Friday, May 23, 2008

Global Economic Leader, Transportation...Not So Much...

Over at the Seattle Transit Blog, they have a link up to a story about how far behind Seattle is in getting transportation funding in comparison to the rest of the country. The story also mentions the complete lack of infrastructure funding in comparison to other modern and modernizing countries in the world. 1960, the U.S. spent 12 percent of its gross domestic product on infrastructure and now spends 2.4 percent. Japan spends 10 percent, China 9 percent and India 4.6 percent...
Doing some simple calculations, this translates to something roughly like...
United States - $315 Billion
Japan - $430 Billion
China - $292 Billion
India - $46 Billion
Everyone knows that Japan spends a lot of money on infrastructure so that's no big surprise. However, are we really at the point where we've cut infrastructure funding in this country to where we are about to be passed by China? Looking at our GNP (13.8 Trillion), we have an economy 4.3 times the size of China (3.2 Trillion). So all the goods we buy from China aren't helping us improve our infrastructure, it's helping us improve their's. I'm completely pro-free trade, but as our economy continues to suffer we need to invest locally so that we can be sustainable and extreme prosperous once our economy experiences growth again.

What's also sad is that these numbers are for infrastructure funding including science, health, transportation, information technology and a bunch of other crucial areas of development that our country must invest in if we are to be a global player after our economic situation stabilizes.

We must increase our infrastructure spending and we must improve our transportation network. Some of our most prosperous times economically were during investment in our country (New Deal, creation of the Interstate Highway System, privatization of the Internet). As we look towards the future, the most obvious investment we can make is developing green alternatives. Whether they be for transportation, energy, chemical, food: We must redevelop how life on this world so that we can make it a more stable environment to live in.

No comments: