensive than asphalt, but bricks have four long sides. It’s easy to flip them over, it’s cheap to repair a street, and on average a brick lasts 50 years.

    For all those little streets that don’t really need asphalt, take bricks … Made in North America … And focus on the main roads with asphalt.

    This is why the roads in Western Europe are generally in a mutch better shape. Of course it also really helps that they pay twice as much for gas = fewer / slower driving and more targeted taxes if your politicians are smart.

  • onething

    Here is a better future, if we will:
    http://www.starscientific.com.au/

  • Ann Wilson Kingsley

    Infrastructure funds come from Congressional Transportation Fund appropriations. The Transporatation funds are where Congressman get their Pork Barrel funds. Our infrastructure is decaying because Congressmen are using the Transportation
    Fund to for their Pork Barrel Projects instead of upgrading infrastructure as the tax payers intend. Tax Payers need to insist that Congress get rid of the Pork Barrel Projects before we have to walk everywhere.

  • Roman Dolczewski

    The 21 facts on the USA infrastructure are really shocking – this is the cost of the military spendings for wars around the world

  • uncurable wound

    Hey Michael did you see these latest stats on Californian debt???
    http://www.cnbc.com/id/49118725

    They thought it was 28 Billion,but now they think its in between 167-335 BILLION!!!!
    LOL ROFL!!
    Hey as long as we elect”…….” blah,blah,blah, we will all be saved. HA,Ha,Ha…Please!
    Maxine Waters was let off today by the Spineless Repubes!
    The stench of all of this is overwhelming!!!
    How long can this continue?

    • Michael

      Good link.

      When I saw that article I was horrified but not that surprised.

      California is a complete and total disaster zone, and I would not want to be living there right now.

      Michael

      • DB200

        Yep, the numbers are horrific. Now tell that to the not-so-realistic “real housewives of Orange County”. Oops, I forgot, they have difficulty with calculus, linear algebra and so on, and are just enjoying life. We should not bother them with dreadful statistics.

        For anybody who doesn’t know the show, see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Real_Housewives_of_Orange_County

        I once saw it for 10 min. when they filmed the galls partying in Las Vegas, the same city where 100s of people are living underground. It made me think about the rich man and Lazarus. So I switched off the tv.

    • Mondobeyondo

      Wow. Arnie Schwartznegger got out just in time for the state to fall apart.

      Urghhh.. arghhh…

  • tdb3

    We can always get the GREEDY unions to repair America at 10 times the real price and a pension twice as much for the rest of their lives.BEWARE OF UNIONS!

  • tdb3

    When will people get it?America is BROKE and has been since 1933.

  • paul

    War costs brought down the Romans, defense spending and state security brought down the Soviets and war on terror and homeland security will kill America.

  • Berferd

    Perhaps spending $770 Million to upgrade Cairo Egypt’s sewer system might be better spent right here in the US? Might even consider hiring private companies to do the work
    and not pay union theft scales? Get this socialist regime out and clear the way for reasonable American know-how…get er done!

    • Michael

      Very good point about Egypt.

      Michael

      • http://itsafluffy.blogspot.com DL.

        And did you know that American taxpayers pay more in taxes to Israel than Israeli taxpayers? Please don’t call me an “anti-Semite”, Michael, for speaking the truth. Okay, I’ll shut up now.

  • Jack London

    We give over 8 million dollars a day (per DAY, not per year!) to Israel alone. Millions more go out to other nations around the world. We send our military overseas to defend the borders of other nations but our gov’t refuses to defend our own borders.

    • http://itsafluffy.blogspot.com DL.

      Shush, Jack…Micheal might call you an anti-Semite!

  • Berferd

    One more thing, Jar Binks is in need of serious medical assistance or perhaps a progressive intervention.
    Bill Clinton left no surplus and any savings made in the latter part of his shameful presidency was
    thanks to Newt Gingrich and a Republican Congress. Jar, get some help soon!

  • jomer

    one of my Agenda 21 rants has been:

    how will they restrict human access to large portions of the country? Easy, just say we can’t afford to fix the rural roads and bridges, and close them down.. people in the out-lying area will be force to move into the cities.

  • Melia Sese

    In general agreement with most of the above, except one critical point: this notion that we cannot “afford” to fix this. Wrong – we can’t afford not to. As for this rotgut “we don’t have the money nonsense”, of course we do because with some 16% of construction workers unemployed there is ample capacity in the economy to take this up. Most of you (so-called “liberal” and “conservative” alike) have never been taught real economics, the system that exists for every country in the world today, which is based on fiat currency.

    The basic fact is that any currency-issuing government can issue as much as needed to see that the society is employed. Above we see there is plenty of work, with plenty of idle labor to do that work. Let’s get to it …

    BTW, if you dispute what I just wrote, fine, but come from a basis in reality not fantasy, which is what the mainstream economics profession is based on. They pretend we still have a gold (or commodity) based system, but that went away over 40 years ago in the US, and well before that elsewhere.

    So fire away, but keep in mind that with all of your precious notions about how things used to work, the nation is falling apart, literally. What do you intend to do about it?

  • http://www.gangarosa.com/navyseals.htm prepguy
    • nowwthen

      That is a valid point worth remembering. It’s easy to become fed up with Conressional “our party first above all else” gridlock and start to wish some sort of benevolent dictator had the power to set them all straight and get us back on track. But then you remember how that played out with Hitler.

      • 2epic2live

        What about Napoleon? Of France? He got France back on her feet!

  • Colin

    We used to have in this nation people like John Rockefeller who believed that they had a civic duty to their nation. In the Great Depression, he hired 40,000 people to build the Rockefeller Center. A center that he funded with his own money.

    We have a 1,000 billionaires in this nation. Imagine what they could do with their money and investments to rebuild this nation. Instead, they hoard both in off-shore accounts.

    The sense of civic duty that once was a passion of the wealthy has now faded into empty rhetoric. Ayn Rand prophesied that one day the wealthy would live in an enclave surrounded by a ruined America. With each passing day, we are one day closer to her prophecy coming true.

    • Kevin2

      Civic duty? John D Rockefeller?

      You got to be kidding me.

    • susy b

      couldnt have said it better myself. and they really dont give a s#$% either.

  • ALICE

    Put all of the entitled welfares to work for their benefits….If they have to work for their benefits, they’ll get off of the system voluntarily..

  • Washington

    Warrant-less Spying Bill Passes House, Moves to the Senate THURSDAY, 13 SEPTEMBER 2012

    http://www.rightsidenews.com/2012091417023/us/homeland-security/warrantless-spying-bill-passes-house-moves-to-the-senate.html

  • Winston

    So many incorrect statements or straight fallacies in the bloggers
    comments its hard to know where to start;
    Clinton did not leave a budget surplus.Accounting tricks.How come the debt kept increasing with a budget surplus ?
    The perverse accounting on capital projects means new infrastructure is
    incentivised with no thought for recurring maintenance costs.
    The money from future generations has already been spent in the super ponzi
    scheme we call America.
    The creditors are only being held at bay by the use of the Military,but the bill
    for past capital expenditure is now overdue.
    We are bankrupt.Nobody wants our long term bonds,that’s why the Federal Reserve
    is buying them all in Operation Twist.A Dead man walking.

    • Mondobeyondo

      Umm… according to what sources you believe, Clinton did leave a budget surplus, or he did not. (I tend to believe he did balance the budget between 1996 and 1999.) It doesn’t matter now anyways, because this country will never have a balanced budget again.

  • Cat

    As much as I should be inclined to agree with this article, being in an industry that would make lots of money rebuilding our nations infrastructure, I cannot. Look, we are a very large & very populated nation, there is no way that we could not have infrastructure problems, unless you totally ignored all other societal needs. It is inevitable that infrastructure will get old and need to be replaced. Just think of what the cost would be to maintain a grade of A. You would have to be replacing infrastructure as soon as it gets old enough and degraded enough to get a grade of B. I take issue with the American Society of Civil Engineers giving the U.S. a grade of D. Certainly anyone should be able to see that they just might have a biased opinion on the matter, seeing as how there membership is made up of Civil Engineers who are responsible for designing our infrastructure. Let’s take a look at another source. The World Economic Forum in 2011 ranked 139 countries infrastructure with a high score of 6.8, a low score of 2.0 and a mean of 4.3. The United States ranks #23 with a score of 5.8. As for our neighboring countries, Mexico is ranked #79 with a score of 3.9 and Canada is ranked #13 with a score of 6.0, just 0.2 points ahead of the U.S. As for some of our rival world powers, Russia is ranked #94 with a score of 3.6 and China is ranked #72 with a score of 4.1. Now I don’t see how the U.S. get a grade of D from the American Society of Civil Engineers considering these numbers.

    • susy b

      a c- would be acceptable at this point????

  • Mike

    A politician cares about the next election, but a statesman cares about the next generation, and the future of his people. Modern politics favor the politician. Politicians are bought and sold. To focus on infrastructure is to focus on the future, and most people will vote based on what they want *now*.

  • http://theeconomiccollapseblog.com Erick Tippett

    Now you know why the word democracy does not appear in the american ‘constitution’, why there were two civil wars(‘Shay’s Tax Rebellion’ in 1785 and the ‘Whiskey Rebellion’ of 1791-94 in which Mr. Washington in full military regalia commanding 13,500 troops came out of the white house to smash that ‘revolt’, why
    the constitutional convention was boycotted as illegally conducted, and to crown the point I’m making, why Adolph Hitler stated “The most wonderful thing for governments is that people don’t think!” and why Henry Ford stated that
    if the american public really understood
    how the banking system worked they would
    revolt the next day. No wonder there are
    over 261 millionaires in the national
    legislatures! It should be obvious as to
    why these conditions exist! It takes two to tango! Those who don’t learn from
    their history or are ignorant of it to be-
    gin with shall surely repeat it until total collapse ensues!

    EDT
    Chicago, Illinois

    • Alaskan

      To do the same thing over and over again and expect a different outcome is the definition of insanity

  • http://http//irishsavant.blogspot.com Irish Savant

    A friend of mine who had retired from ESB, the Irish national electricity grid provider, did a short assignment in Michigan. He expected the infrastructure there to be state-of-the-art. In fact he found it to be as Michael said, held together with string and tape. He was just staggered. And that was a few years back

  • Mondobeyondo
    • Mondobeyondo

      In the early 1930’s, there were no government assistance programs (Social Security was enacted in 1936, I think.)

      Okay, let’s hop into that Deleorean time machine and head back to the future! It’s 1932, and you have none of the government bennies you have today. Where would you be? If you were John D. Rockefeller, you wouldn’t care. But that’s beside the point…

      – 46 million Americans rely on food stamps in 2012. There were no food stamps in 1932. Where would all these people be? Probably selling apples or something.
      – 1 out of 3 Americans rely on government assistance of one kind or another in 2012. Government assistance also did not exist in 1932.
      – In 1932, tent cities called “Hoovervilles”, and soup kitchens sprang up all over the country. Any evidence of that today? You can’t see it? You’re not looking hard enough. They’re called “EBT cards” these days. And a guy with his family knocked on my door asking if he could pick oranges from my tree. That was two years ago. I said, “have at it, dude, pick all you want”.

      It’s worse now.

    • Michael

      Very interesting link Mondo.

      Michael

  • Benny

    “Unfortunately, it is probably appropriate that our infrastructure is decaying because we are decaying in just about every other way that it is possible for a society to decay.

    We are decaying economically, politically, mentally, emotionally, physically, morally and spiritually.”

    Excellent point, Michael. Truer words were never spoken. However, you left out a few. See the below quote from a recent article by Paul Craig Roberts:

    “The United States has collapsed economically, socially, politically, legally, constitutionally, and environmentally. The country that exists today is not even a shell of the country into which I was born.”

    So, to combine your words and his, we have collapsed economically, politically, mentally, emotionally, morally, spiritually, socially, physically, environmentally, legally and constitutionally.

    There is no hope for us, Michael. No hope, whatsoever. :(

  • http://itsafluffy.blogspot.com DL.

    You folks on here DO REALIZE, DON’T YOU, that the tax dollars we are forced to pay are NOT to the government! The IRS IS THE COLLECTION AGENCY FOR THE PRIVATELY OWNED FEDERAL RESERVE BANK, and our tax dollars go to the FEDERAL RESERVE BANK, who LENDS (not gives, but lends) the money we are forced to give it–I repeat, LENDS, AT INTEREST– to the Federal government, who MUST PAY THIS (worthless fiat currency) back at interest to the PRIVATELY OWNED FEDERAL RESERVE BANK. Since the government (or we the people if you still believe that delusion) cannot spend any money it gets at its own discretion because it must spend money on other stuff (like war for instance, to steal resources), then how do you expect the government to spend this money on infrastructure? It’ll be interesting to find out (if a “conspiracy thoerist” martial law scenario ever occurs) how this will affect the movement of martial law materiel. But then again I’ll never accuse the criminal psychopathic elites of being very smart. It’ll be interesting to see if any of their 30,000 drones mess up martial law air traffic!

  • Jacket and Fez

    What bothers me most is how many people here are buying into the two-party ideology, one blaming the other.

    Both are equally evil, both are doing a fine job tearing civilian life apart. And by buying into the old “you’re on one side or the other” argument, you continue to support this process, which is as Michael describes.

    Both Bill Clinton and George W Bush were sleezebags. One is not better than the other; both are equally unfit. But as long as you rally against “them” (which happens to be the other half of the public), while supporting your antiquated political party platforms, you continue to destroy what little public life is left.

    I have friends and family on both sides of the political spectrum. But based on what I keep reading here in the comments section, no-one would be able to tolerate me for long if they met me – because I don’t conform to this “bifurcated” group mind think.

    Stop seeing the world as “right left” and see it as “alive dead”. See your neighbor as “another person” instead of “another statistic”. Give it a try. You might like what you find.

  • Mondobeyondo

    There was also a depression in the U.S. from 1920-21 (there was a “flash crash” of the stock market in 1920, and things rapidly went downhill economically, for a few months.) This article from 247Bull sheds some light on it…

    http://www.247bull.com/the-forgotten-depression-of-the-1920s-what-it-teaches-us/

    There was also a financial crisis in 1873. But no one remembers that one, or the Panic of 1907. It’s the biggie, the Great Depression, that everyone remembers.

    P.S. We are in a depression right now. Deny it all you want.

  • TtT Engine

    Remember the BIG GOVERNMENT LIE, that once the road and/or bridge was paid for, it would become a “freeway” ? The Tappan Zee Bridge connects NJ and NY and spans the Hudson River north of NYC. The bridge is unsafe, it’s 50 year useful life has expired and the bridge needs to be replaced. Of, course, bankrupt BIG GOVERNMENT, spent all the 50 years of toll/tax money on BIG GOVERNMENT salaries and pensions. Now because bankrupt BIG GOVERNMENT does not have the $10-$15 billion dollars it did not save to replace the bridge, bankrupt BIG GOVERNMENT’S answer is to raise the bridge tax to $14, up from $5 and continue patching the broken bridge. Common sense answer, STAY OFF THE BIG BANKRUPT GOVERNMENT BRIDGE until the bridge is replaced. Imagine the utter joy of seeing no cars on that broken down bridge instead of the thousands of cars we see on the bridge each day ? Convert the power of our high frustration and anxiety into Red, White and Blue Power. Christi Fidelis !

  • Washington

    Detroit: A Dying City (The Red, White and Economic Blues)(Detroit’s Ghetto)

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NL_YdRxBhzI&feature=relmfu

  • VegasCarl

    “Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired signifies in the final sense, a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and are not clothed. This world in arms is not spending money alone. It is spending the sweat of its laborers, the genius of its scientists, the hopes of its children. This is not a way of life at all in any true sense. Under the clouds of war, it is humanity hanging on a cross of iron.”
    ― Dwight D. Eisenhower

  • Washington

    Published on Apr 15, 2012  Man Who Lives In Detroit’s Abandoned Packard Plant Since 2005

    Perhaps the biggest shortcoming of Detroit “ruin porn” is it inherently ignores the very real people who still live in the city. Now there’s a convergence — the amazing story of Allan Hill, the man who legally lives inside the city’s abandoned Packard Auto Plant. 

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4FOO0t5OEV4

    Change you can believe in!

  • susy b

    we in the middle of a huge bridge project. been going on for months. one side open and should be done by 11/16. it is a well known fact that this bridge was so bad that if they did not build a NEW ONE (no more repairs), it would be immediately closed and torn down. scary thought. so, it was basically a must as it connects a major highway and 2 cities. no clue as to the cost. but just an example…… nice huh…….

  • http://thegreatrecessionconspiracy.blogspot.com James Taylor

    I have a question. Is Malcolm a real person, or just an avatar created to annoy people who deal with facts and try to think seriously about important things?

  • Ajax

    I have a great idea. Let’s “Outsource” the management of the federal government to China. By doing so, we can avoid the embarrassment of out right surrender. Either way, it’s over for the U.S.

  • Steever

    The answer to this is simple.

    Just shove everyone into Agenda 21 style shoe-box houses and cities and restrict their ability to travel and you won’t need all that useless infrastructure and the expense of repairing it!

    Yes, of course that’s barely any form of a joke.
    But some people try to argue that the US is overpopulated, and they also try to say that those in favour of more infrastructure expenditure just want to see the landmass paved in concrete from sea to shining sea. They argue that less is more. And in some regards they are right. But only 6% of America’s landmass is developed, only 3% is urban, and 77% of Americans are already living in those urban areas!

    But I get the awful feeling that those who will win in the end are those arguing for ‘more less’ than ‘more more’ or even just plain better.

  • Steever

    It gives me great pleasure going on to YouTube and finding all those archival films about the development of US Infrastructure back in the 30’s – 60’s.

    Many of these films (certainly not all) were commissioned by GM for their Chevrolet division and filmed by the Jam Handy company.
    There is a certain feel in these films that modern attempts at film making can’t match. They ooze with Civic Pride, Company Pride, confidence, quiet patriotism, and all the while they manage to be informative and seem to state that the future will be the best future possible.

  • DDK

    Lets Point Fingers And Blame People Instead of Doing Somthing About it

  • Donald Nichols

    Look at the companys from other countrys that are involved in our infrastructure.THAT SUCKING SOUND IS COMING FROM THEM.

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