USA failing to make the needed public investment


If you own a house or an automobile, you know you have to spend a certain amount on maintenance to keep it in good repair.  If you don’t, you’ll have problems and a bigger expense in the long run.

The same is true if you own business property, except that if you’re in business, you would want to expand and improve and not just maintain things as they are.

Governmental infrastructure needs to be maintained as well.  Our roads and bridges, airports and seaports, water and sewerage systems and other facilities don’t take care of themselves.

The chart above shows there’s a problem.   Net investment—investment minus depreciation—has fallen over the years.  In some years, it has been a negative figure, meaning the federal government isn’t keeping up with what is needed.

Putting people to work on public infrastructure projects is a good way to stimulate the economy, which has been largely missing during the current recovery.  But the main reason is that public investment is necessary if we are to have a good economy.


Here’s One Really Obvious Way to Boost the U.S. Economy by Tim Fernholtz for Quartz.

Chart of the Day: Here’s Why Our Infrastructure Is Crumbling and Our Recovery Is So Weak by Kevin Drum for Mother Jones.

America’s Infrastructure Disinvestment Will Slow the Development of a Sustainable Economy by Stephen Cohen for Huffington Post.

Investment Gap In US Electricity Infrastructure Could Wreak Havoc by Joshua S. Hill for CleanTechnica.


There’s a separate problem of lack of private investment, which I’ve written about before.



The Mystery of America’s Missing Capital Investment by Peter Coy for Bloomberg Businessweek.

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One Response to “USA failing to make the needed public investment”

  1. John Pennington Says:

    Exactly right. Just like your house, if you don’t keep up your country it gets shabby and falls apart. We have decades of deferred maintenance to make up for. People who think we can “get government off our backs” are not thinking.


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