The decline of American infrastructure

A few months ago, I remember hearing about a bridge that collapsed in Minnesota.  The Corps of Engineers went out and said that the bridge had been overdue for an overhaul.  They went further to say that only 20% of ALL the bridges in the United States had been up to date in inspections.  I find that alarming.  In the wake of Katrina and the levee breaking in New Orleans I ponder the degradation of our physical infrastructure.  It’s a shame. 

So what brought this on; what caused me to think of this…I’m currently in IAD (travelers know exactly where I am).  This airport, like the majority in this country have very little (if any) AC outlets.  This is frustrating.  Aggravating.  Infuriating.  How can it be that the advent of the web and interconnectivity have not caused a rehaul of something as simple as putting in more outlets in a busy airport?  You may say, "But Rick, you have no idea how much that will cost or disrupt the status quo….)  HOGWASH! spend the money.  If you need an operation, you don’t worry about the cost if you need it.  There should be power strips along the walls looking out at the runways.  Now, all airports are not bad.  SLC actually has an area with AC outlets, unfortunately it’s right next to the smoking area.  I expect major airports to cater to the business traveler and make it more convenient to work.  the lounges are nice, but if you are flying First Class or want to pay a fee for that, then what?  Restaurants are nice; everyone needs to eat, but MOST people nowadays need to stay connected and AC outlets helps them stay connected longer.

I am monopolizing the one free working outlet on the wall where I am.  I have my laptop plugged in and an external hard drive.  if they had power strips, I wouldn’t be such a bad citizen.



Filed under News and politics

3 responses to “The decline of American infrastructure

  1. Cindy

    How about we start with fixing the bridges and levees so the masses don\’t have to die period. 

  2. George

    I am from Lafayette, Louisiana but spent most of my youth in New Orleans.  Your comments are right on.  One answer is we (the US) are spending far more than we take in by way of taxes and other income.  We are broke.  We owe nearly every country as we borrow to fund the war.  Mexico is our 10th largest creditor.  Of course, that only applies to bridges on Federal Highways.  State and local governments are responsible for their own infrastructure.  Some are poor, some are rich and usually you can tell how an area is doing by the condition of their roads, bridges, etc.
    On the federal level, I believe our priorities are out of whack.  We have a very small military.  The administration, knowing a draft would be political suicide, privatized the Iraq war by hiring mercenaries, i.e. Blackwater–a very risky and costly move.  Spend $700 billion in Iraq that must be borrowed and whats left for infrastructure?

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