2013 Report for America's Infrastructure - American Society of Civil Engineers - 19 March 2013

38 results back to index


pages: 219 words: 61,720

American Made: Why Making Things Will Return Us to Greatness by Dan Dimicco

2013 Report for America's Infrastructure - American Society of Civil Engineers - 19 March 2013, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, American energy revolution, American Society of Civil Engineers: Report Card, Bakken shale, barriers to entry, Bernie Madoff, carbon footprint, clean water, crony capitalism, currency manipulation / currency intervention, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, decarbonisation, fear of failure, full employment, Google Glasses, hydraulic fracturing, invisible hand, job automation, knowledge economy, laissez-faire capitalism, Loma Prieta earthquake, low earth orbit, manufacturing employment, oil shale / tar sands, Ponzi scheme, profit motive, Report Card for America’s Infrastructure, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, smart grid, smart meter, sovereign wealth fund, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, too big to fail, uranium enrichment, Washington Consensus, Works Progress Administration

Gerry Smith, “Internet Speed in United States Lags behind Many Countries, Highlighting Global Digital Divide,” Huffington Post, September 10, 2012, http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/09/05/internet-speed-united-states-digital-divide_n_1855054.html. 14. “2013 Report Card for America’s Infrastructure,” American Society of Civil Engineers, March 19, 2013, http://www.infrastructurereportcard.org/. 15. “Failure to Act: The Impact of Current Infrastructure Investment on America’s Economic Future,” American Society of Civil Engineers, January 15, 2013, http://www.asce.org/uploadedFiles/Infrastructure/Failure_to_Act/Failure_to_Act_Report.pdf. 16. “2013 Report Card for America’s Infrastructure,” American Society of Civil Engineers, March 19, 2013, http://www.infrastructurereportcard.org/. 17. President Barack Obama, “Barack Obama’s Acceptance Speech,” Democratic National Convention, Denver, Colorado, August 28, 2008, http://elections.nytimes.com/2008/president/conventions/videos/transcripts/20080828_OBAMA_SPEECH.html. 18.

Ross DeVol and Perry Wong, “Jobs for America: Investment and Policies for Economic Growth and Competitiveness,” Milken Institute, January 2010, http://assets1c.milkeninstitute.org/assets/Publication/ResearchReport/PDF/JFAFullReport.pdf. 17. “2009 Infrastructure Report Card,” American Society of Civil Engineers, January 28, 2009, http://www.infrastructurereportcard.org/2009/sites/default/files/RC2009_full_report.pdf. 18. Ibid.; “Failure to Act: The Economic Impact of Current Investment Trends in Water and Waste Treatment Infrastructure,” American Society of Civil Engineers, December 15, 2011, http://www.asce.org/Infrastructure/Failure-to-Act/Water-and-Wastewater/. 19. “2009 Infrastructure Report Card,” American Society of Civil Engineers; Proprietary Analysis by Garten Rothkopf. 20. FAA NextGen 2012 Implementation Report, http://www.faa.gov/nextgen/media/executive_summary_2012.pdf. 21. “2009 Infrastructure Report Card.” 22. “Connecting California 2014 Business Plan,” California High Speed Rail Authority, April 30, 2014, http://www.hsr.ca.gov/docs/about/business_plans/BPlan_2014_Business_Plan_Final.pdf. 23. “2011 Statewide Transportation System Needs Assessment,” Califronia Transportation Commission, October 2011, http://www.catc.ca.gov/reports/2011Reports/2011_Needs_Assessment_updated.pdf. 24.

Kevin Carey, “An Innovative Tech Trio Puts Students in Solid Jobs,” Chronicle of Higher Education, November 20, 2011, http://chronicle.com/article/An-Innovative-Tech-Trio-Puts/129826/. 15. Bureau of Labor Statistics, “Employment, Hours, and Earnings from the Current Employment Statistics Survey (National).” 16. “2013 Report for America’s Infrastructure,” American Society of Civil Engineers, March 19, 2013, http://www.infrastructurereportcard.org/a/#p/grade-sheet/americas-infrastructure-investment-needs. 17. Proprietary analysis by Garten Rothkopf. Chapter 7 1. “Monthly Budget Review—Summary for Fiscal Year 2013,” Congressional Budget Office, November 7, 2013, https://www.cbo.gov/sites/default/files/44716-%20MBR_FY2013_0.pdf. 2. “The Debt to the Penny and Who Holds It,” TreasuryDirect, U.S. Treasury Department, http://www.treasurydirect.gov/NP/debt/current. 3.


pages: 327 words: 84,627

The Green New Deal: Why the Fossil Fuel Civilization Will Collapse by 2028, and the Bold Economic Plan to Save Life on Earth by Jeremy Rifkin

1919 Motor Transport Corps convoy, 2013 Report for America's Infrastructure - American Society of Civil Engineers - 19 March 2013, American Society of Civil Engineers: Report Card, autonomous vehicles, Bernie Sanders, blockchain, borderless world, business cycle, business process, carbon footprint, collective bargaining, corporate governance, corporate social responsibility, creative destruction, decarbonisation, en.wikipedia.org, energy transition, failed state, ghettoisation, hydrogen economy, information asymmetry, intangible asset, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Internet of things, invisible hand, Joseph Schumpeter, means of production, megacity, Network effects, new economy, off grid, oil shale / tar sands, peak oil, planetary scale, renewable energy credits, Ronald Reagan, shareholder value, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Skype, smart cities, smart grid, sovereign wealth fund, Steven Levy, the built environment, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Tim Cook: Apple, trade route, union organizing, urban planning, women in the workforce, zero-sum game

Joan Claybrook, “Reagan Ballooned ‘Big Government,’” New York Times, November 1, 1984, https://www.nytimes.com/1984/11/01/opinion/reagan-ballooned-big-government.html (accessed February 8, 2019). 13.  Frank Newport, “Trump Family Leave, Infrastructure Proposals Widely Popular,” Gallup, April 7, 2017, https://news.gallup.com/poll/207905/trump-family-leave-infrastructure-proposals-widely-popular.aspx (accessed February 4, 2019). 14.  American Society of Civil Engineers, The 2017 Infrastructure Report Card: A Comprehensive Assessment of America’s Infrastructure, https://www.infrastructurereportcard.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/01/2017-Infrastructure-Report-Card.pdf (accessed March 12, 2019), 5–7. 15.  American Society of Civil Engineers, Failure to Act: Closing the Infrastructure Investment Gap for America’s Economic Future, 2016, https://www.infrastructurereportcard.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/05/ASCE-Failure-to-Act-Report-for-Web-5.23.16.pdf (accessed March 12, 2019), 4–6. 16.  

Emmie Martin, “Warren Buffett and Bill Gates Agree That the Rich Should Pay Higher Taxes—Here’s What They Suggest,” CNBC, February 26, 2019, https://www.cnbc.com/2019/02/25/warren-buffett-and-bill-gates-the-rich-should-pay-higher-taxes.html (accessed March 1, 2019). 26.  American Society of Civil Engineers, The 2017 Infrastructure Report Card: A Comprehensive Assessment of America’s Infrastructure, https://www.infrastructurereportcard.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/01/2017-Infrastructure-Report-Card.pdf (accessed March 12, 2019), 7. 27.  Adam B. Smith, “2017 U.S. Billion-Dollar Weather and Climate Disasters: A Historic Year in Context,” NOAA, January 8, 2018, https://www.climate.gov/news-features/blogs/beyond-data/2017-us-billion-dollar-weather-and-climate-disasters-historic-year (accessed February 27, 2019). 28.  Jeff Stein, “U.S. Military Budget Inches Closer to $1 Trillion Mark, as Concerns over Federal Deficit Grow,” Washington Post, June 19, 2018, https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/wonk/wp/2018/06/19/u-s-military-budget-inches-closer-to-1-trillion-mark-as-concerns-over-federal-deficit-grow/?

See also electric vehicles Gabriel, Sigmar Garcetti, Eric Gates, Bill Geis, Aurora Gen Z general-purpose technology platform (society-wide infrastructure) German Alliance for Work and the Environment Germany Autobahn building retrofit project Christian Democratic Union (CDU) party and coal distributed nature of green energies in feed-in tariff for green electricity Green Party and peer assembly governance model presidency of Council of the European Union Social Democratic Party (SPD) GI Bill Giannakopoulou, Elena Gillibrand, Kirsten Global Covenant of Mayors for Climate & Energy global warming and agriculture sector and building sector and ICT/communication sector mandates and protocols public opinion on and transportation sector globalization glocalization Google Sidewalk Labs Gore, Al Grand Duchy of Luxembourg (Green New Deal roadmap) Great Depression Great Disruption consequences of and feed-in tariffs four phases of energy transition signs of transitional moment and 20–20–20 mandate (European Union) Great Recession Green Bank Act of 2014 Green Bank Design Summit (2019, Paris) green banks Green Corps Green New Deal building retrofits carbon-farming techniques carbon tax data centers electric vehicles and charging stations elimination of fossil fuel subsidies energy storage technology equitable tax laws European origins of 5G broadband global interconnectivity and transparency Internet of Things investment in Third Industrial Revolution infrastructure transition just transition funds labor movement microgrids military expenditures national green bank national smart power organic and ecological agricultural practices and peer assembly governance public lands research and development service programs smart Third Industrial Revolution business development and Sunrise Movement supply chain circularity processes twenty-three key initiatives of Green New Deal (cont’d) and US Green Party US resolution water, sewer, and drainage systems Green New Deal: A Progressive Vision for Environmental Sustainability and Economic Stability (Data for Progress report) Green New Deal: Joined-Up Policies to Solve the Triple Crunch of the Credit Crisis, Climate Change and High Oil Prices (Green New Deal Group declaration) Green New Deal for Europe: Towards Green Modernisation in the Face of Crisis (European Greens report) Green New Deal roadmaps Grand Duchy of Luxembourg Hauts-de-France (formerly Nord-Pas-de-Calais) Metropolitan Region of Rotterdam and The Hague San Antonio Green Party (Germany) Green Party (US) Greenhalgh, Paul greenhouse gas emissions Greens–European Free Alliance (Greens/EFA) Haier Group Hanergy hard-to-abate sectors Harris, Kamala Hauts-de-France (Green New Deal roadmap) Heinrich Böll Foundation Homestead Acts Homo urbanus Horgan, John Hoyer, Steny Hsiang, Solomon human consciousness Hurricane Sandy hybrid economic system (sharing economy and provider/user networks) ICT and telecommunications sector and antitrust laws data centers decoupling from fossil fuel industry 5G broadband and Green New Deal key initiatives and Green New Deal transition infrastructure internet companies projected greenhouse emissions from and Second Industrial Revolution smartphones and tablets and vertically scaled monopolies ideological consciousness infrastructure American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) report card costs of deteriorating and substandard definition of First Industrial Revolution fossil fuel general-purpose technology platform (society-wide infrastructure) Internet of Things nuclear energy payoffs for improvements to and spending on public-private partnerships and ownership of Second Industrial Revolution Third Industrial Revolution distributed infrastructure Third Industrial Revolution laterally scaled infrastructure Third Industrial Revolution open-source infrastructure Trump administration’s plan and wealth workforce World Economic Forum’s rankings and World War II See also investment in Third Industrial Revolution infrastructure transition infrastructure academies Infrastructure Corps Intel Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC) internet.


pages: 526 words: 160,601

A Generation of Sociopaths: How the Baby Boomers Betrayed America by Bruce Cannon Gibney

1960s counterculture, 2013 Report for America's Infrastructure - American Society of Civil Engineers - 19 March 2013, affirmative action, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, American Society of Civil Engineers: Report Card, Bernie Madoff, Bernie Sanders, Bretton Woods, business cycle, buy and hold, carbon footprint, Charles Lindbergh, cognitive dissonance, collapse of Lehman Brothers, collateralized debt obligation, corporate personhood, Corrections Corporation of America, currency manipulation / currency intervention, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, dark matter, Deng Xiaoping, Donald Trump, Downton Abbey, Edward Snowden, Elon Musk, ending welfare as we know it, equal pay for equal work, failed state, financial deregulation, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, future of work, gender pay gap, gig economy, Haight Ashbury, Home mortgage interest deduction, Hyperloop, illegal immigration, impulse control, income inequality, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), invisible hand, Jane Jacobs, Kitchen Debate, labor-force participation, Long Term Capital Management, Lyft, Mark Zuckerberg, market bubble, mass immigration, mass incarceration, McMansion, medical bankruptcy, Menlo Park, Mont Pelerin Society, moral hazard, mortgage debt, mortgage tax deduction, neoliberal agenda, Network effects, obamacare, offshore financial centre, oil shock, operation paperclip, plutocrats, Plutocrats, Ponzi scheme, price stability, quantitative easing, Ralph Waldo Emerson, RAND corporation, rent control, ride hailing / ride sharing, risk tolerance, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Ronald Reagan, Rubik’s Cube, school choice, secular stagnation, self-driving car, shareholder value, short selling, side project, Silicon Valley, smart grid, Snapchat, source of truth, stem cell, Steve Jobs, Stewart Brand, survivorship bias, TaskRabbit, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Tim Cook: Apple, too big to fail, War on Poverty, white picket fence, Whole Earth Catalog, women in the workforce, Y2K, Yom Kippur War, zero-sum game

Railway-technology.com, 29 Aug. 2013, www.railway-technology.com/features/feature-top-ten-fastest-trains-in-the-world. 34. American Society of Civil Engineers. Infrastructure Report Card, 2013, p. 67. 35. Fandos, Nicholas. “Lengthy Shutdowns in Washington, D.C. Metro System Are Possible.” New York Times, 30 Mar. 2016, www.nytimes.com/2016/03/31/us/lengthy-shutdowns-in-washington-dc-metro-system-are-possible.html. 36. American Society of Civil Engineers. Infrastructure Report Card, 2013, p. 67. 37. US Government Accountability Office. “Commercial Nuclear Waste: Effects of a Termination of the Yucca Mountain Repository Program and Lessons Learned.” GAO-11-1129, released on 10 May 2011, www.gao.gov/assets/320/317634.html; see also US Government Accountability Office. GAO Testimony, GAO-13-532T, 11 Apr. 2013, introduction and generally. 38.

Other countries have different accounting mechanisms, but the general point remains and is reinforced by a drive down any European or Japanese freeway. 4. Ibid. (text); Wessel, David. “Spending on Our Crumbling Infrastructure.” Wall Street Journal. 10 Mar. 2015. http://blogs.wsj.com/washwire/2015/03/10/spending-on-our-crumbling-infrastructure/ (footnote). See also note 12 regarding Summers. 5. Bowe, Rebecca, and Lisa Pickoff-White. “Five Years after Deadly San Bruno Explosion: Are We Safer?” KQED News. The California Report, 8 Sept. 2015, ww2.kqed.org/news/2015/09/08/five-years-after-deadly-san-bruno-explosion-are-we-safer; Rawlings, Nate. “Joe Biden Says NYC Airport Like ‘Some 3rd-World Country.’” Time, 7 Feb. 2014. 6. American Society of Civil Engineers. Infrastructure Report Card, 2013, pp. 11–12. Like all rigorous analyses, ASCE’s methodology and assessments have changed somewhat over time, but the grades across time are clearly designed to be comparative. 7.

“Financial Federal-Aid Highways: The Highway Trust Fund.” www.fhwa.dot.gov/reports/fifahiwy/fifahi05.htm. 24. Supra note 14, “2015 Urban Mobility Score Card.” Ex. 1. 25. BLS. “American Time Use,” 2014, table A-1. 26. See American Society of Civil Engineers. Infrastructure Report Card, 2013, generally; see also US Public Interest Research Group. Madsen, Travis, et al. “Road Work Ahead: Holding Government Accountable for Fixing America’s Crumbling Roads and Bridges,” Apr. 2010, p. 15 et seq. 27. TRIP. “Bumpy Roads Ahead: America’s Roughest Rides and Strategies to Make Our Road Smoother,” July 2015, Appendix A. 28. Tuss, Adam. “New Report: D.C. Area Really Does Have the Worst Traffic in the U.S.” NBC 4, 5 Feb. 2013, www.nbcwashington.com/news/local/New-Report-DC-Really-Does-Have-the-Worst-Traffic-in-the-US-189744731.html; USA Today, and Scott Broom, WUSA. “Report: DC Traffic Is the Worst in the U.S.” 26 Aug. 2015, www.wusa9.com/story/news/2015/08/26/report-dc-traffic-worst-us/32440837/. 29.


pages: 340 words: 92,904

Street Smart: The Rise of Cities and the Fall of Cars by Samuel I. Schwartz

2013 Report for America's Infrastructure - American Society of Civil Engineers - 19 March 2013, active transport: walking or cycling, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, American Society of Civil Engineers: Report Card, autonomous vehicles, car-free, City Beautiful movement, collaborative consumption, congestion charging, crowdsourcing, desegregation, Enrique Peñalosa, Ford paid five dollars a day, Frederick Winslow Taylor, if you build it, they will come, Induced demand, intermodal, invention of the wheel, lake wobegon effect, Loma Prieta earthquake, longitudinal study, Lyft, Masdar, megacity, meta analysis, meta-analysis, moral hazard, Nate Silver, oil shock, Productivity paradox, Ralph Nader, rent control, ride hailing / ride sharing, Rosa Parks, self-driving car, skinny streets, smart cities, smart grid, smart transportation, the built environment, the map is not the territory, transportation-network company, Uber and Lyft, Uber for X, uber lyft, Unsafe at Any Speed, urban decay, urban planning, urban renewal, walkable city, Wall-E, white flight, white picket fence, Works Progress Administration, Yogi Berra, Zipcar

Lots of people have heard of the “Report Card” on America’s infrastructure prepared annually by the American Society of Civil Engineers. (Full disclosure: I’m not only a member of the society but have served on the New York Committee on America’s Infrastructure, which is responsible for assigning grades.) The Report Card gives a grade to sixteen different categories of America’s infrastructure, from aviation to ports to schools to inland waterways, and if you’ve heard of it at all, you probably know that our overall GPA is currently a pretty pathetic D+. That same report estimates the investment needed to bring us up to a passing grade by 2020 at $3.635 trillion—that’s trillion, with a “T.” The largest single component of that number, $1.735 trillion, is surface transportation: roads, highways, transit, and bridges.

NCBW Forum, March 7, 2005. Appleyard, Donald, M. Sue Gerson, and Mark Lintell. Livable Streets. Berkeley, CA: University of California Press, 1981. APTA. Millennials & Mobility: Understanding the Millennial Mindset. Washington, DC: American Public Transportation Association, 2014. ARUP. Urban Mobility in the Smart City Age. London: ARUP, 2014. ASCE. 2013 Report Card on America’s Infrastructure: Roads: Conditions and Capacity. Washington, DC: American Society of Civil Engineers, 2014. Barro, Josh. “Under Pressure from Uber, Taxi Medallion Prices Are Plummeting.” New York Times, November 28, 2014: A1. Barry, Keith. “How Smartphones Can Improve Public Transit.” Wired, April 8, 2011. Bassett, David R., Jr., et al. “Pedometer-Measured Physical Activity and Health Behaviors in U.S. Adults.” Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise 42, no. 10 (2010): 1819–1825.

That doesn’t mean there’s no risk of any bad outcomes. Given the difficulties most of us have with distinguishing between short-term appetites and long-term good sense, there’s a chance that lower oil prices will lead to some poor decisions on infrastructure investment. Even if the price of oil doesn’t distort investment decisions, it’s not as if we were making the most efficient decisions on infrastructure before. Though there is actually a lot to recommend in the American Society of Civil Engineers’ analysis of the sorry state of all aspects of the country’s infrastructure—we really do need to upgrade our waste-water treatment plants and our internal waterways—the Report Card makes some serious errors in urging greater investment in big parts of the transportation system. Spending hundreds of billions of dollars on expanding and restoring roads when Americans are driving fewer miles each year is a very expensive exercise in nostalgia, one that could easily turn our fifty-year-long mistake into one lasting decades longer.


pages: 389 words: 87,758

No Ordinary Disruption: The Four Global Forces Breaking All the Trends by Richard Dobbs, James Manyika

2013 Report for America's Infrastructure - American Society of Civil Engineers - 19 March 2013, access to a mobile phone, additive manufacturing, Airbnb, Amazon Mechanical Turk, American Society of Civil Engineers: Report Card, autonomous vehicles, Bakken shale, barriers to entry, business cycle, business intelligence, Carmen Reinhart, central bank independence, cloud computing, corporate governance, creative destruction, crowdsourcing, demographic dividend, deskilling, disintermediation, disruptive innovation, distributed generation, Erik Brynjolfsson, financial innovation, first square of the chessboard, first square of the chessboard / second half of the chessboard, Gini coefficient, global supply chain, global village, hydraulic fracturing, illegal immigration, income inequality, index fund, industrial robot, intangible asset, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Internet of things, inventory management, job automation, Just-in-time delivery, Kenneth Rogoff, Kickstarter, knowledge worker, labor-force participation, low skilled workers, Lyft, M-Pesa, mass immigration, megacity, mobile money, Mohammed Bouazizi, Network effects, new economy, New Urbanism, oil shale / tar sands, oil shock, old age dependency ratio, openstreetmap, peer-to-peer lending, pension reform, private sector deleveraging, purchasing power parity, quantitative easing, recommendation engine, Report Card for America’s Infrastructure, RFID, ride hailing / ride sharing, Second Machine Age, self-driving car, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Skype, smart cities, Snapchat, sovereign wealth fund, spinning jenny, stem cell, Steve Jobs, supply-chain management, TaskRabbit, The Great Moderation, trade route, transaction costs, Travis Kalanick, uber lyft, urban sprawl, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, working-age population, Zipcar

Heinz-Peter Elstrodt, James Manyika, Jaana Remes, Patricia Ellen, and César Martins, Connecting Brazil to the world: A path to inclusive growth, McKinsey Global Institute, May 2014; “Countries of the world,” Worldatlas.com, http://worldatlas.com/aatlas/populations/ctyareal.htm. 20. The global competitiveness report 2013–2014, World Economic Forum, www.weforum.org/reports/global-competitiveness-report-2013-2014. 21. Elstrodt et al., Connecting Brazil to the world. 22. Dobbs et al., Farewell to cheap capital? 23. World Bank database; Dobbs et al., Farewell to cheap capital? Since the 1970s, global investment as a share of GDP fell from 26.1 percent to a recent low of 20.8 percent in 2002. Total global investment from 1980 through 2008 averaged $700 billion per year less than it would have been had the investment rate of the 1970s persisted—a cumulative sum of $20 trillion. 24. 2013 report card for America’s infrastructure, American Society of Civil Engineers, www.infrastructurereportcard.org. 25. Dobbs et al., Infrastructure productivity. 26. Ibid. 27. Dobbs et al., Farewell to cheap capital?

To eliminate current service deficiencies and expand capacity to keep pace with the growing demand, the American Society of Civil Engineers estimates that the United States needs to invest $1.6 trillion in infrastructure by 2020, on top of current levels.24 The US Department of Transportation has estimated that spending on public transit will have to increase by approximately 40 percent per year to bring it to a state of “good repair” by 2028. Overall, we calculate that through 2030, the world needs to spend an estimated $57 trillion to $67 trillion on roads, buildings, rails, telecoms, ports, and water just to enable expected economic growth.25 That’s more than the entire worldwide stock of infrastructure on the ground today—and nearly 60 percent more than the world invested between 1994 and 2012.26 These investments, combined with the need to replace depreciated or outdated capital, will drive global total investment to $25 trillion by 2030 from $13 trillion in 2008, the peak before the financial crisis.27 Clearly, demand for capital is rising.

Brazil, Indonesia, India, and China need a lot of bricks and mortar. The world’s growing cities will need to double their stock of physical capital investment from nearly $10 trillion in 2013 to more than $20 trillion by 2025.18 All the people moving to cities will need apartments to live in, roads to drive on, and schools to attend. Take Brazil’s infrastructure as an example. Overall investment fell from 5.4 percent of GDP per year in the 1970s to only 2.1 percent in the 2000s. The limits of the country’s infrastructure were on stark display during the 2014 World Cup, when rains flooded the sewers and streets of Recife. Brazil’s transport infrastructure is decrepit—86 percent of roads remain unpaved. Compared to the United States, Brazil’s rail network is less than 13 percent of the size, with about 90 percent of its landmass.19 Even though it crashed out of the 2014 World Cup, losing to Germany in the semifinals, Brazil’s soccer team retains a top ten FIFA ranking.


pages: 190 words: 53,409

Success and Luck: Good Fortune and the Myth of Meritocracy by Robert H. Frank

2013 Report for America's Infrastructure - American Society of Civil Engineers - 19 March 2013, Amazon Mechanical Turk, American Society of Civil Engineers: Report Card, attribution theory, availability heuristic, Branko Milanovic, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, carried interest, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, David Brooks, deliberate practice, en.wikipedia.org, endowment effect, experimental subject, framing effect, full employment, hindsight bias, If something cannot go on forever, it will stop - Herbert Stein's Law, income inequality, invisible hand, labor-force participation, lake wobegon effect, loss aversion, minimum wage unemployment, Network effects, Paul Samuelson, Report Card for America’s Infrastructure, Richard Thaler, Rod Stewart played at Stephen Schwarzman birthday party, Ronald Reagan, Rory Sutherland, selection bias, side project, sovereign wealth fund, Steve Jobs, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Tim Cook: Apple, ultimatum game, Vincenzo Peruggia: Mona Lisa, winner-take-all economy

We who were born into highly developed countries are thus the lucky beneficiaries of centuries of intensive investment by those who came before us. In recent decades, however, those investments have been depreciating. A 2013 report from the American Society of Civil Engineers estimated that the United States faced a $3.6 trillion backlog in essential maintenance for existing infrastructure.1 Crumbling roads and unsafe bridges are common across the country, as are failing water and sewage systems. Millions live downstream from dams that could collapse at any moment. Countless school buildings are in disrepair. We’ve also done little to expand and improve existing infrastructure. Morocco, a country whose per capita income is roughly a tenth that of the United States, is nearing completion of a 350-kilometer high-speed rail link between Casablanca and Tangier.

., 2015. 25. For an excellent survey of how views about luck differ along the political spectrum, see Dean M. Gromet, Kimberly A. Hartson, and David K. Sherman, “The Politics of Luck: Political Ideology and the Perceived Relationship between Luck and Success,” Journal of Experimental Social Psychology 59 (2015): 40–46. CHAPTER 6: THE BURDEN OF FALSE BELIEFS 1. American Society of Civil Engineers, Report Card for America’s Infrastructure, 2013, http://www.infrastructurereportcard.org. 2. Donna M. Desrochers and Steven Hurlburt, “Trends in College Spending: 2001–2011; A Delta Data Update,” Delta Cost Project: American Institutes for Research, 2014, www.deltacostproject.org/sites/default/files/products/Delta%20Cost_Trends%20College%20Spending%202001–2011_071414_rev.pdf. 3. Robert Hiltonsmith, “Pulling Up the Higher-Ed Ladder: Myth and Reality in the Crisis of College Affordability,” www.demos.org/publication/pulling-higher-ed-ladder-myth-and-reality-crisis-college-affordability. 4.

Viard and Robert Carroll, Progressive Consumption Taxation: The X-Tax Revisited, Washington, DC: AEI Press, 2012. INDEX Abramson, L. Y., 73 According to Jim, 31 adoption, 36, 57, 58 Allen, Paul, 34 Alloy, L. B., 73 Alou brothers, 33 American Dream, the, 4, 145 American Economic Association, 25 American Economic Review, 28, 126, 133, 171 American Enterprise Institute, 127, 171 American Society of Civil Engineers, 87 Anderson, Chris, 47 antlers in bull elk, 116–18, 118 Apotheker, Léo, 53 Apple, 44, 49, 132 Arab Spring, 107 Archilla, Gustavo, 106 artificial intelligence, 70 attention scarcity, 48–49 attribution theory, 77 austerity policies, 134 availability heuristic, 79, 80 baby boomer retirements, 97, 127, 167 Baker Library, 36 Bartlett, Bruce, 90 Bartlett, Monica, 101 Baumeister, Roy, 75 Beatty, Warren, 23 behavioral economics, 69, 70, 96 Bernanke, Ben, 133–35 best seller, xiii, 45 Betamax, 44, 45 birth order effects, 32 birth-date effects: in hockey, 38; in the workplace, 38 Blackstone, 103 Blockbusters, 48 Bloomberg Business, 132 Bonaparte, Napoleon, 7 Boudreaux, Donald, 122 Breaking Bad, 24, 31, 68 British accent, 4 Broderick, Matthew, 24, 68 Brooklyn Dodgers, 142 Brooks, David, 83, 84 Buffett, Warren, 12, 39 Bush, George H.


pages: 437 words: 113,173

Age of Discovery: Navigating the Risks and Rewards of Our New Renaissance by Ian Goldin, Chris Kutarna

2013 Report for America's Infrastructure - American Society of Civil Engineers - 19 March 2013, 3D printing, Airbnb, Albert Einstein, AltaVista, Asian financial crisis, asset-backed security, autonomous vehicles, banking crisis, barriers to entry, battle of ideas, Berlin Wall, bioinformatics, bitcoin, Bonfire of the Vanities, clean water, collective bargaining, Colonization of Mars, Credit Default Swap, crowdsourcing, cryptocurrency, Dava Sobel, demographic dividend, Deng Xiaoping, Doha Development Round, double helix, Edward Snowden, Elon Musk, en.wikipedia.org, epigenetics, experimental economics, failed state, Fall of the Berlin Wall, financial innovation, full employment, Galaxy Zoo, global pandemic, global supply chain, Hyperloop, immigration reform, income inequality, indoor plumbing, industrial cluster, industrial robot, information retrieval, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), intermodal, Internet of things, invention of the printing press, Isaac Newton, Islamic Golden Age, Johannes Kepler, Khan Academy, Kickstarter, low cost airline, low cost carrier, low skilled workers, Lyft, Malacca Straits, mass immigration, megacity, Mikhail Gorbachev, moral hazard, Nelson Mandela, Network effects, New Urbanism, non-tariff barriers, Occupy movement, On the Revolutions of the Heavenly Spheres, open economy, Panamax, Pearl River Delta, personalized medicine, Peter Thiel, post-Panamax, profit motive, rent-seeking, reshoring, Robert Gordon, Robert Metcalfe, Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence, Second Machine Age, self-driving car, Shenzhen was a fishing village, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Skype, smart grid, Snapchat, special economic zone, spice trade, statistical model, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, Stuxnet, The Future of Employment, too big to fail, trade liberalization, trade route, transaction costs, transatlantic slave trade, uber lyft, undersea cable, uranium enrichment, We are the 99%, We wanted flying cars, instead we got 140 characters, working poor, working-age population, zero day

The same connective and developmental forces that boost health, wealth and populations are multiplying the demands upon lagging and aging infrastructure. Public belt-tightening in the wake of the financial crisis only exacerbates this strain, which is most acute in those areas most crucial to sustaining contemporary life: energy, water and food. The World Economic Forum puts overall infrastructure investment needs at $100 trillion globally over the next 20 years.58 It’s a rich-world problem. The American Society of Civil Engineers gives current US infrastructure an overall grade of D+. The country’s rail and bridges are “mediocre”; roads, drinking water and waste management systems are “poor”; levees and waterways score somewhere between “below standard” and “unfit for purpose.” Just to put American infrastructure “in good repair” would take $3.6 trillion of public money through to 2020. Current spending levels ($2 trillion to 2020) will slow US urban decline, but won’t help her cities seize new opportunities to flourish.59 It’s also (and more urgently so) a poor-world problem.

“Rethinking the Financial Network.” Speech given to the Financial Student Association, Amsterdam. Retrieved from www.bankofengland.co.uk/archive/Documents/historicpubs/speeches/2009/speech386.pdf. 58. Green Growth Action Alliance (2013). “Required Infrastructure Needs.” The Green Investment Report. Geneva: World Economic Forum. 59. American Society of Civil Engineers (2013). “Grade Sheet: America’s Infrastructure Investment Needs.” Reston, VA: ASCE. Retrieved from www.infrastructurereportcard.org. 60. Bhattacharya, Amar, Mattia Romani, et al. (2012). “Infrastructure for Development: Meeting the Challenge.” Policy brief. Seoul: Global Green Growth Institute. Retrieved from www.gggi.org. 61. Bolt, J. and J.L. van Zanden (2014). “The Maddison Project: Collaborative Research on Historical National Accounts.”

Google now gives away, to each of its nearly 1 billion cloud users, online storage worth about $15,000 per person at 1995 prices. In other words, what would have cost a combined $15 trillion just 20 years ago is now free.24 Not only a large share of all public knowledge, but also our private libraries—of letters, photos, music and corporate databases—are available to us anywhere, anytime. “Cloud” is a catchy, but misleading, metaphor; it’s more like a skin—always at our fingertips, inseparable from our identity. Books, and the ideas they contained, were carried along every land and sea route Europe’s new maps revealed; so it is today with digital data. The selfie taken by Ellen DeGeneres with seven other celebrities at the 2014 Oscars generated two terabytes of traffic in just 12 hours, as it was downloaded to 26 million devices worldwide. In 2013, global data traffic broke the one exabyte-per-day barrier—more per day than total annual traffic in 2003.


pages: 242 words: 71,943

Strong Towns: A Bottom-Up Revolution to Rebuild American Prosperity by Charles L. Marohn, Jr.

2013 Report for America's Infrastructure - American Society of Civil Engineers - 19 March 2013, A Pattern Language, American Society of Civil Engineers: Report Card, bank run, big-box store, Black Swan, Bretton Woods, British Empire, business cycle, call centre, cognitive dissonance, complexity theory, corporate governance, Detroit bankruptcy, Donald Trump, en.wikipedia.org, facts on the ground, Ferguson, Missouri, global reserve currency, housing crisis, index fund, Jane Jacobs, Jeff Bezos, low skilled workers, mass immigration, mortgage debt, Network effects, new economy, New Urbanism, paradox of thrift, Paul Samuelson, pensions crisis, Ponzi scheme, quantitative easing, reserve currency, the built environment, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, trickle-down economics, Upton Sinclair, urban planning, urban renewal, walkable city, white flight, women in the workforce, yield curve, zero-sum game

To avoid this loss, and to reach what the ASCE has called “minimum tolerable conditions” on the nation’s highway, bridge, and transit investments, the Failure to Act report indicates that an additional $220 billion must be spent annually going forward. That’s $2.2 trillion in additional infrastructure spending over the coming decade. Let me summarize what you’ve just read: The American Society of Civil Engineers suggests that the federal government, on behalf of the American people, spend $2.2 trillion over a decade to save those same Americans from the hardship of having distressed infrastructure, a difficulty estimated to cost just $1 trillion. How can a prestigious organization like the American Society of Civil Engineers write something that seems so nonsensical? Spend $2.2 trillion to save $1 trillion? That’s preposterous! The answer is simple: They don’t consider it nonsense. They have such a deep, cult-like belief in what they are saying – as do the organizations, politicians, and media outlets that continuously repeat these assertions – that they don’t even comprehend the absurdity of their own numbers.

A cult is a collection of people having a misplaced or excessive admiration for a person or thing. Since the end of World War II, America’s leadership class has grown to be an infrastructure cult. The American Society of Civil Engineers The American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) is the most authoritative, prestigious, and oft-quoted organization on North American infrastructure spending. Their periodic report cards routinely score U.S. infrastructure at just above failing. With the enthusiastic support of contractors, developers, trade unions, and others involved in the business of construction, the ASCE regularly calls for large increases in all levels of infrastructure spending. They boldly cite the obvious benefits of more infrastructure, claims that are parroted nearly unquestioned by politicians and media outlets. For example, in 2011, as governments everywhere were having their budgets hammered by the lingering effects of the housing crisis that began three years earlier, the ASCE published a report called Failure to Act,8 an analysis of the economic impacts of infrastructure investment trends.

In addition to being passionate about building a stronger America, he loves playing music, is an obsessive reader, and religiously follows his favorite team, the Minnesota Twins. Chuck and his wife live with their two daughters in their hometown of Brainerd, Minnesota. Index A Accounting, for infrastructure, 70–71 Acre, value per, 135, 138–142 Alexander, Christopher, 8 Altruism, in community living, 6–7, 26 American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE), 65–67 Amish society, 217 Anderson, Monte, 160–161 Antifragile (Taleb), 193 Anti-fragile systems, 4, 6 Appreciation, for maintenance staff, 180–183 Arnade, Chris, 214–215 ASCE (American Society of Civil Engineers), 65–67 Assessment process, 77 Automobile reliance: development based on, 27–30 and modern city development, 111–112 productivity and, 140 B Barbell investment approach, 148–150, 150f Better Block Foundation, 159 Bezos, Jeff, 102 Bias, confirmation, 69, 74, 183–186 Bicycles, 112 Big box stores: alternative uses of sites of, 169 productivity for, 136–137 Big project mentality, 184–186 The Big Sort (Bishop), 207–208 “Bipartisan Placemaking: Reaching Conservatives” panel, 210 Bishop, Bill, 207–208 The Black Swan (Taleb), 59, 120 Blighted areas, productivity of, 131–134, 140 Boise State University, 126 Boys & Girls Club of Santa Ana, x Brainerd, Minnesota, 16f, 18f development of infrastructure in, 30–31 experimental development pattern in, 125–126 founding and development of, 16–17 productivity at downtown vs. edge of town, 134–138 traditional vs. modern development in, 131–134 Bretton Woods agreement, 90 Brooklyn, New York, 213–214 Brown, Aaron, 211 Brown, Michael, 114 Budgeting, by cities, 50–57 Building code deficiencies, addressing, 194 Buildings, complex vs. complicated, 20–23 Bureaucracy, 172 Burnham, Daniel, 122 Bush, George W., 209 C California, government decision making in, 197–198 Capital investments, return on, 171–172 Carbon-reduction benefits, 74 Carlson, Curtis, 121 “Carlson's Law,” 121 Cash flow: and debt, 98, 187–192, 188f–190f over life cycle of development project, 52–57, 55f, 56f CBO (Congressional Budget Office), 78–80 Centralization, 198 Chaos, order vs., 121–122 Chicken problem, 195 Cities, 37–62 abandonment of, 109–110 accounting for infrastructure by, 70–71 budgeting and growth in, 50–57 contracting of, 154 Detroit, Michigan, 60–62 development of Pompeii, Italy, 5–10 economic stability of modern, 104–106 engineer's view of, 11 experimental development pattern in, 126–127 filling gaps in, 160–163 and illusion of wealth, 57–60 incremental growth in founding of, 15–20 as infinite game, 38–41 and infrastructure, 44–50 maintenance required for infrastructure in, 115 modern development of, 12 revenues and expenses, 41–44 traditional vs. modern development of, 1–3 Cities and the Wealth of a Nation (Jacobs), 101–102 City Council of Santa Ana, ix, x City engineer, 177t City halls, 43–44 City planner, 177t Class: and neighborhoods, 21–22 and re-urbanization, 116 Clinton, Bill, 209 Clinton, Hillary, 63 Cognitive Architecture (Sussman and Hollander), 8 Cognitive discounting, 65 Collaboration, between government officials and citizens, 195–197 Commers, Jon, 45 Common infrastructure, 130 Community living, 199–218 differing opinions in, 206–212 and extended family, 200–201 as infinite game, 39–40 meaning in, 212–218 in neighborhoods, 202–203 in Pompeii, Italy, 6–7 walking in, 203–206 Complex, adaptive systems: human habitats as, 3–4 and incremental growth, 168 incremental growth of, 15–16, 18–19 rational decision making with, 120–123 Complex buildings, 20–23 Complicated buildings, 20–23 Complicated systems, 11–14 Confirmation bias, 69, 74, 183–186 Conflicts, dealing with, 206–212 Congress for the New Urbanism, 210 Congressional Budget Office (CBO), 78–80 Constraints: and economic stability, 93–96 and gold standard, 90 growth as, 100 prudent, for investments, 164–168 removal of, in modern world, 59–60, 96 Construction costs, 136–137 Consumption, 215–216 Costa Rica, 126–127 The Crash Course (Martenson), 108 Critical systems, 182–183 Cross-generational civic collaboration, 187 D Dallas, Texas, 159 Darwin, Charles, 8 The Death and Life of Great American Cities (Jacobs), 8 Debt: and cash flow, 98 for federal government, 186 for government, 96–100 for local government, 113–114 for place-oriented government, 186–192 for projects with quality-of-life benefits, 187 for state government, 113–114 Debt to income ratio, 97 Decision making: rational, see Rational decision making subsidiarity in, 195–198 Default, on municipal debt, 191 Deneen, Patrick, 211 Density, as urban planning metric, 128–129 Depression economics, 86–89 Detroit, Michigan, 60–62 land values in, 24 renewal of urban, 117–119 Development projects: cash flow over life cycle of, 52–57, 53f, 55f, 56f decisions about failing, 115–120 Diamond, Jared, 58, 59, 84 Dig Deep, 211 Donjek, 45 Downtown, productivity of, 134–140, 139t, 143–144 Duany, Andres, 195 Duggan, Mike, 119 Duncanville, Texas, 160 E Economic development department, 178t Economics: and benefits of infrastructure spending, 72–73 in depressions, 86–89 Economic stability, 83–106 and auto-oriented development, 29–30 and constraints, 93–96 creating, 85–86 and depression economics, 86–89 and focus on growth, 100–102 following World War II, 89–91 and government debt, 96–100 growth vs. wealth, 102–104 of modern cities, 104–106 and post-war boom, 91–93 risk management strategies for, 83–85 Edges, 7–8 Edges of city: center vs., 28 city infrastructure necessary for, 115 productivity of, 134–138, 143–144 Efficiency, designing for, 174–176 Ehrenhalt, Alan, 116 Empire State Building (New York, New York), 129 Employment, in productive places, 133 England, 83 Expenses, and revenues, 41–44 Extended family, 200–201 F Failure, slow, 110–115 Failure to Act (ASCE report), 65–67 Family, extended, 200–201 Fannie Mae, 92 Farmers, risk management strategies of, 83–84 Federal Funds Rate, 97 Federal government: debt for, 186 impact of infrastructure on, 79 Federal Housing Administration (FHA), 89, 92 Federal Reserve, 99 Feedback, in local governments, 173–174 Ferguson, Missouri, 93, 114 FHA (Federal Housing Administration), 89 Financial status, local government's understanding of, 190–191 Finished states, neighborhoods built to, 21–23 “First ring” suburbs, 94 Form-based codes, 193–194 Fragile systems, 4 Franchises, productivity of, 133–134 Freddie Mac, 92 Future, predicting needs for, 19–20, 120–121 G Gaps, in cities, 160–163 Garcia, Anthony, 158 Gas tax, 75 Gawron, Stephen, 161 Gehl, Jan, 8 “General Theory of Walkability,” 206 Gentrification, of urban neighborhoods, 117 Goals, of individuals vs. communities, 40–41 Goland, Carol, 84 Gold reserves, 94 Gold standard, as basis for trade, 90 Government debt, 96–100 Government policies, prioritizing traffic, 29 Great Depression, 87–89, 191 The Great Inversion and the Future of the American City (Ehrenhalt), 116 Great Society, 93 Growth: economic stability and focus on, 100–102 in municipalities, 50–57 as objective of local governments, 176 wealth vs., 102–104 H Haidt, Jonathan, 208, 209, 215 Hardship, response to, 172–174 Hasidic Judaism, 213–214, 217 Hemingway, Ernest, 4 Henwood, Doug, 79 Hierarchies, in local government, 174–176 Highland neighborhood (Shreveport, Louisiana), 220 Highland Park (Shreveport, Louisiana), 220 High land values, 27–30 High Point, North Carolina, 161 Highway bypass corridor, 134–138 Hollander, Justin B., 8, 9 Homeless shelters, xi Homes, changing, 20 Hoover, Herbert, 87 Horizontal expansion, in California, 197 Housing: in California, 197–198 post-war changes in, 92 preference for single-family, 144–145 Housing authority, 178t How to Live in a World We Don't Understand (Taleb), 59 Human habitats, 1–14 as complex, adaptive systems, 3–4 in North America, 1–3 spooky wisdom in, 5–10 as systems that are complicated, 11–14 Hunter-gatherer existence, 58 Hurricane Katrina, 102–103 Hurricane Rita, 102–103 I Illusion of Wealth: and constant maintenance, 152 human response to, 57–60 Illusion of Wealth phase of development, 143 Improvement to Land (I/L) Ratio, 25, 25f, 117 Improvement value, 23–25, 25f Incentives, to fix problems, 113 Income taxes, 72 Incremental changes, implementing, 122–123, 156–157 Incremental growth, 15–35 and complex, adaptive systems, 168 complex vs. complicated buildings in, 20–23 constraints on, 164 and founding of cities, 15–20 good and bad development in, 34–35 and high land values, 27–30 and neighborhood renewal, 23–27 private and public investment in, 30–34 in traditional habitat development, 2 Infill projects, 160 Infrastructure, 63–81 accounting for, 70–71 and American Society of Civil Engineers, 65–67 calculating returns on investment for, 67–69 Congressional Budget Office on, 78–80 development of, 30–34 as investment, 41–42 in modern development, 32 and municipalities, 44–50 perception of need for more, 63–65 ratio of private to public investment in, 129–130 real return on investment, 74–78 secondary effects of, 72–74 Infrastructure Cult: development of, 65–67 paper returns calculated by, 69 Insolvency, 187–192 Interstate highway system, 92 Investment(s), 147–170 barbell investment approach, 148–150 capital, 171–172 conventional vs. strong towns thinking about, 185–186, 186t in filling gaps in cities, 160–163 impact of regulations on, 194 infrastructure as, 41–42 little bets, 150–160 low-risk investments with steady returns, 150–155 prudent constraints for, 164–168 public and private, 30–34, 31f, 32f returns on, see Return on investment in Suburban Retrofit, 168–169 Italy, walking in, 203–204 J Jacobs, Jane, 8, 101–102 Japan, 76 Jimmy's Pizza, 161–162 Job creation, 49, 72–73 Johnson, Neil, 12, 13 Junger, Sebastian, 216–217 K Keynes, John Maynard, 88 Keynesian economic policies, 88 Krugman, Paul, 63, 78 Kunstler, James, 110–111 L Lafayette, Louisiana, 101, 141–144, 151 Landau, Moshe, 213–214, 217 Land value: in declining suburbs, 113 and interstate highway project, 92 and neighborhood renewal, 23–25, 25f in neighborhoods with different types of properties, 165–167, 165f, 166f and suburban development, 27–30 Learning, from previous local investments, 187 Legacy programs, 173 Lifestyle choices, 202, 205–206 “Lifestyle enclaves,” 208 Little bets, 16–18, 150–160 Local economy: as basis for national economy, 101–102 national vs., 103 Local government: changes in, to maintain economic stability, 105–106 debt taken on by, 113–114 funded by state government, 95 impact of infrastructure on, 79–80 profit run by, 37–38, 147 relationship of state and, 198 Long declines, 110–115 “Long emergency,” 110–111 Long Recession of the 1870s, 77 Los Angeles, California, xi Lovable places, 10 Low-risk investments, with steady returns, 150–155 Lydon, Mike, 158 M Maintenance: ability to keep up with, 109 cash-flow debt to cover, 188–192, 188f–190f of development projects, 52–57 of infrastructure, 46–49 need for constant, 151–154 in place-oriented government, 180–183 required for single-family homes, 112 Maintenance department, 179t Manhattan, New York, 24 Martenson, Chris, 108 Meaning, life of, 212–218 Middle class, 92, 93, 144–145 Milan, Italy, 164 Mills Fleet Farm, 134–137 Minicozzi, Joseph, 138–140, 161 “Minnesota Miracle,” 95 Mixed-use neighborhoods, 163, 169 Modern city development: as high-risk investments, 149 as lead by pubic investment, 34–35 productive places in, 131–134 Modern Monetary Theory, 99 Mortgages, during Great Depression, 88–89 Mouzon, Steve, 10, 113 Muskegon, Michigan, 161 N National Association of Home Builders, 136 National economy, local vs., 103 Natural disasters, 102–103 Neighborhoods: abandonment of, 109–110 built to finished states, 21–23 changing in post-war era, 92–93 community living in, 202–203 decline of, 113 gentrification of urban, 117 mixed-use, 163, 169 renewal of, and incremental growth, 23–27 responses to improvements in, 158 structured around religions, 214 in transition sections of Detroit, 118 Neighbors, being involved with, 202–203 New Deal economics, 87–88 New Orleans, Louisiana, 102, 182 Nixon, Richard, 94 Noncritical systems, 182 O Oak Cliff neighborhood (Dallas, Texas), 159 Obama, Barack, 63 Obesity, among Pacific Islanders, 58–59 Options Real Estate, 160 Orange County, California, xi–xii Order, chaos vs., 121–122 The Original Green (Mouzon), 10, 113 Oroville dam (California), 182 Oswego, New York, 152 Oswego Renaissance Association, 152 P Pacific Islanders, 58–59, 183–185 Paper returns on investment, 67–69 Paradox of Avarice, 104 Paradox of Thrift, 88, 104 Pareidolia, 8–9, 9f Parks department, 178t Party analogy, 34–35 A Pattern Language (Alexander), 8 Pension funds, 56–57, 70, 98 Pequot Lakes, Minnesota, 44–46 Perception, of need for more infrastructure, 63–65 Personal preferences, 144–145 Peru, 84 Place-oriented government, 171–198 and confirmation bias, 183–186 designed for efficiency, 174–176 focus on broad wealth creation by, 176–180 maintenance as priority for, 180–183 and regulations, 192–194 response to hardship by, 172–174 subsidiarity in, 195–198 understanding of debt by, 186–192 Political differences, 207 Pompeii, Italy, 5–10 Post-war boom: and economic stability, 91–93 modern city development established in, 12 Power, subsidiarity principle and, 196–198 Prayer of Saint Francis, 218 Prioritization, of maintenance, 180–183 Private development, 40 Private investment: private to public investment ratio, 129–130 public and, 30–34, 31f, 32f Private sector (businesses): response to economic hardship in, 172–173 small, see Small businesses Problem solving, 13–14 Productive places, 125–146 downtown vs. edge of town, 134–138 in past, 125–127 and personal preferences, 144–145 productivity calculations for, 128–130 return on investment, 141–144 traditional vs. modern development in, 131–134 value per acre, 138–141 Productivity, calculations of, 128–130 Project teams, 179–180 Property taxes, 49 Property value, 23–25, 25f Public health, and walking neighborhoods, 205 Public investment: private and, 30–34, 31f, 32f private to public investment ratio, 129–130 returns required for, 147 Public safety department, 179t Q Quality-of-life benefits, 187 Quantitative Easing, 99 R Railroad companies, 77 Rational decision making, 107–123 about failing development systems, 115–120 about long declines, 110–115 within complex, adaptive system, 120–123 and lack of single solution, 107–110 Real return on investment, 74–78 Redevelopment, financial productivity after, 131–134, 139–140, 139t Redundant systems, 182 ReForm Shreveport, 219, 220 Regulations: from place-oriented government, 192–194 and subsidiarity principle, 195–198 Repealing regulations, 192–193 Republican Party, 209 Request for proposal (RFP), 50 Residents, learning concerns of, 156–157 Resources: assumption of abundance of, 12–14 wasted, in modern development, 19 Retreats, strategic, 108–109 Return on investment, 141–144 calculating, for infrastructure, 67–69 for capital projects, 171–172 in cities, 44 and debt taken on by local governments, 187 low-risk investments with steady, 150–155 paper, 67–69 real, 74–78 social, 78–79 Revenues, and expenses, 41–44 RFP (request for proposal), 50 The Righteous Mind (Haidt), 208 Risk management strategies, 83–85 Roaring Twenties, 87 Roberts, Jason, 159 Roosevelt, Franklin, 87, 88 Rotary International, 203 S St.


pages: 128 words: 35,958

Getting Back to Full Employment: A Better Bargain for Working People by Dean Baker, Jared Bernstein

2013 Report for America's Infrastructure - American Society of Civil Engineers - 19 March 2013, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, American Society of Civil Engineers: Report Card, Asian financial crisis, business cycle, collective bargaining, declining real wages, full employment, George Akerlof, income inequality, inflation targeting, mass immigration, minimum wage unemployment, new economy, price stability, publication bias, quantitative easing, Report Card for America’s Infrastructure, rising living standards, selection bias, War on Poverty

But we will not stop pulling for full employment until we get there and stay there. References Akerlof, George, William Dickens, and William Perry. 1996. “The Macroeconomics of Low Inflation.” Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Vol. 1996, No. 1, pp. 1-76. http://www.jstor.org/discover/10.2307/2534646?uid=3739584&uid=2&uid=4&uid=3739256&sid=21101919624531 American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE). 2013. “2013 Report Card for America’s Infrastructure.” http://www.infrastructurereportcard.org/a/#p/home Anderson, Palle and David Gruen. 1995. “Macroeconomic Policies and Growth.” Research Discussion Paper 9507. Sydney: Reserve Bank of Australia. http://citeseerx.ist.psu.edu/viewdoc/download?doi=10.1.1.200.1174&rep=rep1&type=pdf Appelbaum, Eileen, Thomas Bailey, Peter Berg, and Arne Kalleberg. 2000.

In essence, the higher rate becomes insurance against a tough and intractable problem in modern, advanced economies: the zero lower bound. The 2008 downturn has been enormously costly to the economy simply in terms of lost GDP. If we compare the actual GDP with the projections made by the Congressional Budget Office at the beginning of 2007, before the downturn began, by mid-2013 the economy had lost more than $6 trillion (in 2005 dollars) in output, and it is projected to lose at least another $17 trillion in output compared to its trend path, as shown in Figure 3-1. If the economy sustains a permanently higher level of unemployment because so many workers have lost skills and are unable to re-enter the workforce (or because the Fed believes this to be the case and adjusts its monetary policy accordingly), then the loss over subsequent decades will raise this figure even further.

We have an immediate problem --millions cannot find any or enough work—and we can address this problem with measures that will lead to higher deficits. If in 10-15 years these large deficits are a problem, we can deal with them. History is a guide here. The first President Bush secured a substantial deficit reduction agreement in 1990, and President Clinton did so in 1993. Under President Obama, spending cuts and tax increases have lowered projected 10-year deficits by almost $3 trillion, and the deficit-to-GDP ratio is down from 10 percent in 2009 to 4 percent in 2013 (Kogan and Van de Water 2013). If we’ve done it before we can certainly do it again, though the current dysfunctional Congress does give sensible people cause for worry. One of the most peculiar arguments about deficits is that we must save our children from the phantom menace of future debt tomorrow by severely underinvesting in them today. We must defund Head Start, public schools, universities, libraries – not to mention our own employment opportunities.


pages: 286 words: 79,305

99%: Mass Impoverishment and How We Can End It by Mark Thomas

"Robert Solow", 2013 Report for America's Infrastructure - American Society of Civil Engineers - 19 March 2013, additive manufacturing, Albert Einstein, anti-communist, autonomous vehicles, bank run, banks create money, bitcoin, business cycle, call centre, central bank independence, complexity theory, conceptual framework, creative destruction, credit crunch, declining real wages, distributed ledger, Donald Trump, Erik Brynjolfsson, eurozone crisis, fiat currency, Filter Bubble, full employment, future of work, Gini coefficient, gravity well, income inequality, inflation targeting, Internet of things, invisible hand, Jeff Bezos, jimmy wales, job automation, Kickstarter, labour market flexibility, laissez-faire capitalism, light touch regulation, Mark Zuckerberg, market clearing, market fundamentalism, Martin Wolf, money: store of value / unit of account / medium of exchange, Nelson Mandela, North Sea oil, Occupy movement, offshore financial centre, Own Your Own Home, Peter Thiel, Piper Alpha, plutocrats, Plutocrats, profit maximization, quantitative easing, rent-seeking, Ronald Reagan, Second Machine Age, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, smart cities, Steve Jobs, The Great Moderation, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, wealth creators, working-age population

Estimates of the cost of the damage caused to the UK run into many billions of pounds.11 Spending on flood defences would have been a sound investment for the UK economy, while ‘saving’ taxpayers a few hundred million pounds has cost them over £5 billion. Providing this kind of critical national infrastructure is clearly an area where if government does not spend the money, it will not be spent. And as every Swabian housewife knows, it is not prudent to leave a leaky roof or pipe unrepaired. The situation is similar in the US. A recent assessment by the American Society of Civil Engineers suggests that to prevent serious damage to the economy, investment in civil infrastructure totalling US$3.3 trillion is required before 2025 – but they expect only US$1.9 trillion of that to be spent: a funding gap of US$1.4 trillion.12 ‘Saving’ the US economy US$1.4 trillion in this way is estimated to cost over US$4 trillion by 2025 in terms of lost GDP. The examples above show that, in the UK and the US at least, there is no shortage of high-return projects – projects, in other words, that will pay for themselves many times over.

. , 2015 16 Romney, Mitt Romney’s ‘47 Per cent’ Comments, 2012 17 Lansley & Mack, Breadline Britain, 2015 18 Aldrick, 2018 19 See Figure 40 20 See Appendix on website 21 Harrison, 1998 22 McMillan, 2008 23 Wilson & Wilson, 2007 24 McKinsey Global Institute, 2016 25 Islam, 2012 26 Bierce, 1911 Chapter 12: Catch-23 – The Narrative of Unaffordability 1 Heller, 1961 2 Cameron, Economy: There is no alternative TINA is back, 2013 3 Saez & Zucman, 2014 4 IRS, 2015 5 Ferrara, 2014 6 Dynan, Skinner, & Zeldes, 2004 7 UK Debt Bombshell, 2016. 8 Companies House, 2016 9 Office for Budget Responsibility, 2015 10 Chantril, 2015 11 Mason, Rowena, ‘Government raised bar for funding of flood defence schemes’, The Guardian, 11 February 2014 12 Bank of England, 2015 13 Turner, Between Debt and the Devil, 2016 14 Krugman, Be Ready To Mint That Coin, 2013 15 General government gross debt was £1,763.8 billion at the end of the financial year ending March 2018 according to the Office for National Statistics, 2018 16 Stone, 2015 17 Turnbull, 2015 18 Kaufmann, 2015 19 DeLong, 2015 Part 3: Building The Future 1 eupedia, 2016 Chapter 13: 50 Shades of Capitalism 1 Rand, 1946 2 CIA, 2015 3 Wee, 2013 4 IMF, 2015 5 World Happiness Report, 2015 Chapter 14: The Victimless Revolution 1 Kennedy, 1962 2 International Energy Agency, 2015 3 Ashley & Greenemeier, 2013 4 OECD, 2015 5 United Nations Population Division, 2017 6 Congressional Budget Office, 2014 7 Lopez, 2013 8 Dolan, 2013 9 Forbes, 2016 10 O’Brien, 2014 11 Haaretz, 2014 12 Wood, 2011 13 Osnos, Evan, ‘Doomsday Prep for the Super-Rich’, The New Yorker, 22 January 2017 14 Dynan, Skinner, & Zeldes, 2004 Chapter 15: The Abundance Manifesto 1 Statement from Prime Minister Theresa May, 2016 2 Armstrong, 1982 3 Alston, 2018 4 The IPPR Commission on Economic Justice, 2018 5 Mazzucato, 2013 6 Hammond, 2013 7 Treasury, 2013 8 Castella, 2015 9 Pitt, 2008 10 Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, 2015 11 Burn-Callander, 2015 12 American Society of Civil Engineers, 2016 13 Davis, 2016 14 Murphy P. , 2016 15 Burgess, Ford, Guthrie, & Toplensky, 2016 16 IMF, 2008 17 Haldane, 2010 18 Independent Commission on Banking, 2011 19 King, 2016 20 RSA, 2017 21 topendsports.com 2016 22 United Nations, 2017 23 Chantril, 2015 24 Beveridge, 1942 25 Beveridge, 1942 Chapter 16: Your Role in the Change 1 Walker, 2013 2 Bank of England, 2019 3 Alston, 2018 Acknowledgements This book would not exist without data. And so my first debt is to the diligent but unsung statisticians who collate economic data. In the UK, statisticians at the Bank of England, Companies House, DEFRA and the Office for National Statistics have provided huge amounts of vital information.

. , 2015 16 Romney, Mitt Romney’s ‘47 Per cent’ Comments, 2012 17 Lansley & Mack, Breadline Britain, 2015 18 Aldrick, 2018 19 See Figure 40 20 See Appendix on website 21 Harrison, 1998 22 McMillan, 2008 23 Wilson & Wilson, 2007 24 McKinsey Global Institute, 2016 25 Islam, 2012 26 Bierce, 1911 Chapter 12: Catch-23 – The Narrative of Unaffordability 1 Heller, 1961 2 Cameron, Economy: There is no alternative TINA is back, 2013 3 Saez & Zucman, 2014 4 IRS, 2015 5 Ferrara, 2014 6 Dynan, Skinner, & Zeldes, 2004 7 UK Debt Bombshell, 2016. 8 Companies House, 2016 9 Office for Budget Responsibility, 2015 10 Chantril, 2015 11 Mason, Rowena, ‘Government raised bar for funding of flood defence schemes’, The Guardian, 11 February 2014 12 Bank of England, 2015 13 Turner, Between Debt and the Devil, 2016 14 Krugman, Be Ready To Mint That Coin, 2013 15 General government gross debt was £1,763.8 billion at the end of the financial year ending March 2018 according to the Office for National Statistics, 2018 16 Stone, 2015 17 Turnbull, 2015 18 Kaufmann, 2015 19 DeLong, 2015 Part 3: Building The Future 1 eupedia, 2016 Chapter 13: 50 Shades of Capitalism 1 Rand, 1946 2 CIA, 2015 3 Wee, 2013 4 IMF, 2015 5 World Happiness Report, 2015 Chapter 14: The Victimless Revolution 1 Kennedy, 1962 2 International Energy Agency, 2015 3 Ashley & Greenemeier, 2013 4 OECD, 2015 5 United Nations Population Division, 2017 6 Congressional Budget Office, 2014 7 Lopez, 2013 8 Dolan, 2013 9 Forbes, 2016 10 O’Brien, 2014 11 Haaretz, 2014 12 Wood, 2011 13 Osnos, Evan, ‘Doomsday Prep for the Super-Rich’, The New Yorker, 22 January 2017 14 Dynan, Skinner, & Zeldes, 2004 Chapter 15: The Abundance Manifesto 1 Statement from Prime Minister Theresa May, 2016 2 Armstrong, 1982 3 Alston, 2018 4 The IPPR Commission on Economic Justice, 2018 5 Mazzucato, 2013 6 Hammond, 2013 7 Treasury, 2013 8 Castella, 2015 9 Pitt, 2008 10 Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, 2015 11 Burn-Callander, 2015 12 American Society of Civil Engineers, 2016 13 Davis, 2016 14 Murphy P. , 2016 15 Burgess, Ford, Guthrie, & Toplensky, 2016 16 IMF, 2008 17 Haldane, 2010 18 Independent Commission on Banking, 2011 19 King, 2016 20 RSA, 2017 21 topendsports.com 2016 22 United Nations, 2017 23 Chantril, 2015 24 Beveridge, 1942 25 Beveridge, 1942 Chapter 16: Your Role in the Change 1 Walker, 2013 2 Bank of England, 2019 3 Alston, 2018 Acknowledgements This book would not exist without data.


pages: 104 words: 30,990

The Centrist Manifesto by Charles Wheelan

2013 Report for America's Infrastructure - American Society of Civil Engineers - 19 March 2013, affirmative action, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, American Society of Civil Engineers: Report Card, Bernie Madoff, Bretton Woods, centre right, clean water, creative destruction, David Brooks, delayed gratification, demand response, Home mortgage interest deduction, housing crisis, income inequality, invisible hand, obamacare, profit maximization, Ralph Nader, rent-seeking, Report Card for America’s Infrastructure, Ronald Reagan, Ronald Reagan: Tear down this wall, stem cell, the scientific method, transcontinental railway, Walter Mischel

This suggests that Lugar, who typically coasted to reelection in previous races, would have held his seat if he had not been knocked out of the race by the right flank of his own party. Notes 1 New York Times exit polls for 2012 elections, http://elections.nytimes.com/2012/results/president/exit-polls (accessed January 2, 2013). 2 Thomas Friedman, “The Tea Kettle Movement,” New York Times, September 29, 2010. 3 Organisation for Economic Co-operation, “OECD Health Data 2012—Frequently Requested Data,” http://www.oecd.org/els/healthpoliciesanddata/oecdhealthdata2012-frequentlyrequesteddata.htm (accessed January 2, 2013). 4 American Society of Civil Engineers, “Report Card for America’s Infrastructure: 2009 Grades,” http://www.infrastructurereportcard.org/ (accessed January 2, 2013). 5 “Life in the Slow Lane,” Economist, April 30, 2011. 6 Tamar Lewin, “Once a Leader, U.S. Now Lags in College Degrees,” New York Times, July 23, 2010. 7 Charles M.

We spend significantly more on medical care than all other developing countries, but we get significantly less in terms of good health. Life expectancy in the United States is lower than the average for all other developed countries—and the gap is growing, not shrinking.3 Our infrastructure is crumbling. The American Society of Civil Engineers has estimated that the United States needs to spend two trillion dollars just to fix the roads, bridges, and rail lines we have—let alone expand things that will be necessary to support the world’s most vibrant economy over the next century, such as airport capacity and high-speed rail.4 As the British news magazine The Economist noted recently in a report on America’s transport infrastructure, “America, despite its wealth and strength, often seems to be falling apart.”5 We have done nothing to address climate change, other than cling to the delusional hope that it is not happening.

Still, government must oversee the system: providing standards, offering financial aid to those who would otherwise be denied access to education or training, investing in basic research, demanding that every citizen achieve some minimum level of education, and generally ensuring that Americans are educated to their fullest potential. Build and maintain twenty-first-century infrastructure. A successful society needs to move people, goods, and information. Individuals cannot build their own air traffic control systems. Private firms do not have the power of eminent domain to create new corridors for moving freight and information. Our nation needs an infrastructure strategy that lays out the most important federal infrastructure goals (e.g., reducing traffic congestion, improving air quality, promoting Internet connectivity, etc.) and then creates a mechanism for evaluating all federal projects against those goals. The most cost-effective projects should be included in the infrastructure budget; the projects that do not meet some threshold for cost-effectiveness should be rejected.


pages: 339 words: 88,732

The Second Machine Age: Work, Progress, and Prosperity in a Time of Brilliant Technologies by Erik Brynjolfsson, Andrew McAfee

"Robert Solow", 2013 Report for America's Infrastructure - American Society of Civil Engineers - 19 March 2013, 3D printing, access to a mobile phone, additive manufacturing, Airbnb, Albert Einstein, Amazon Mechanical Turk, Amazon Web Services, American Society of Civil Engineers: Report Card, Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic, autonomous vehicles, barriers to entry, basic income, Baxter: Rethink Robotics, British Empire, business cycle, business intelligence, business process, call centre, Charles Lindbergh, Chuck Templeton: OpenTable:, clean water, combinatorial explosion, computer age, computer vision, congestion charging, corporate governance, creative destruction, crowdsourcing, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, digital map, employer provided health coverage, en.wikipedia.org, Erik Brynjolfsson, factory automation, falling living standards, Filter Bubble, first square of the chessboard / second half of the chessboard, Frank Levy and Richard Murnane: The New Division of Labor, Freestyle chess, full employment, G4S, game design, global village, happiness index / gross national happiness, illegal immigration, immigration reform, income inequality, income per capita, indoor plumbing, industrial robot, informal economy, intangible asset, inventory management, James Watt: steam engine, Jeff Bezos, jimmy wales, job automation, John Markoff, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, John Maynard Keynes: technological unemployment, Joseph Schumpeter, Kevin Kelly, Khan Academy, knowledge worker, Kodak vs Instagram, law of one price, low skilled workers, Lyft, Mahatma Gandhi, manufacturing employment, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, Mars Rover, mass immigration, means of production, Narrative Science, Nate Silver, natural language processing, Network effects, new economy, New Urbanism, Nicholas Carr, Occupy movement, oil shale / tar sands, oil shock, pattern recognition, Paul Samuelson, payday loans, post-work, price stability, Productivity paradox, profit maximization, Ralph Nader, Ray Kurzweil, recommendation engine, Report Card for America’s Infrastructure, Robert Gordon, Rodney Brooks, Ronald Reagan, Second Machine Age, self-driving car, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Simon Kuznets, six sigma, Skype, software patent, sovereign wealth fund, speech recognition, statistical model, Steve Jobs, Steven Pinker, Stuxnet, supply-chain management, TaskRabbit, technological singularity, telepresence, The Bell Curve by Richard Herrnstein and Charles Murray, The Signal and the Noise by Nate Silver, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, total factor productivity, transaction costs, Tyler Cowen: Great Stagnation, Vernor Vinge, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, winner-take-all economy, Y2K

There remains great scope for increasing the volume and variety of innovation competitions. 5. Upgrade Infrastructure It’s almost universally agreed among economists that the government should be involved in building and maintaining infrastructure—streets and highways, bridges, ports, dams, airports and air traffic control systems, and so on. This is because, like education and research, infrastructure is subject to positive externalities. Excellent infrastructure makes a country a more pleasant place to live, and also a more productive place in which to do business. Ours, however, is not in good shape. The American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) gave the United States an overall infrastructure grade of D+ in 2013, and estimated that the country has a backlog of over $3.6 trillion in infrastructure investment.23 However, only a bit more than $2 trillion has been budgeted to be spent by 2020, leaving a large gap.

id=USARGDPH INDEX Academically Adrift: Limited Learning on College Campuses (Arum and Roksa) Acemoglu, Daron Affinnova Aftercollege.com Agarwal, Anant Age of Spiritual Machines, The: When Computers Exceed Human Intelligence (Kurzweil) Agrarian Justice (Paine) agriculture: development of inelastic demand in Ahn, Luis von Aiden, Erez Lieberman Airbnb.com Alaska, income guarantee plan in algorithms Allegretto, Sylvia Allstate Amazon Amazon Web Services American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) Android animals, domestication of Apple Arthur, Brian artificial intelligence (AI) future of SLAM problem in uses of see also robots Arum, Richard ASCI Red ASIMO Asimov, Isaac Asur, Sitaram Athens, ancient ATMs Audi Australia, immigrant entrepreneurship in Autodesk automation: future of labor market effects of in manufacturing Autor, David Baker, Stephen Barnes & Noble Bartlett, Albert A.

Office of Science and Technology Policy, March 2012, available at http://www.whitehouse.gov/sites/default/files/microsites/ostp/competes_report_on_prizes_final.pdf (accessed September 18, 2013). 22. For a detailed list, see the appendix of McKinsey and Company, “And the Winner Is . . . ” Research Report, 2009, http://mckinseyonsociety.com/downloads/reports/Social-Innovation/And_the_winner_is.pdf (accessed September 18, 2013). 23. “2013 Report Card for America’s Infrastructure,” ASCE, 2013, http://www.infrastructurereportcard.org/a/#p/home (accessed August 12, 2013). 24. See Matthew Yglesias, “The Collapse of Public Investment,” Moneybox blog, Slate, May 7, 2013, http://www.slate.com/blogs/moneybox/2013/05/07/public_sector_investment_collapse.html (accessed August 12, 2013); and the underlying data at “Real State & Local Consumption Expenditures & Gross Investment, 3 Decimal,” Economic Research—Federal Reserve Bank of St.


pages: 519 words: 155,332

Tailspin: The People and Forces Behind America's Fifty-Year Fall--And Those Fighting to Reverse It by Steven Brill

2013 Report for America's Infrastructure - American Society of Civil Engineers - 19 March 2013, activist fund / activist shareholder / activist investor, affirmative action, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, airport security, American Society of Civil Engineers: Report Card, asset allocation, Bernie Madoff, Bernie Sanders, Blythe Masters, Bretton Woods, business process, call centre, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, carried interest, clean water, collapse of Lehman Brothers, collective bargaining, computerized trading, corporate governance, corporate raider, corporate social responsibility, Credit Default Swap, currency manipulation / currency intervention, Donald Trump, ending welfare as we know it, failed state, financial deregulation, financial innovation, future of work, ghettoisation, Gordon Gekko, hiring and firing, Home mortgage interest deduction, immigration reform, income inequality, invention of radio, job automation, knowledge economy, knowledge worker, labor-force participation, laissez-faire capitalism, Mahatma Gandhi, Mark Zuckerberg, mortgage tax deduction, new economy, obamacare, old-boy network, paper trading, performance metric, post-work, Potemkin village, Powell Memorandum, quantitative hedge fund, Ralph Nader, ride hailing / ride sharing, Robert Bork, Robert Gordon, Robert Mercer, Ronald Reagan, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, Social Responsibility of Business Is to Increase Its Profits, telemarketer, too big to fail, trade liberalization, union organizing, Unsafe at Any Speed, War on Poverty, women in the workforce, working poor

In 2016, FedEx had to replace tires on its trucks twice as frequently as it did in 1997. Thirty-nine percent of America’s bridges are at least fifty years old and most have not been maintained in any way consistent with engineering standards. More than 56,000 were rated “structurally deficient” by the American Society of Civil Engineers in 2017. The engineers group, which issues a report card every year on the state of America’s infrastructure, declared in 2017 that there was a $1.1 trillion gap between projected infrastructure spending over the next ten years and what is needed to be spent to repair, maintain, and improve the country’s roads, highways, ports, waterways, dams, levees, schools, parks, water systems, sewer systems, power grid, airports, and bridges. Over the last fifty years, the corrosion and decay have happened slowly but inexorably.

Public trust in the government is near a historic low, according to other Pew survey data from May 2017: http://www.people-press.org/​2017/​05/​03/​public-trust-in-government-remains-near-historic-lows-as-partisan-attitudes-shift. 46.1 percent of American voters: Data from the Federal Election Commissionhttps://transition.fec.gov/​pubrec/​fe2016/​2016presgeresults.pdf. 657 water main breaks: The American Society of Civil Engineers has estimated in its 2017 Infrastructure Report Card that there are an estimated 240,000 water main breaks per year, which averages to about 657 per day. The report card is available here: https://www.infrastructurer­eportcard.org/​cat-item/​drinking-water/. Note: The engineers society, of course, has an interest in emphasizing the need to repair infrastructure such as water systems. A child’s chance: Raj Chetty, David Grusky, Maximilian Hendren, Robert Manduca, and Jimmy Narang, “The Fading American Dream: Trends in Absolute Income Mobility Since 1940,” Science, April 2017, 10.1126/science.aal4617.

At the end of the second quarter in 2010, the top five banks controlled 42.33 percent of all assets with a total of $5.6 trillion. At the end of 2016, they controlled 43.37 percent of all assets with a total of $7.3 trillion. These market share percentages are probably more conservative than figures found elsewhere because of the inclusion of savings institutions in the FDIC’s calculation of total assets. 3,658 lobbyists: From the Center for Responsive Politics: https://www.opensecrets.org/​news/​2010/​11/​lobbyists-newest-targets-in-wall-st/. implementing the Volcker Rule: The five agencies involved were the Federal Reserve System, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, and the Securities and Exchange Commission. Here is the December 10, 2013, announcement of the rule: https://www.federalreserve.gov/​newsevents/​pressreleases/​bcreg20131210a.htm.


pages: 391 words: 97,018

Better, Stronger, Faster: The Myth of American Decline . . . And the Rise of a New Economy by Daniel Gross

2013 Report for America's Infrastructure - American Society of Civil Engineers - 19 March 2013, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Airbnb, American Society of Civil Engineers: Report Card, asset-backed security, Bakken shale, banking crisis, BRICs, British Empire, business cycle, business process, business process outsourcing, call centre, Carmen Reinhart, clean water, collapse of Lehman Brothers, collateralized debt obligation, commoditize, creative destruction, credit crunch, currency manipulation / currency intervention, demand response, Donald Trump, Frederick Winslow Taylor, high net worth, housing crisis, hydraulic fracturing, If something cannot go on forever, it will stop - Herbert Stein's Law, illegal immigration, index fund, intangible asset, intermodal, inventory management, Kenneth Rogoff, labor-force participation, LNG terminal, low skilled workers, Mark Zuckerberg, Martin Wolf, Maui Hawaii, McMansion, money market fund, mortgage debt, Network effects, new economy, obamacare, oil shale / tar sands, oil shock, peak oil, plutocrats, Plutocrats, price stability, quantitative easing, race to the bottom, reserve currency, reshoring, Richard Florida, rising living standards, risk tolerance, risk/return, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, six sigma, Skype, sovereign wealth fund, Steve Jobs, superstar cities, the High Line, transit-oriented development, Wall-E, Yogi Berra, zero-sum game, Zipcar

That means U.S. ports will have to be upgraded. If the volume of trade continues to rise, if exports are to double, then rail, trucking, intermodal, and shipping infrastructure will have to expand as well. To attract and handle more tourists, American airports need a facelift and major internal surgery; they have to become as efficient as their counterparts overseas. These are signs that the United States is falling behind, especially when countries such as China are making splashy, highly visible infrastructure investment. In its 2009 Infrastructure Report Card, the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) estimated that the United States needed to invest $2.2 trillion in infrastructure over five years, and that only $903 billion of that total had been budgeted. And Larry Summers said, “Compare Kennedy Airport with the airport where you land, and you ask yourself which is the airport of the greatest country, richest, most powerful country in the world?”

Data on Amazon.com’s revenues can be seen at http://money.usnews.com/money/blogs/flowchart/2011/06/30/why-us-companies-arent-so-american-anymore; information on LivingSocial and HomeAway’s expansion can be found at the companies’ websites; Lynn Cowan, “HomeAway IPO Opens at 34% after Pricing Well,” Wall Street Journal, June 29, 2011, http://www.marketwatch.com/story/homeaway-ipo-opens-up-34-after-pricing-well-2011-06-29. 3. Larry Summers’s remarks can be seen at http://tech.fortune.cnn.com/2011/07/19/brainstorm-tech-video-larry-summers-transcript/. 4. The American Society of Civil EngineersInfrastructure Report Card” can be seen at http://www.infrastructurereportcard.org/. 5. Raul Katz, “Estimating the Economic Impact of the Broadband Stimulus Plan,” http://www.gcbpp.org/files/BBSTIM/KatzBBStimulusPaper.pdf; the ITU’s broadband rankings can be seen at http://www.websiteoptimization.com/bw/1109/; Pando Networks’ download speed rankings can be seen at http://dl.dropbox.com/u/33013/pandoglobalstudy.pdf. 6.

Index Abdullah, King of Saudi Arabia, 125 advertising, 7, 50, 136, 143, 201, 202 exports and, 129–30 Aegis Communications, 172 agriculture, 20, 99–101, 206, 227 exports and, 100–101, 104, 122, 154, 160 in North Dakota, 149, 153–58, 162 AIA, 35 AIG, 32–33, 35–36, 133 Airbnb, 194–95 Ally Financial, 40, 42 Altman, Daniel, 141 Amazon.com, 22, 203 American Association of Publishers, 193 American Bankers Association, 12–13 American Petroleum Institute, 104 American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, 30 American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE), 208 Anheuser-Busch, 95, 158 AOL, 183–84, 195 A123 Systems, 211 Apple, 140–41, 143, 195, 198–201 Areddy, James T., 101 Argentina, 85, 176, 203 arms, exports of, 108–9 Armstrong, Tim, 183 Arvizu, Dan, 210 Asia, 13, 35, 87, 144, 203, 226, 228 employment and, 164, 168 exports and, 103, 105, 120, 123 inports and, 131, 138, 140, 146 North Dakota and, 155, 161 and reshoring and insourcing, 169–70, 173, 176–78 Associated Press, 174, 190, 206 Association of International Educators (NAFSA), 119–20 athletes, 126–27 ATM machines, 124, 174–76 Auletta, Ken, 183 Australia, 14, 48, 74, 103, 203 exports and, 98, 106, 122 autos, automakers, 2, 7, 14–15, 21, 34, 104, 186 bailout of, 33, 40–43, 46, 133, 136 efficiency economy and, 60–61, 69, 75, 77–79, 102, 173, 222–24, 227 efficient consumers and, 182, 190–93, 195–96 electric, 41, 79, 97, 210–11, 222 FDI and, 82, 87, 97 hybrid, 78–80, 211 inports and, 133–37, 227 Japan and, 14, 26, 41, 79, 87, 134–35, 173 and reshoring and insourcing, 167–68, 173–74 restructuring and, 46, 51–52, 78, 136, 173–74 supersizing and, 210–11 Bach Composite, 86 bailouts, 6, 20, 23, 46, 51–52, 133, 136–37 of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, 32, 35, 42–43 TARP and, 36–38, 40–42 timely policy decisions and, 28, 31–43 Bailyn, Bernard, 18 Bain Capital, 50–51 Baker, Akbar Al, 108 Bakken Shale, 151 Banco do Brasil, 95 Bank of America, 37–38, 48 Bank of East Asia, 92 Bank of Hawaii, 124 bankruptcies, 1, 82, 111, 166, 218 of CIT Group, 47–48 efficiency economy and, 78, 80 restructuring and, 44–48, 51, 53, 55, 58, 78, 136 timely policy decisions and, 40–41 banks, bankers, banking, 1–4, 16, 21, 25–26, 65, 81, 208, 217, 219 bailouts and, 6, 20, 32–34, 38–40, 42–43 of China, 20, 82, 92–94 economic decline and, 12, 17 efficient consumers and, 184, 190 exports and, 112, 124, 129 failure of, 1, 39–40, 46, 92 FDI and, 83, 85, 92–95 in history, 13–14, 36 of Japan, 29–30, 37, 47 North Dakota and, 156–58 regulation of, 19, 25 restructuring and, 45–47, 51, 53–55, 58 strengthening recovery and, 216, 220 TARP and, 36–38 timely policy decisions and, 32–34, 36–40, 43 Barboza, David, 141 Batali, Mario, 123 Bear Stearns, 32–33, 53 Beck, Jill, 155–56, 162 beer, beer business, 144, 194, 206 FDI and, 95–96 North Dakota and, 158–59 and reshoring and insourcing, 177–78 Bennett, Jeff, 87 Berger, John, 153 Bernanke, Ben, 32–33 Bernstein, Peter, 206 Berry Petroleum, 80 Better Place, A, 211 BigBelly Solar, 75, 107, 195, 204 efficiency economy and, 64–68, 72 Big Roads, The (Swift), 207 Bison Gear & Engineering, 67 Blinder, Alan, 31, 164 Blonder Home Accents, 111 Bloomberg, 33, 109 BMW, 79, 87, 97 Boehner, John, 5, 222 Boeing, 51, 108, 227 Book of Masters, 137 Bopp, Aric, 88–89 Boskin, Michael, 5 Boston, Mass., 72, 144, 192, 212, 224 BigBelly Solar and, 66–67 restructuring and, 49–51 Boston Community Capital, 225 Boston Consulting Group (BCG), 117, 166–68, 179 Boston Properties, 51 bottled water, 184–85 Bowen, Wally, 209–10 Bowles-Simpson Commission, 221–22 BP Amoco, 153 brands, 46, 159, 183, 206, 215 exports and, 111, 117, 119 FDI and, 87, 93, 96 inports and, 132, 135, 138–41, 143–44, 227 supersizing and, 199, 202 Braskem, 95 Brattle Group, 210 Brazil, 19, 100–101, 175 exports and, 101, 103–4, 109, 122 FDI and, 82, 85, 94–95 inports and, 131, 144–46 BRIC nations, 19–20, 23, 151 Broadway Partners, 49–50 Buffalo Commons theory, 150 Buicks, Buick, 78, 134–36, 227 Bull, 171 Bureau of Labor Statistics, 166, 187, 191 Burger King, 95 Burr, Aaron, 218 Bush, George W., 5, 16, 26, 30, 33, 222 business cycles, 17–18, 82, 231 Business Roundtable, 146–47 Cai Yong, 134 California, 79–80, 149, 161, 211–12 FDI and, 84, 92, 96–97 tourism in, 122–23 Campagna, Michael A., 178 Canada, 4, 48, 74, 202 exports and, 100, 122 FDI and, 92, 95 capitalism, 3, 14, 25, 45 Capital One, 58 Capital Purchase Program (CPP), 36–38 carbon, 170, 186 efficiency economy and, 61, 65, 75 taxes on, 61, 75, 103–4, 217 Card Hub, 55, 58 Cargill Malt, 158–59 Caro, Robert, 206 casinos, 85, 152 Cavendish Farms, 159–60 Census Bureau, 53 Center for Budget and Policy Priorities, 222 Center Rock Inc., 108 Central Park, 85, 94, 212 Chandan, Sam, 94 Chandler, Alfred, 206 Chegg.com, 193, 195, 204 Cheniere Energy Partners, 106 Chesapeake Bay Candle, 177 Chevrolets, Chevrolet, 41, 77, 135–36, 199 Chicago, Ill., 8, 67, 90, 193, 212 China, 6–9, 14, 18–21, 25–26, 82, 164–78, 187, 217 comparisons between U.S. and, 7–8, 25, 166–67, 202, 208 economy of, 2, 7–8, 18–20, 25, 141, 148, 165, 178, 222 efficiency economy and, 62, 67–69, 71, 227 employment and, 164–68, 170 FDI and, 85–87, 92–94, 97, 164 incomes in, 20, 164–67 inports and, 134–36, 138–44, 146, 164, 227 and reshoring and insourcing, 169–78, 222 trade and, 94, 98, 100–104, 106–9, 112–14, 116, 118–20, 122–28, 164 China Eastern, 124 China UnionPay, 124 Christie, Chris, 211 Chrysler: bailout of, 40–42 bankruptcy of, 40–41, 46, 51, 136 Fiat’s acquisition of, 40, 78, 87 and reshoring and insourcing, 173–74 Chung, Winston, 97 CIT Group, 47–49 Citi, Citibank, Citigroup, 37, 53, 84–85, 172 Citic Press, 128 Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC), 206–7 Civil War, 18, 82 Civil Works Administration, 206 Cleveland Clinic, 126, 145 Clinton, Bill, 26, 31, 70, 217–18, 228 Clooney, George, 129, 227 CNBC, 4, 108 CNG Now, 105 CNOOC, 86 coal, 102–5, 162, 165, 202 Coca-Cola, 83–84, 143, 202, 227 inports and, 133, 137–38, 146 coffee, 139–40, 181 Coleman, 171 collateralized debt obligations, 36 Collinses, 111–14, 116 Colombia, 26, 131, 148 FDI and, 85, 88–91 Commerce Department, U.S., 1, 54, 99–100, 104, 120, 122, 125, 219 Commercial Paper Funding Facility, 34 Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States, 96 competition, 3, 19, 21, 23, 80, 83, 106–7, 167, 194, 204, 228 efficiency economy and, 62, 68, 77 efficient consumers and, 193, 196 inports and, 131–32, 137, 141 North Dakota and, 148, 161 and reshoring and insourcing, 169, 179 Congress, U.S., 14, 19, 23–24, 125, 146 deficits and, 221–22 economic decline and, 3, 10 health care reform and, 5–6 U.S. credit rating and, 1–2 Congressional Budget Office, 31 Connecticut, 50, 86, 105, 140, 146, 151, 161–62, 212 efficient consumers and, 187–88 Conservation and Recreation Department, Mass., 66 construction, 174 efficient consumers and, 190–91 housing crisis and, 219–20 infrastructure and, 205–6, 209, 211, 213 North Dakota and, 152–53, 155–56 Consumer Price Index, 187 consumers, consumerism, consumption, 2, 25, 28, 81, 101, 111, 216, 219 coal and, 102–3 economic pessimism and, 22–23 efficiency economy and, 64–65, 68, 73–75, 78, 223–24 exports and, 98–99, 104–5, 107, 110, 119, 128, 130–31, 147, 154, 164 FDI and, 83, 89–90, 92–93 indebtedness and, 9–10, 53–57 inports and, 131–32, 136–37, 141, 143, 147, 227 North Dakota and, 151, 153–54 and reshoring and insourcing, 169, 172, 175, 177 restructuring and, 44–45, 53–59 supersizing and, 202, 204, 209 see also efficient consumers Cooper, Bill, 105 Cooper, Stephen, 44 CoreLogic, 190 corporations, 1, 9–10, 60, 139–43, 163–67, 169–85, 192–206, 225 comparisons between consumers and, 181, 185, 189, 195 and costs of labor, 164–67 economic optimism and, 23–24 economic pessimism and, 22–23 efficiency economy and, 63–68, 71, 75–76, 80–81, 158, 172, 223 efficient consumers and, 181–85, 192–96 exports and, 98, 103, 108–10, 112–14, 116–17, 131, 177 FDI and, 82–96 global, 22, 24, 71, 95 inports and, 132, 135–37, 139–42, 144, 146–47, 202–3, 227 job growth and, 218–19 North Dakota and, 152–53, 155, 157–60 recoveries and, 17–18, 21, 215 and reshoring and insourcing, 167, 169–79 restructuring and, 44–45, 47–49, 52–53, 57–58, 81, 166 supersizing and, 199–206, 209–10 taxes on, 146–47, 163 timely policy decisions and, 28, 30, 34 U.S. economic importance and, 227–28 Costner, Kevin, 129–30 Coty, 71 Coulomb Technologies, 211 Council of Economic Advisers, 31 Cowan, Lynn, 203 Creation Technologies, 67 credit, 32–36, 94, 194 booms in, 21, 29, 56, 62 crisis in, 2, 4, 23, 26, 48, 53 exports and, 112–13 restructuring and, 49, 51, 53–56, 58 timely policy decisions and, 29, 32–33, 35–36, 42–43 credit cards, 34, 183–85 restructuring and, 54–56 credit ratings, 1–2, 11, 52 Credit Suisse, 137, 223 Davis, Fred, 90–91 debt, 1, 19–20, 23–24, 60, 185 CIT Group and, 48–49 consumers and, 9–10, 53–57 crises and, 6, 29, 216 efficiency economy and, 62–63, 72, 78 efficient consumers and, 181, 189, 193, 196 Erie Canal and, 205–6 FDI and, 82, 94 national, 2, 5, 11, 217 North Dakota and, 155–56 restructuring and, 45–59, 78 strengthening recovery and, 215–16 timely policy decisions and, 32–34, 36, 39, 42 see also loans, lending, lenders debt ceiling extensions, 2, 217 Dedrick, Jason, 140 Defense Department, U.S., 109 deficits: budget, 2, 6, 10, 64–65, 217, 221–22 efficiency economy and, 64–65 trade, 102, 107, 168, 221–22 Delphi, 46 demand, 18, 31, 45, 57, 101, 132, 178, 221 efficiency economy and, 60, 62, 72–74, 223 exports and, 99, 104, 107–10, 116, 119 North Dakota and, 153–54, 159 supersizing and, 206, 208 Deming, W.


pages: 273 words: 87,159

The Vanishing Middle Class: Prejudice and Power in a Dual Economy by Peter Temin

"Robert Solow", 2013 Report for America's Infrastructure - American Society of Civil Engineers - 19 March 2013, affirmative action, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, American Legislative Exchange Council, American Society of Civil Engineers: Report Card, anti-communist, Bernie Sanders, Branko Milanovic, Bretton Woods, business cycle, capital controls, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, carried interest, clean water, corporate raider, Corrections Corporation of America, crack epidemic, deindustrialization, desegregation, Donald Trump, Edward Glaeser, Ferguson, Missouri, financial innovation, financial intermediation, floating exchange rates, full employment, income inequality, intangible asset, invisible hand, longitudinal study, low skilled workers, low-wage service sector, mandatory minimum, manufacturing employment, Mark Zuckerberg, mass immigration, mass incarceration, means of production, mortgage debt, Network effects, New Urbanism, Nixon shock, obamacare, offshore financial centre, oil shock, plutocrats, Plutocrats, Powell Memorandum, price stability, race to the bottom, road to serfdom, Ronald Reagan, secular stagnation, Silicon Valley, Simon Kuznets, the scientific method, War on Poverty, Washington Consensus, white flight, working poor

They began to get good education in the 1960s and 1970s, but opposition to the Civil Rights Movement has blocked and reversed these gains.13 Recent policies also have eroded the mobility of urban residents as they sought work or to get out of their local neighborhoods. The neglect of American infrastructure can be seen by looking at a few specific items such as bridges and mass transit. The American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) provides a “report card” for American infrastructure every five years, most recently in 2013. An advisory council of ASCE members assigns grades according to eight criteria. They noted that grades have been near failing as we start the twenty-first century, averaging only Ds, due to delayed maintenance and underinvestment across most categories.14 ASCE gave American bridges a C+ in 2013, a low grade for one of the world’s richest countries. One-third of the total bridge decking area in the country is structurally deficient, indicating that there is a long way to go to universally reliable bridges.

“The Teacher Pay Gap Is Wider than Ever.” Economic Policy Institute, August 9. http://www.epi.org/publication/the-teacher-pay-gap-is-wider-than-ever-teachers-pay-continues-to-fall-further-behind-pay-of-comparable-workers. Accessed September 20, 2016. American Society of Civil Engineers. 2013. 2013 Report Card for American Infrastructure. http://www.infrastructurereportcard.org. Accessed September 20, 2016. Anderson, Carol. 2016. White Rage: The Unspoken Truth of Our Racial Divide. New York: Bloomsbury. Angrist, Joshua D., Parag A. Pathak, and Christopher R. Walters. 2013. “Explaining Charter School Effectiveness.” American Economic Journal: Applied Economics 5 (4) (October): 1–27. Apuzzo, Matt. 2016. “Department of Justice Sues Ferguson, Which Reversed Course on Agreement.” New York Times, February 10.

Ferguson, Missouri, where a white policeman shot an unarmed young black man in 2014, was 75 percent white in 1990, but it had become two-thirds black by 2010 as white flight spread from inner cities to inner suburbs. 8. Newman 1972. 9. Wilson 1996, 2009; Murray 2012. 10. MacDonald 1999; Swarns 2015. 11. Goffman 2014. 12. Chetty, Hendren, and Katz 2016; Chyn 2016; Wolfers 2016. 13. Heckman 1989. 14. The eight criteria are capacity, condition, funding, future need, operation and maintenance, public safety, resilience, and innovation. 15. American Society of Civil Engineers 2013. 16. Northeast Corridor Commission 2015; Fitzsimmons and Chen 2015. 17. Forsberg 2010; Zernike 2015a. 18. Scharfenberg 2015. Kanter (2015) proposes high-tech solutions to our transport problems, arguing implicitly that they will help the FTE sector as well as the low-wage sector. However, they will require substantial expenditures, making them unlikely in the near future. 19.


pages: 290 words: 84,375

China's Great Wall of Debt: Shadow Banks, Ghost Cities, Massive Loans, and the End of the Chinese Miracle by Dinny McMahon

2013 Report for America's Infrastructure - American Society of Civil Engineers - 19 March 2013, American Society of Civil Engineers: Report Card, Andrei Shleifer, Asian financial crisis, bank run, business cycle, California gold rush, capital controls, crony capitalism, dark matter, Deng Xiaoping, Donald Trump, Edward Glaeser, eurozone crisis, financial innovation, fixed income, Gini coefficient, if you build it, they will come, income inequality, industrial robot, invisible hand, megacity, money market fund, mortgage debt, new economy, peer-to-peer lending, Ponzi scheme, Ronald Reagan, short selling, Silicon Valley, too big to fail, trickle-down economics, urban planning, working-age population, zero-sum game

its new city: Li Huimin, “铁岭新城成新‘鬼城’” [Tieling New City is becoming the new “ghost city”], China Business Journal, August 31, 2013, http://www.cb.com.cn/index.php?m=content&c=index&a=show&catid=20&id=1010945&all. said in 2014: “City Planning in One of the Fastest-Growing U.S. Cities,” interview with Mitchell Silver by Robin Young, Here and Now, WBUR-FM, Boston, Massachusetts, January 24, 2014, http://hereandnow.wbur.org/2014/01/24/city-planning-raleigh. early in 2015: “李铁谈新城新区建设六大问题 称政府不了解城市化发展规划” [Li Tie discusses the 6 biggest problems facing new city and new districts, argues that the government fails to understand urbanization development plan], Caijing, January 19, 2015, http://economy.caijing.com.cn/20150119/3802042.shtml. 240,000 breaks a year: Whitford Remer, “A Big WIIN for Water Resources,” 2017 Infrastructure Report Card, American Society of Civil Engineers, December 15, 2016, http://www.infrastructurereportcard.org/a/#p/overview/executive-summary.

“dog in their seats”: Jeremy Blum, “A Dog Could Run China’s Banking System, Says Former Statistics Bureau Spokesman,” South China Morning Post, December 24, 2013, http://www.scmp.com/news/china-insider/article/1389717/dog-could-run-chinas-banking-system-says-former-state-council?page=all. 20% of bank deposits: “China Is Playing a $9 Trillion Game of Chicken with Savers,” Bloomberg, April 10, 2017, https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-04-10/china-is-playing-a-9-trillion-game-of-chicken-with-investors. $20 trillion of liabilities: Adam Schneider, “Growth and Evolution of the U.S. Banking System,” Deloitte Center for Financial Services, April 2013, https://www.richmondfed.org/~/media/richmondfedorg/conferences_and_events/banking/2013/pdf/cms_2013_deloitte.pdf. $11 trillion banking system: “Total Assets, All Commercial Banks,” Economic Research, Federal Reserve Bank of St.

from crumbling: Andrew Flowers, “Why We Still Can’t Afford to Fix America’s Broken Infrastructure,” FiveThirtyEight, June 3, 2014, http://fivethirtyeight.com/features/why-we-still-cant-afford-to-fix-americas-broken-infrastructure/. “systemic financial risk”: “廖晓军:主动适应经济发展新常态 依法加强和改进预算决算审查监督工作” [Liao Xiaojun: Take the initiative to adapt to new economic developments in accordance with the law to strengthen and improve budget accounts review and oversight], People’s Daily, November 5, 2015, http://dangjian.people.com.cn/n/2015/0916/c117092-27594420.html. 5.6 trillion yuan in debt: Christine Wong, “The Fiscal Stimulus Programme and Public Governance Issues in China,” OECD Journal on Budgeting 11, no. 3 (2011): 1–22, http://dx.doi.org/10.1787/budget-11-5kg3nhljqrjl. $2.5 trillion: Fielding Chen and Tom Orlik, “China Provincial Debt,” Bloomberg Brief, March 23, 2016, http://newsletters.briefs.blpprofessional.com/document/MSwL-d.iUp63BHrcfz9zzQ—_6oz1nlm0a64zbme8k7/china-provincial-debt.


pages: 555 words: 80,635

Open: The Progressive Case for Free Trade, Immigration, and Global Capital by Kimberly Clausing

2013 Report for America's Infrastructure - American Society of Civil Engineers - 19 March 2013, active measures, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, agricultural Revolution, battle of ideas, Bernie Sanders, business climate, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, carbon footprint, corporate social responsibility, creative destruction, currency manipulation / currency intervention, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, Donald Trump, floating exchange rates, full employment, gig economy, global supply chain, global value chain, guest worker program, illegal immigration, immigration reform, income inequality, index fund, investor state dispute settlement, knowledge worker, labor-force participation, low skilled workers, Lyft, manufacturing employment, Mark Zuckerberg, meta analysis, meta-analysis, offshore financial centre, open economy, Paul Samuelson, profit motive, purchasing power parity, race to the bottom, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Ronald Reagan, savings glut, secular stagnation, Silicon Valley, The Rise and Fall of American Growth, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, too big to fail, trade liberalization, transfer pricing, uber lyft, winner-take-all economy, working-age population, zero-sum game

See National Institutes of Health, “Our Society,” https://www.nih.gov/about-nih/what-we-do/impact-nih-research/our-society. Past investments in the nation’s infrastructure have paid off. For example, the Federal-Aid Highway Act of 1956 created our system of interstate highways, now covering 46,876 miles of highways. The Interstate System supported and transformed a booming American economy. Researchers have found that highway investments resulted in many benefits; about thirty percent of the productivity growth in the late 1950s could be attributed to road infrastructure.10 However, in 2017, the American Society of Civil Engineers gave the country’s infrastructure a grade of D+, and estimated that raising that grade one level would require a total investment between now and 2025 of $4.5 trillion. Given current budget proposals, it’s unlikely that even America’s fifty-six thousand “structurally deficient” bridges will be repaired.

Given current budget proposals, it’s unlikely that even America’s fifty-six thousand “structurally deficient” bridges will be repaired. At present, the vast majority of infrastructure funding comes from local and state governments; only 25 percent of spending in 2014 came from federal sources. In contrast, China has made enormous investments in infrastructure. The government’s contributions to infrastructure constitute 9 percent of its economy. (The figure for the United States is 2.5 percent.) Chinese infrastructure efforts will soon link eight Asian nations under the auspices of the $1 trillion One Belt, One Road project. While some of these enterprises are highly indebted, Chinese infrastructure investments have also yielded impressive results.11 Education, research, and infrastructure are all areas where government funding could be usefully increased. And there are other fundamental factors that are inexpensive, yet essential.

It makes our tax code more complex, opening new opportunities for gimmicks and shenanigans. And it fails to tackle our large problem of international profit shifting. First, deficits are increased by $1.5 trillion dollars.14 These large deficits are dangerous, since they reduce our ability to respond to the next recession, and recessions always do arrive. Large deficits also reduce our ability to fund urgently needed priorities such as education, infrastructure, basic research funding, and healthcare. Second, distributional analyses of the legislation show that the vast majority of the $1.5 trillion in tax cuts under the legislation go to those at the top of the income distribution, worsening income inequality. In 2018, the percent gain in after-tax income for those in the top five percent of the distribution (4 percent) is five times the gain of those in the bottom two quintiles (0.8 percent).


pages: 304 words: 80,143

The Autonomous Revolution: Reclaiming the Future We’ve Sold to Machines by William Davidow, Michael Malone

2013 Report for America's Infrastructure - American Society of Civil Engineers - 19 March 2013, agricultural Revolution, Airbnb, American Society of Civil Engineers: Report Card, Automated Insights, autonomous vehicles, basic income, bitcoin, blockchain, blue-collar work, Bob Noyce, business process, call centre, cashless society, citizen journalism, Clayton Christensen, collaborative consumption, collaborative economy, collective bargaining, creative destruction, crowdsourcing, cryptocurrency, disintermediation, disruptive innovation, distributed ledger, en.wikipedia.org, Erik Brynjolfsson, Filter Bubble, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, Geoffrey West, Santa Fe Institute, gig economy, Gini coefficient, Hyperloop, income inequality, industrial robot, Internet of things, invention of agriculture, invention of movable type, invention of the printing press, invisible hand, Jane Jacobs, job automation, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, John Maynard Keynes: technological unemployment, Joseph Schumpeter, license plate recognition, Lyft, Mark Zuckerberg, mass immigration, Network effects, new economy, peer-to-peer lending, QWERTY keyboard, ransomware, Richard Florida, Robert Gordon, Ronald Reagan, Second Machine Age, self-driving car, sharing economy, Shoshana Zuboff, Silicon Valley, Simon Kuznets, Snapchat, speech recognition, Stuxnet, TaskRabbit, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, The Rise and Fall of American Growth, the scientific method, trade route, Turing test, Uber and Lyft, uber lyft, universal basic income, uranium enrichment, urban planning, zero day, zero-sum game, Zipcar

The cities of the future may come to look and feel more like the old cities that Jane Jacobs celebrated and mourned in her book The Death and Life of Great American Cities half a century ago—lively, diverse federations of mixed-use neighborhoods, but powered by twenty-first-century infrastructure. The amount of construction required to create this autonomous country of the future is massive. The American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) has estimated that the country has a $3.6 trillion backlog and it is planning to spend only $2 trillion by 2020.44 Completing the projects identified by the society in a five-year period would require spending an additional $300 billion a year, or about 2 percent of GDP. The projects identified by the ASCE represent only a fraction of what has to be done to create a robust twenty-first-century infrastructure. Providing 100 million households with FTTH (fiber to the home) would require an investment of between a quarter and a half-trillion dollars—and that’s just the tip of the iceberg.45 Massive investments in public transportation are needed—things like high-speed rail, and possibly even hyperloops that would allow trains to travel at the speed of sound.46 Substantial portions of our cities and suburbs will need to be retrofitted or rebuilt from scratch.

“The Chip That Jack Built,” Texas Instruments, http://www.ti.com/corp/docs/kilbyctr/jackbuilt.shtml (accessed June 26, 2019). 9. “Chronological History of IBM: 1960s,” IBM, http://www-03.ibm.com/ibm/history/history/year_1960.html (accessed June 26, 2019); and ibid., “1980s,” http://www-03.ibm.com/ibm/history/history/decade_1980.html (accessed June 26, 2019). 10. “Global Electronics Market Forecast: $1.74 Trillion in 2017 at a CAGR of 5%,” EEHerald, April 12, 2013, http://www.eeherald.com/section/news/onws20131204001.html (accessed June 26, 2019). 11. “Global Revenue from Smartphone Sales from 2013 to 2018,” Statista, https://www.statista.com/statistics/237505/global-revenue-from-smartphones-since-2008/ (accessed June 26, 2019). 12. “Worldwide PC Spending Forecast,” Statista, https://www.statista.com/statistics/380434/worldwide-pc-spending-forecast/ (accessed June 26, 2019). 13. Louis Columbus, “Roundup of Internet of Things Forecasts and Market Estimates, 2016,” Forbes.com, November 27, 2016, https://www.forbes.com/sites/louiscolumbus/2016/11/27/roundup-of-internet-of-things-forecasts-and-market-estimates-2016/#2c6bdf93292d (accessed June 26, 2019). 14.

“Cyber Time Line,” NATO Review, https://www.nato.int/docu/review/2013/Cyber/timeline/EN/index.htm (accessed June 28, 2019). 42. “Robert Tappan Morris,” Wikipedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robert_Tappan_Morris (accessed June 27, 2019); and “Computer Fraud and Abuse Act,” Wikipedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Computer_Fraud_and_Abuse_Act (accessed June 27, 2019). 43. Kim Zetter, “An Unprecedented Look at Stuxnet, the World’s First Digital Weapon,” Wired, November 3, 2014, https://www.wired.com/2014/11/countdown-to-zero-day-stuxnet/ (accessed June 28, 2019). 44. Gordon Corera, “21st Century Warfare,” BBC, http://www.bbc.co.uk/guides/zq9jmnb#ztq6nbk (accessed June 28, 2019). 45. Steve Morgan, “Cybercrime Damages $6 Trillion by 2021,” Cybersecurity Ventures, October 16, 2017, https://cybersecurityventures.com/hackerpocalypse-cybercrime-report-2016/ (accessed June 28, 2019). 46.


pages: 338 words: 104,684

The Deficit Myth: Modern Monetary Theory and the Birth of the People's Economy by Stephanie Kelton

2013 Report for America's Infrastructure - American Society of Civil Engineers - 19 March 2013, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, American Society of Civil Engineers: Report Card, Asian financial crisis, bank run, Bernie Madoff, Bernie Sanders, blockchain, Bretton Woods, business cycle, capital controls, central bank independence, collective bargaining, COVID-19, Covid-19, currency manipulation / currency intervention, currency peg, David Graeber, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, decarbonisation, deindustrialization, discrete time, Donald Trump, eurozone crisis, fiat currency, floating exchange rates, Food sovereignty, full employment, Gini coefficient, global reserve currency, global supply chain, Hyman Minsky, income inequality, inflation targeting, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), investor state dispute settlement, Isaac Newton, Jeff Bezos, liquidity trap, Mahatma Gandhi, manufacturing employment, market bubble, Mason jar, mortgage debt, Naomi Klein, new economy, New Urbanism, Nixon shock, obamacare, open economy, Paul Samuelson, Ponzi scheme, price anchoring, price stability, pushing on a string, quantitative easing, race to the bottom, reserve currency, Richard Florida, Ronald Reagan, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, trade liberalization, urban planning, working-age population, Works Progress Administration, yield curve, zero-sum game

There are other levees and dams on the brink of failure.38 According to the 2017 Infrastructure Report Card, 15,498 dams have been declared as “high-hazard potential,” which is defined as: “A dam in which failure or mis-operation is expected to result in loss of life and may also cause significant economic losses, including damages to downstream property or critical infrastructure, environmental damage, or disruption of lifeline facilities.” The number of deficient high-hazard potential dams has risen to 2,170 or more.39 We have fallen so far behind, in fact, that the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) gives a D+ grade to America’s infrastructure. They estimate it will take $4.59 trillion over a ten-year period to get it up to appropriate standards. That update would earn America’s infrastructure a grade of B, which the ASCE defines as, “the system or network is in good to excellent condition; some elements show signs of general deterioration that require attention.

We have a democratically elected government that unshackled itself from the gold standard nearly half a century ago. That decision gave Congress unfettered access to the public purse. Having the power of the purse means never having to ask, Where will we find the money? To cut taxes or spend trillions on endless wars, Congress just needs to find enough votes and—voilà!—the money will be there. Today, the federal budget is about $4.5 trillion, roughly 20 percent of total GDP. If it wants to, Congress can write a $5 trillion budget. Or a $6 trillion budget. Or even more. It can pour trillions into education, infrastructure, health care, and housing. Any amount of spending that is authorized by Congress will take place. The Federal Reserve’s elaborate network of primary dealers is there to guarantee it. That is the reality of the S(TAB) model, which decouples spending from the prior need to raise money by taxing or borrowing.

Once interest rates become unstuck, crowding out is immediately back in play. As we will see, MMT rejects the idea that crowding out is something that can only be avoided under highly unusual circumstances. 6. Jonathan Schlefer, “Embracing Wynne Godley, an Economist Who Modeled the Crisis,” New York Times, September 10, 2013, www.nytimes.com/2013/09/11/business/economy/economists-embracing-ideas-of-wynne-godley-late-colleague-who-predicted-recession.html. 7. Ibid. 8. Post Editorial Board, “Locking in a Future of Trillion-Dollar Deficits,” New York Post, July 23, 2019, nypost.com/2019/07/23/locking-in-a-future-of-trillion-dollar-deficits/. 9. Wynne Godley, Seven Unsustainable Processes (Annandale-on-Hudson, NY: Jerome Levy Economics Institute, 1999), www.levyinstitute.org/pubs/sevenproc.pdf. 10. “Life After Debt,” second interagency draft, November 2, 2000, media.npr.org/assets/img/2011/10/20/LifeAfterDebt.pdf. 11.


pages: 497 words: 144,283

Connectography: Mapping the Future of Global Civilization by Parag Khanna

"Robert Solow", 1919 Motor Transport Corps convoy, 2013 Report for America's Infrastructure - American Society of Civil Engineers - 19 March 2013, 9 dash line, additive manufacturing, Admiral Zheng, affirmative action, agricultural Revolution, Airbnb, Albert Einstein, amateurs talk tactics, professionals talk logistics, Amazon Mechanical Turk, Asian financial crisis, asset allocation, autonomous vehicles, banking crisis, Basel III, Berlin Wall, bitcoin, Black Swan, blockchain, borderless world, Boycotts of Israel, Branko Milanovic, BRICs, British Empire, business intelligence, call centre, capital controls, charter city, clean water, cloud computing, collateralized debt obligation, commoditize, complexity theory, continuation of politics by other means, corporate governance, corporate social responsibility, credit crunch, crony capitalism, crowdsourcing, cryptocurrency, cuban missile crisis, data is the new oil, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, deglobalization, deindustrialization, dematerialisation, Deng Xiaoping, Detroit bankruptcy, digital map, disruptive innovation, diversification, Doha Development Round, edge city, Edward Snowden, Elon Musk, energy security, Ethereum, ethereum blockchain, European colonialism, eurozone crisis, failed state, Fall of the Berlin Wall, family office, Ferguson, Missouri, financial innovation, financial repression, fixed income, forward guidance, global supply chain, global value chain, global village, Google Earth, Hernando de Soto, high net worth, Hyperloop, ice-free Arctic, if you build it, they will come, illegal immigration, income inequality, income per capita, industrial cluster, industrial robot, informal economy, Infrastructure as a Service, interest rate swap, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Internet of things, Isaac Newton, Jane Jacobs, Jaron Lanier, John von Neumann, Julian Assange, Just-in-time delivery, Kevin Kelly, Khyber Pass, Kibera, Kickstarter, LNG terminal, low cost airline, low cost carrier, low earth orbit, manufacturing employment, mass affluent, mass immigration, megacity, Mercator projection, Metcalfe’s law, microcredit, mittelstand, Monroe Doctrine, mutually assured destruction, New Economic Geography, new economy, New Urbanism, off grid, offshore financial centre, oil rush, oil shale / tar sands, oil shock, openstreetmap, out of africa, Panamax, Parag Khanna, Peace of Westphalia, peak oil, Pearl River Delta, Peter Thiel, Philip Mirowski, plutocrats, Plutocrats, post-oil, post-Panamax, private military company, purchasing power parity, QWERTY keyboard, race to the bottom, Rana Plaza, rent-seeking, reserve currency, Robert Gordon, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Ronald Coase, Scramble for Africa, Second Machine Age, sharing economy, Shenzhen was a fishing village, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, six sigma, Skype, smart cities, Smart Cities: Big Data, Civic Hackers, and the Quest for a New Utopia, South China Sea, South Sea Bubble, sovereign wealth fund, special economic zone, spice trade, Stuxnet, supply-chain management, sustainable-tourism, TaskRabbit, telepresence, the built environment, The inhabitant of London could order by telephone, sipping his morning tea in bed, the various products of the whole earth, Tim Cook: Apple, trade route, transaction costs, UNCLOS, uranium enrichment, urban planning, urban sprawl, WikiLeaks, young professional, zero day

Since the financial crisis, dozens of prominent economists including Yale’s Robert Shiller have advocated infrastructure-led investment as a way to create jobs and boost economic confidence. The American Society of Civil Engineers has called for $1.6 trillion in spending for an overhaul of America’s transportation system. Only now—and just before it is too late—is such a national overhaul near the top of America’s agenda with proposals for the creation of a national infrastructure bank. The same is true across the world: The gap between the supply and the demand for infrastructure has never been greater. As the world population climbs toward eight billion people, it has been living off the infrastructure stock meant for a world of three billion.*3 But only infrastructure and all the industries that benefit from it can collectively create the estimated 300 million jobs needed in the coming two decades as populations grow and urbanize.

CITY BUILDING AS STATE BUILDING There is no worse corruption than the oppressive inefficiency of societies where basic mobility is hampered by nonexistent infrastructure. It’s like life without the wheel. Yet three-quarters of the world population—whether urban or rural—lacks basic infrastructure and utilities. In 2013, a rupture along a 250-kilometer water pipeline supplying half of Dakar’s water forced many of its three million people to spend their days lining up at wells and water trucks. More than half of all Africans lack electricity, and 60 percent of South Asians lack sanitation. One-third of the global population still lives in deep poverty—including half the world’s children—with the next two billion people coming from developing countries with inadequate health and education services. McKinsey estimates an $11 trillion shortfall in investments in basic housing. So desperate is their lack of physical and institutional foundations that we should seriously consider whether the biggest problem with state building is the state itself.5 It is not foreordained that all states eventually achieve territorial sovereignty and political stability.

One estimate suggests $2 trillion in emerging market pension assets allocated to other emerging markets by 2020. See Jay Pelosky, “Emerging Market Portfolio Globalization: The Next Big Thing” (New America Foundation, World Economic Roundtable policy paper, July 17, 2014). 10. Martin Neil Baily and Douglas J. Elliott, “The Role of Finance in the Economy: Implications for Structural Reform of the Financial Sector” (Brookings Institution, July 11, 2013). CHAPTER 14: CYBER CIVILIZATION AND ITS DISCONTENTS 1. Julio Bezerra et al., The Mobile Revolution: How Mobile Technologies Drive a Trillion-Dollar Impact (Boston Consulting Group, Jan. 2015). 2. Neal Stephenson, “Mother Earth, Mother Board,” Wired, Apr. 2012. 3. Mark P. Mills, “The Cloud Begins with Coal: Big Data, Big Networks, Big Infrastructure, and Big Power” (Digital Power Group, 2013). 4.


pages: 221 words: 68,880

Bikenomics: How Bicycling Can Save the Economy (Bicycle) by Elly Blue

2013 Report for America's Infrastructure - American Society of Civil Engineers - 19 March 2013, active transport: walking or cycling, American Society of Civil Engineers: Report Card, big-box store, Boris Johnson, business cycle, car-free, hydraulic fracturing, if you build it, they will come, Induced demand, job automation, Loma Prieta earthquake, medical residency, oil shale / tar sands, peak oil, Ponzi scheme, ride hailing / ride sharing, science of happiness, the built environment, urban renewal, women in the workforce, working poor, young professional

Starting about ten years ago, freeways and bridges started to age out en masse; we have a couple of interesting decades to come. Because we are running out of money now—and not just federal money, but local money for local roads. In truth, we never had it. As early as 2000, the amount of spending needed for basic, safe maintenance of our national freeways and bridges was 20 percent higher than the $30 billion that was actually spent that year. More recently, according to the American Society of Civil Engineers, we need to make 3.6 trillion dollars in infrastructure investments by 2020, just to keep up with basic maintenance.33 But filling potholes just isn’t sexy. The great spate of road building set off in the 1950s continues quickly, and new highway projects are still political gold.34 Skill at leveraging federal money for road projects in one’s district are a standard metric of Congressional electability. The short term jobs created by the construction are badly needed (though the arithmetic of jobs created by new road building never includes the jobs displaced to make room for the projects).

The freeway cost is the average cost per mile for a four-lane urban freeway without special restrictions, as reported by a Rails to Trails report on nationally collected figures. The real costs may be much higher when taking into account bridges, tunnels, over and underpasses, and various other factors. Politifact Oregon, March 19, 2011 32 Southeastern Wisconsin Regional Planning Commission Planning Report No. 47 A Regional Freeway Reconstruction System Plan For Southeastern Wisconsin 2005 33 American Society of Civil Engineers, Infrastructure Report Card, 2013. 34 “Repair Priorities,” a 2011 report by Smart Growth America and Taxpayers for Common Sense found that between 2004 and 2008, $22 billion dollars, or 57% of state costs were sunk into building new roads—23,300 miles in total. That left less than half the available funding, or a total of $16 billion for repair of the remaining 98.7%, nearly 2 million lane miles, of the nation’s state highways.

Other cities anecdotally do not boast such law-abiding behavior—but that may be a function in many ways of infrastructure. Research in Chicago found that after new bicycle signals were put in on the busy downtown Dearborn Avenue, cyclist compliance at red lights nearly tripled, from 31% to 81%. A host of studies have attempted to determine who is at fault more often in crashes involving a car and a bicycle; they universally have found that in at least half the cases and often closer to 90% the driver is to blame. Maus, J. “94% of Bikes Wait at Red Lights, Study Finds.” June 25, 2013 143 Goldmark, A. “Traffic Fatalities Up in NYC, Speeding Top Culprit, DOT Says” WNYC March 18, 2013 145 In July, 2013, the average gas mileage of new cars on the market is nearly 25 miles per gallon. On average, someone my age drives 15,000 miles in a year.


pages: 362 words: 83,464

The New Class Conflict by Joel Kotkin

2013 Report for America's Infrastructure - American Society of Civil Engineers - 19 March 2013, affirmative action, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, American Society of Civil Engineers: Report Card, Bob Noyce, California gold rush, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, carbon footprint, creative destruction, crony capitalism, David Graeber, deindustrialization, don't be evil, Downton Abbey, Edward Glaeser, Elon Musk, energy security, falling living standards, future of work, Gini coefficient, Google bus, housing crisis, income inequality, informal economy, Internet of things, Jane Jacobs, Jaron Lanier, Jeff Bezos, job automation, John Markoff, John von Neumann, Joseph Schumpeter, Kevin Kelly, labor-force participation, low-wage service sector, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, mass affluent, McJob, McMansion, medical bankruptcy, Nate Silver, New Economic Geography, new economy, New Urbanism, obamacare, offshore financial centre, Paul Buchheit, payday loans, Peter Calthorpe, plutocrats, Plutocrats, post-industrial society, RAND corporation, Ray Kurzweil, rent control, rent-seeking, Report Card for America’s Infrastructure, Richard Florida, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley ideology, Steve Jobs, technoutopianism, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, Thomas L Friedman, too big to fail, transcontinental railway, trickle-down economics, Tyler Cowen: Great Stagnation, upwardly mobile, urban planning, urban sprawl, War on Poverty, women in the workforce, working poor, young professional

Bret Swanson, “Zero GDP Reading Exposes the Real Deficit—Economic Growth,” Maximum Entropy, February 1, 2013, http://www.bretswanson.com/index.php/2013/02/zero-gdp-reading-exposes-the-real-deficit-%E2%80%93-economic-growth. 59. Walter Russell Mead et al., “The Blue Model Needs Wall Street to Survive,” American Interest, October 25, 2013, http://www.the-american-interest.com/blog/2013/10/25/the-blue-model-needs-wall-street-to-survive. 60. American Society of Civil Engineers, “2013 Report Card for America’s Infrastructure,” http://www.infrastructurereportcard.org. 61. Carl DeMaio, “Revoking the Federal Free Pass on Pensions,” Wall Street Journal, February 6, 2013; U.S. Department of the Treasury, “A New Economic Analysis of Infrastructure Investment,” report, March 23, 2012, http://www.treasury.gov/resource-center/economic-policy/Documents/20120323InfrastructureReport.pdf. 62. McGraw-Hill Research Foundation, “The Return on Investment (ROI) from Adult Education and Training,” May 9, 2011, http://mcgraw-hillresearchfoundation.org/2011/05/09/roi-adult-ed-and-training. 63.

Patrick Howley, “Google’s Schmidt Would Bring Climate Activism to Obama Admin,” Daily Caller, December 6, 2012, http://dailycaller.com/2012/12/06/googles-schmidt-would-bring-climate-activism-to-obama-admin. 105. Tom Steyer, “The Shady Billionaire with Millions of Reasons to Kill Keystone XL,” Daily Caller, October 8, 2013, http://dailycaller.com/2013/10/08/tom-steyer-the-shady-billionaire-with-millions-of-reasons-to-kill-keystone-xl; “Keystone Activist Tom Steyer to Sell Stake in Pipeline Company,” Washington Free Beacon, July 8, 2013, http://freebeacon.com/national-security/keystone-activist-tom-steyer-to-sell-stake-in-pipeline-company. 106. Tom McNichol and Michael V. Copeland, “Lighting Up the $1 Trillion Power Market,” CNN Money, October 30, 2006, http://money.cnn.com/2006/10/26/magazines/business2/solar_siliconvalley.biz2/index.htm. 107. John Pomfret, “Calif. Ballot Battle Over Big Oil May Be Costliest in U.S.

Sheryl Nance-Nash, “Why Congress Needs to Hurry Up and Decide What to Do With Student Loans,” Forbes, June 25, 2012, http://www.forbes.com/sites/sherylnancenash/2012/06/25/why-congress-needs-to-hurry-up-and-decide-what-to-do-with-student-loans; Chris Denhart, “How the $1.2 Trillion College Debt Crisis Is Crippling Students, Parents and the Economy,” Forbes, August 7, 2013, http://www.forbes.com/sites/specialfeatures/2013/08/07/how-the-college-debt-is-crippling-students-parents-and-the-economy. 18. John Uebersax, “College Tuition Inflation,” Satyagraha, July 14, 2009, http://satyagraha.wordpress.com/2009/07/14/college-tuition-hyperinflation; “Tutorial: The Real Cost of Higher Education,” Savingforcollege.com, http://www.savingforcollege.com/tutorial101/the_real_cost_of_higher_education.php; Phil Oliff, Vincent Palacios, Ingrid Johnson, and Michael Leachman, “Recent Deep State Higher Education Cuts May Harm Students and the Economy for Years to Come,” report, Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, March 19, 2013, http://www.cbpp.org/cms/?


pages: 347 words: 112,727

Rust: The Longest War by Jonathan Waldman

2013 Report for America's Infrastructure - American Society of Civil Engineers - 19 March 2013, Anton Chekhov, computer age, David Brooks, digital map, Exxon Valdez, Frederick Winslow Taylor, Golden Gate Park, index card, Isaac Newton, Mason jar, pez dispenser, Ralph Nader, RAND corporation, Ronald Reagan, Works Progress Administration, Y2K

“It’s deplorable! . . . We are virtual engineers. We’re out of touch with reality. “My colleagues still teach like it’s the 1950s,” he went on. “Traditional engineering is brute force. Dam that river. Dig that canal. If it doesn’t work, try harder. . . . Civil engineers have to build something big: my tower is bigger than your tower.” Considering the condition of American infrastructure, which earned a D from the American Society of Civil Engineers, he calls this approach a “technical wasteland.” As evidence, Amadei cited recent train travel. He took the Acela on an hour-and-a-half trip, and was an hour and a half late. He wrote a letter to Amtrak and got his money refunded. To get engineering students back in touch with reality and to give them a conscience, Amadei founded Engineers Without Borders. The organization now has twelve thousand members engaged in more than four hundred projects—mostly water or sanitation related—in forty-five countries.

At seventy-four, his knees have given out, but he still likes to get down and pull weeds. He just needs help getting back up. Robert Baboian, the corrosion consultant, has been back to the statue many times to check up on her. He was there in October 1986, when NACE dedicated its National Corrosion Restoration Site plaque, and he was there a year later, only to discover that the plaque was corroding. It was turning green. The American Society for Metals and the American Society of Civil Engineers had installed their own historic landmark plaques in 1986, and they were doing fine. When ASM and ASCE executives heard about NACE’s rusty plaque, they laughed their butts off. Baboian took care of the problem. He had a New York sculpture artist strip off the old interior-grade coating and apply a durable, exterior-grade coating to it. The plaque has survived okay since. It’s not shiny and polished like ASM’s, but a dull, muted brown.

A former rust industry executive said he and his colleagues always felt like the Rodney Dangerfields of the engineering community. Sensing as much, we avoid the word. Residents of Rust, California, changed the town’s name, a century ago, to El Cerrito. Politicians, too, know better than to mention rust. Though a few presidents have mentioned infrastructure and maintenance, none has mentioned corrosion or rust in a State of the Union address. President Obama has, between 2011 and 2013, called America’s infrastructure failing, crumbling, aging, deteriorating, and deficient—but he didn’t call it rusty. That’s as close as a president has come to uttering the word. Like a condition between high cholesterol and hemorrhoids, rust is a nuisance that we’d prefer not to deal with, and certainly not talk about in public. Confidentially, industry representatives inquire with Luz Marina Calle, the director of the Corrosion Technology Laboratory at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center, regarding their rust woes.


Growth: From Microorganisms to Megacities by Vaclav Smil

2013 Report for America's Infrastructure - American Society of Civil Engineers - 19 March 2013, 3D printing, agricultural Revolution, air freight, American Society of Civil Engineers: Report Card, autonomous vehicles, Benoit Mandelbrot, Berlin Wall, Bernie Madoff, Bretton Woods, British Empire, business cycle, colonial rule, complexity theory, coronavirus, decarbonisation, deindustrialization, dematerialisation, demographic dividend, demographic transition, Deng Xiaoping, disruptive innovation, Dissolution of the Soviet Union, endogenous growth, energy transition, epigenetics, happiness index / gross national happiness, hydraulic fracturing, hydrogen economy, Hyperloop, illegal immigration, income inequality, income per capita, industrial robot, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), invention of movable type, Isaac Newton, James Watt: steam engine, knowledge economy, labor-force participation, Law of Accelerating Returns, longitudinal study, mandelbrot fractal, market bubble, mass immigration, McMansion, megacity, megastructure, meta analysis, meta-analysis, microbiome, moral hazard, Network effects, new economy, New Urbanism, old age dependency ratio, optical character recognition, out of africa, peak oil, Pearl River Delta, phenotype, Pierre-Simon Laplace, planetary scale, Ponzi scheme, Productivity paradox, profit motive, purchasing power parity, random walk, Ray Kurzweil, Report Card for America’s Infrastructure, Republic of Letters, rolodex, Silicon Valley, Simon Kuznets, South China Sea, technoutopianism, the market place, The Rise and Fall of American Growth, total factor productivity, trade liberalization, trade route, urban sprawl, Vilfredo Pareto, yield curve

During the second decade of the 21st century, many large Chinese municipalities are expected to add as much new residential building area as the total stock in many smaller-sized European countries, with Beijing adding more than Switzerland and Chengdu more than Sweden (EIU 2011). Infrastructures Societies have usually had much better success in building the essential infrastructures than maintaining them, and regular American assessments clearly demonstrate that chronic shortcoming. In 2017 the biennial Infrastructure Report Card published by the American Society of Civil Engineers awarded D+ as the overall grade, with individual categories ranging from B for railroads to D for drinking water, inland waterways, levees, and roads, and D− for public transit (ASCE 2017). This deficit is, of course, partly a function of the enormous cumulative extent of modern infrastructures and I will indicate some of their growth trajectories in societies with the requisite statistics. The ASCE report has 16 categories, including two items that usually do not come first to mind, namely the disposal of hazardous waste and public parks.

Economic Welfare and the Allocation of Resources for Invention. In: The Rate and Direction of Inventive Activity: Economic and Social Factors, Princeton University Press, pp. 609–626. Asao, S., et al. 2015. Variation in foliar respiration and wood CO2 efflux rates among species and canopy layers in a wet tropical forest. Tree Physiology 35:148–159. ASCE (American Society of Civil Engineers). 2017. 2017 Report Card for America’s Infrastructure. https://www.infrastructurereportcard.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/10/2017-Infrastructure-Report-Card.pdf. Ashby, T. 1935. The Aqueducts of Ancient Rome. Oxford: Oxford University Press. ASME (American Society of Mechanical Engineers). 1980. The Pioneer Zephyr. https://www.asme.org/wwwasmeorg/media/ResourceFiles/AboutASME/Who%20We%20Are/Engineering%20History/Landmarks/58-Pioneer-Zephyr-1934.pdf. ASME. 1988.

Gregory, P. J., and S. Nortcliff, eds. 2013. Soil Conditions and Plant Growth. Hoboken, NJ: Wiley-Blackwell. Gregory, T. E. 2010. A History of Byzantium. Oxford: Wiley-Blackwell. Griebeler, E. M. 2013. Body temperatures in dinosaurs: What can growth curves tell us? PLoS ONE 8(10):e74317. doi:10.1371/journal.pone. Grinin, L., et al. 2016. Kondratieff Waves in the World System Perspective. Cham: Springer International. Gross, J. 2004. A Normal Distribution Course. Bern: Peter Lang. Grossman, G. M., and E. Helpman. 1991. Trade, knowledge spillovers, and growth. European Economic Review 35:517–526. Groth, H., and J. F. May, eds. 2017. Africa’s Population: In Search of a Demographic Dividend. Berlin: Springer. Grübler, A. 1990. The Rise and Fall of Infrastructures: Dynamics of Evolution and Technological Change in Transport.


pages: 692 words: 167,950

The Ripple Effect: The Fate of Fresh Water in the Twenty-First Century by Alex Prud'Homme

2013 Report for America's Infrastructure - American Society of Civil Engineers - 19 March 2013, activist fund / activist shareholder / activist investor, American Society of Civil Engineers: Report Card, big-box store, bilateral investment treaty, carbon footprint, clean water, commoditize, corporate raider, Deep Water Horizon, en.wikipedia.org, Exxon Valdez, hydraulic fracturing, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), invisible hand, Joan Didion, John Snow's cholera map, Louis Pasteur, mass immigration, megacity, oil shale / tar sands, peak oil, renewable energy credits, Report Card for America’s Infrastructure, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, urban sprawl, William Langewiesche

CHAPTER 11: WATER SCARCITY 107 Tunnel No. 3: New York City Department of Environmental Protection: http://www.nyc.gov/html/dep/pdf/factsheet.pdf and http://www.nyc.gov/html/dep/html/ dep_projects/cp_city_water_tunnel3.shtml. 107 Ted Dowey: Author’s tour of Tunnel No. 3 with Ted Dowey, March 5, 2007. 119 The American Society of Civil Engineers: “Report Card for America’s Infrastructure,” American Society of Civil Engineers: http://apps.asce.org/reportcard/2009/grades.cfm. 120 In 2007, 159 leaks: Anthony DePalma, “Mysterious Leak Provides Hint of Lost Manhattan,” New York Times, February 5, 2008. 120 The EPA estimates that 1 trillion gallons: US Environmental Protection Agency, Water Sense, “The Facts on Leaks,” http://www.epa.gov/WaterSense/pubs/fixleak.html. 120 the water pressure inside: From David Grann’s indispensable article on Tunnel No. 3, “City of Water,” New Yorker, September 1, 2003. 122 Standard pay is $35 to $38 an hour: Ibid. 122 Hogs have their own language: Ibid., and Dowey interview.

CHAPTER 20: FORENSIC ENGINEERING 215 Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA): Mark Schlefstein, “Levee statistics point up their importance to nation’s economy,” New Orleans Times-Picayune, January 2, 2010. 215 85 percent of US levees were privately built: “The Report Card on America’s Infrastructure,” American Society of Civil Engineers, 2010. 215 177 of them—about 9 percent of federally inspected levees: Ibid. 216 the residents of Fernley, Nevada: Steve Friess, “Rush of Water Leaves a Nevada Town in Anguish,” New York Times, January 7, 2008. 216 Report Card on American Infrastructure: American Society of Civil Engineers: http://www.infrastructurereportcard.org/. 216 Congress had committed only $1.13 billion: Ibid. 216 In the 2006 Rapanos case: John M. Broder, “After Lobbying, Wetlands Rules Are Narrowed,” New York Times, July 6, 2007. See also Charles Duhigg and Janet Roberts, “Rulings Restrict Clean Water Act, Foiling E.P.A.,” New York Times, February 28, 2010. 217 The Corps got its start on June 16, 1775: “The US Army Corps of Engineers: A Brief History,” US Army Corps of Engineers: http://www.usace.army.mil/History/Documents/Brief/index.html. 218 The Mississippi has the third-largest drainage basin: “The Mississippi River and Tributaries Project,” US Army Corps of Engineers: http://www.mvn.usace.army.mil/pao/bro/misstrib.htm. 219 the Great Mississippi Flood of 1927: “Fatal Flood,” American Experience, PBS.

The city’s drinking supply has had a higher profile under Mayor Michael Bloomberg, but much of the system suffers from years of underinvestment and deferred maintenance, and the DEP faces a growing list of problems: infirm dams and seeping water tunnels, sewage overflows and industrial water pollution, pressure from development and gas drilling in the watershed, tension between rural communities and the city over control of water, competition with neighboring states for future drinking supplies, and worries about the impact of climate change on water quality and quantity. Aging infrastructure is a growing problem nationwide, but the decline has occurred largely out of sight, both literally and figuratively. The American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE), the nation’s oldest engineering society, has reported that much of the nation’s hydro-infrastructure is on the verge of failure. In its 2009 Report Card, ASCE gave the nation’s infrastructure a D, or “Poor,” grade, and waterworks earned some of the worst grades of all: the nation’s dams were given a D, while drinking water, wastewater treatment plants, inland waterways, and levees all received grades of D-minus, meaning they are dangerously compromised.


pages: 257 words: 64,285

The End of Traffic and the Future of Transport: Second Edition by David Levinson, Kevin Krizek

2013 Report for America's Infrastructure - American Society of Civil Engineers - 19 March 2013, 3D printing, American Society of Civil Engineers: Report Card, autonomous vehicles, barriers to entry, Bay Area Rapid Transit, big-box store, Chris Urmson, collaborative consumption, commoditize, crowdsourcing, DARPA: Urban Challenge, dematerialisation, Elon Musk, en.wikipedia.org, Google Hangouts, Induced demand, intermodal, invention of the printing press, jitney, John Markoff, labor-force participation, lifelogging, Lyft, means of production, megacity, Menlo Park, Network effects, Occam's razor, oil shock, place-making, post-work, Ray Kurzweil, rent-seeking, ride hailing / ride sharing, Robert Gordon, self-driving car, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Skype, smart cities, technological singularity, Tesla Model S, the built environment, Thomas Kuhn: the structure of scientific revolutions, transaction costs, transportation-network company, Uber and Lyft, Uber for X, uber lyft, urban renewal, women in the workforce, working-age population, Yom Kippur War, zero-sum game, Zipcar

This word was apparently coined as late as the 1970s in the New York City Department of Transportation. The term has fallen into popular misuse to indicate any type of congestion. 7 In other lists that came out around the turn of the century, the interstate system has been referred to as the "Top 10 Construction Achievements of the 20th Century" (CONEXPO-CON/AGC); "Top 10 Achievements of the 20th Century" (American Society of Civil Engineers); and "25 Shapers of the Modern Era," referring to former Federal Highway Administrator Frank Turner, who was identified as the "The Superhighway Superman" (US News and World Report (Dec. 27, 1999). 8 David King, 3 Big Challenges for Planning Multi-Modal Cities. The Atlantic, CItyLab: http://www.citylab.com/design/2014/10/3-big-challenges-for-planning-multi-modal-cities/381254/ (accessed 17 October 2014). 9 The "paradigm shift" phrase is admittedly overused.

., & Mokhtarian, P. L. (1998). Transportation impacts of center-based telecommuting: interim findings from the neighborhood telecenters project. Transportation, 25(3), 287-306. 68 US Census Bureau (2014) QUARTERLY RETAIL E-commerce SALES 3RD QUARTER 2014 http://www.census.gov/retail/mrts/www/data/pdf/ec_current.pdf 69 eMarketer (2013) Total US Retail Sales Top $4.5 Trillion in 2013, Outpace GDP Growth - http://www.emarketer.com/Article/Total-US-Retail-Sales-Top-3645-Trillion-2013-Outpace-GDP-Growth/1010756 70 Center for Retail Research (2015) Online Retailing: Britain, Europe, US and Canada 2015 http://www.retailresearch.org/onlineretailing.php 71 USDOC (2015). "Quarterly Retail E-commerce Sales: 4th Quarter 2014." US Census Bureau News. US Department of Commerce (DOC). 72 Lacking convenient access to the store, or finding the store's storage capacity limited in the number of goods, one would order from a catalog.

It is also clear that most roads are mostly empty most of the time, and that we build many roads far wider than are needed, so wide they can be used to store cars 24 hours a day. We would conclude, that in general, we do have too much road infrastructure. In the absence of a policy change, the edifice complex, infrastructure infatuation edition, will continue to suck away considerable funds that could be better spent on other things. End Notes 1 Mel Webber wrote a paper "The Joys of Automobility" that argued that people rationally preferred the auto because of its flexibility and efficiency http://www.uctc.net/papers/110.pdf. It originally appeared in The Car and the City Martin Wachs and Margaret Crawford, eds. University of Michigan Press, 1991. 2 Priceonomics (2013) What is the Best Predictor of Unhappiness? http://priceonomics.com/what-is-the-best-predictor-of-unhappiness/ 3 Automobile as a symbol of freedom, among other countless accounts, see : http://blogs.scientificamerican.com/anthropology-in-practice/2013/04/22/choice-control-freedom-and-car-ownership/ 4 The Mason-Dixon line is technically the survey line denoting the border between Maryland and Pennsylvania from 1767, more informally it is a political threshold harkening from the days of the Civil War in the US (north of which were the 'free states', south of which were the 'slave states'.


pages: 324 words: 92,805

The Impulse Society: America in the Age of Instant Gratification by Paul Roberts

2013 Report for America's Infrastructure - American Society of Civil Engineers - 19 March 2013, 3D printing, accounting loophole / creative accounting, activist fund / activist shareholder / activist investor, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, American Society of Civil Engineers: Report Card, asset allocation, business cycle, business process, Cass Sunstein, centre right, choice architecture, collateralized debt obligation, collective bargaining, computerized trading, corporate governance, corporate raider, corporate social responsibility, creative destruction, crony capitalism, David Brooks, delayed gratification, disruptive innovation, double helix, factory automation, financial deregulation, financial innovation, fixed income, full employment, game design, greed is good, If something cannot go on forever, it will stop - Herbert Stein's Law, impulse control, income inequality, inflation targeting, invisible hand, job automation, John Markoff, Joseph Schumpeter, knowledge worker, late fees, Long Term Capital Management, loss aversion, low skilled workers, mass immigration, new economy, Nicholas Carr, obamacare, Occupy movement, oil shale / tar sands, performance metric, postindustrial economy, profit maximization, Report Card for America’s Infrastructure, reshoring, Richard Thaler, rising living standards, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Rodney Brooks, Ronald Reagan, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, speech recognition, Steve Jobs, technoutopianism, the built environment, The Predators' Ball, the scientific method, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thorstein Veblen, too big to fail, total factor productivity, Tyler Cowen: Great Stagnation, Walter Mischel, winner-take-all economy

Liz Kennedy, “Citizens Actually United: The Bi-Partisan Opposition to Corporate Political Spending and Support for Common Sense Reform,” Demos, Oct. 25, 2012, http://www.demos.org/publication/citizens-actually-united-bi-partisan-opposition-corporate-political-spending-and-support. 23. Chris Myers, “Conservatism and Campaign Finance Reform: The Two Aren’t Mutually Exclusive,” RedState, April 24, 2012, http://www.redstate.com/clmyers/2013/04/24/conservatism-and-campaign-finance-reform/. 24. David Brooks, “The Opportunity Coalition,” The New York Times, Jan 30, 2014. 25. “2013 Report Card for America’s Infrastructure,” American Society of Civil Engineers, http://www.infrastructurereportcard.org/. 26. In Robert Frank, The Darmn Economy: Liberty, Competition, and Common Good. 27. Brooks, “The Opportunity Coalition.” Footnotes Chapter 1 * Traffic fatalities in the 1920s were about seventeen times higher, per mile traveled, than today

And lest conservatives forget, this isn’t the first time they’ve cut too deeply: in 1981, newly elected president Reagan slashed taxes so sharply that the national debt more than quadrupled, to three trillion dollars.13 The difference then was that Reagan recognized the mistake and subsequently raised taxes four times over the next seven years14—including the steepest increase in corporate income tax in history and a hike in payroll taxes that was used to fund Medicare.† Today, by contrast, the conservative brand has grown so reflexively antitax and antigovernment that a tax increase can’t be discussed, even while much of the nation’s workforce falls behind other countries’ and public infrastructure decays. Before liberals put on the tax-and-spend hats, however, we should acknowledge the absurdity of taxing corporations to fund the retraining of workers that corporations themselves have jettisoned.

Without question, liberals must concede to some degree of real entitlement reform (means testing for Medicare, for example) and regulatory reform, especially for small businesses. But conservatives, too, must move beyond their obsolete brand and acknowledge that after decades of reflexive tax cuts and partisan budget battles, the United States now suffers the largest deficit in public investment of any industrial economy. To cite a few examples: spending on roads, bridges, and other infrastructure falls short of need by around a quarter of a trillion dollars every year.25 (Across the United States, reports The Wall Street Journal, state governments are allowing thousands of miles of road to “erode to gravel.”26) In spending on early child care and education as a percentage of GDP, the United States ranks twenty-eighth out of thirty-seven developed countries. Twenty-three nations have faster broadband networks.


pages: 281 words: 83,505

Palaces for the People: How Social Infrastructure Can Help Fight Inequality, Polarization, and the Decline of Civic Life by Eric Klinenberg

2013 Report for America's Infrastructure - American Society of Civil Engineers - 19 March 2013, American Society of Civil Engineers: Report Card, assortative mating, basic income, big-box store, Broken windows theory, carbon footprint, Cass Sunstein, clean water, deindustrialization, desegregation, Donald Trump, East Village, Filter Bubble, ghettoisation, helicopter parent, income inequality, informal economy, invisible hand, Jane Jacobs, John Snow's cholera map, late fees, Mark Zuckerberg, mass incarceration, Menlo Park, New Urbanism, Peter Thiel, Ray Oldenburg, Richard Florida, Ronald Reagan, Rosa Parks, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, smart grid, the built environment, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, The Great Good Place, the High Line, universal basic income, urban planning, young professional

Today, our communities are full of children whose future, like Jelani’s, will be formed in the places where they go to learn about themselves and the world they’ll inherit. They deserve palaces. Whether they get them is up to us. CHAPTER FOUR Healthy Bonds Every four years, the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) issues grades for the nation’s infrastructure, and if the federal government were a high school student, it would tear up the report before bringing it home. In 2017, as in 2013, America’s overall infrastructure score was a D+, but it could have been worse. The rail network, despite high-profile failures of the Amtrak line in the busy Northeast Corridor and the New York City subway system, got a B. Seven systems, including hazardous waste, levees, ports, schools, and wastewater, received modestly better grades than in the previous assessment.

college experience so rich: Dhawal Shal, “By the Numbers: MOOCS in 2016,” Class Central, December 25, 2016, https://www.class-central.com/​report/​mooc-stats-2016/. “Minerva’s performance is unique”: Stephen Kosslyn, “Minerva Delivers More Effective Learning. Test Results Prove It,” Medium, October 10, 2017, https://medium.com/​minerva-schools/​minerva-delivers-more-effective-learning-test-results-prove-it-dfdbec6e04a6. CHAPTER FOUR: HEALTHY BONDS their miserably low scores: American Society of Civil Engineers, 2017 Infrastructure Report Card, https://www.infrastructurereportcard.org/​americas-grades/. street drugs like heroin: US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, “Vital Signs: Overdoses of Prescription Opioid Pain Relievers—United States, 1999–2008,” Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report 60, no. 43 (2011): 1487. have been devastating: Katherine Keyes, Magdalena Cerdá, Joanne Brady, Jennifer Havens, and Sandro Galea, “Understanding the Rural-Urban Differences in Nonmedical Prescription Opioid Use and Abuse in the United States,” American Journal of Public Health 104, no. 2 (2014): 52–59.

The need for significant infrastructure spending, if not necessarily the way to pay for it, was one of the few things that both Trump and Clinton agreed on in the 2016 presidential campaign. In coming decades, perhaps even in the next few years, we will invest hundreds of billions of dollars in critical infrastructure across the country, trillions around the world. Given the extraordinary stresses that are coming from our growing population, rising consumption, and global warming, and the sorry state of the systems that Americans rely on for electricity, transit, food, water, communications, and climate protection, we have no choice. What we must decide, however, is whether rebuilding our social infrastructure will be part of this project. Most current debates about infrastructure investment in the United States focus exclusively on conventional hardline systems, as if the material underpinning of our social and civic life were an unrelated concern.


pages: 124 words: 39,011

Beyond Outrage: Expanded Edition: What Has Gone Wrong With Our Economy and Our Democracy, and How to Fix It by Robert B. Reich

2013 Report for America's Infrastructure - American Society of Civil Engineers - 19 March 2013, affirmative action, banking crisis, business cycle, carried interest, collateralized debt obligation, collective bargaining, Credit Default Swap, credit default swaps / collateralized debt obligations, desegregation, full employment, Home mortgage interest deduction, job automation, Mahatma Gandhi, minimum wage unemployment, money market fund, Nelson Mandela, new economy, Occupy movement, offshore financial centre, plutocrats, Plutocrats, Ponzi scheme, race to the bottom, Ronald Reagan, single-payer health, special drawing rights, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Tim Cook: Apple, too big to fail, trickle-down economics, women in the workforce, working poor, zero-sum game

States also need help financing early childhood education so that every preschooler can begin school ready to learn. And the federal government should help restore the nation’s system of public higher education, which has been decimated by state budget cuts. Meanwhile, America’s infrastructure is crumbling. Our roads, bridges, water and sewer systems, subways and other forms of public transit, gas pipelines, ports, airports, and school buildings are all in desperate need of repair. Deferred maintenance is taking a huge toll. The American Society of Civil Engineers has given the nation’s infrastructure an overall grade of D. The percentage of the national economy going to infrastructure continues to drop—from 1 percent in 1960 to barely three-tenths of 1 percent in 2012. It’s time to rebuild America while at the same time expanding high-speed Internet and modernizing the electricity grid.

If they were taxed at that rate now, they’d pay at least $80 billion more annually, which would reduce the budget deficit by about $1 trillion over the next ten years. PUT A 2 PERCENT SURTAX ON THE WEALTH OF THE RICHEST ONE-HALF OF 1 PERCENT The richest one-half of 1 percent of Americans, each with over $7.2 million of assets, own 28 percent of the nation’s total wealth. Given this almost unprecedented concentration, and considering what the nation needs to do to rebuild our schools and infrastructure, as well as tame the budget deficit, a surtax is warranted. It would generate another $70 billion a year, and $750 billion over the decade. PUT A ONE-HALF OF 1 PERCENT TAX ON ALL FINANCIAL TRANSACTIONS This would bring in more than $250 billion over ten years while slowing speculators and reducing the wild gyrations of financial markets. The three changes above would add up to $2 trillion over ten years—a significant slice off the long-term budget deficit.

If the rich don’t pay their fair share of taxes, the rest of us will have to bear more of a burden. That burden will come in the form of either higher taxes on us or less money for the things we depend on—including health care, education, infrastructure, and national defense. CUT THE MILITARY BUDGET MORE THAN SCHEDULED Without a new budget agreement, nearly $500 billion of automatic across-the-board cuts will be made in the defense budget over the next decade. But this isn’t nearly enough. In the next five years, the Pentagon will still spend more than $2.7 trillion, closer to $3 trillion when adjusted for inflation. Hundreds of billions more can be saved without jeopardizing the nation’s security by ending weapons systems designed for an age of conventional warfare. For example, the F-35 fleet of stealth fighters, whose performance has been awful—the costliest Pentagon procurement project in history—should be jettisoned.


pages: 396 words: 117,897

Making the Modern World: Materials and Dematerialization by Vaclav Smil

2013 Report for America's Infrastructure - American Society of Civil Engineers - 19 March 2013, additive manufacturing, American Society of Civil Engineers: Report Card, British Empire, decarbonisation, deindustrialization, dematerialisation, Deng Xiaoping, energy transition, Fellow of the Royal Society, global pandemic, Haber-Bosch Process, happiness index / gross national happiness, hydraulic fracturing, income inequality, indoor plumbing, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), James Watt: steam engine, megacity, megastructure, oil shale / tar sands, peak oil, post-industrial society, purchasing power parity, recommendation engine, rolodex, X Prize

Because maintenance and repair of deteriorating concrete have been inadequate, the future replacement costs of the material will run into trillions of dollars. To this should be added the disposal costs of the removed concrete: some concrete structures have been recycled but the separation of the concrete and reinforcing metal is expensive. The latest report card on the quality of American infrastructure gives poor to very poor grades to all sectors where concrete is the dominant structural material: bridges fared relatively well with C+, dams, schools, roads, aviation, public transit, and waste water treatment facilities got D, and levees and inland waterways received D-, for an overall average grade of D+, with an estimated investment of at least $3.6 trillion needed by 2020 in order to prevent further deterioration (ASCE, 2013). Transposed to post-2030 China, this reality implies the need for an unprecedented rehabilitation and replacement of nearly 100 Gt of concrete emplaced during the first decade of the twenty-first century, at a cost of many tens of trillions of dollars.

According to official statistics, between 1980 and 2010 China's annual rate of economic growth was only below 5% three times (1981, 1989, and 1990) and was above 10% 16 times, while the average for the three decades was 9.6% (IMF, 2013). This implies a doubling every 7.3 years resulting in a 2010 GDP (in constant prices) 17.8 times higher than in 1980. In per capita terms, the multiple was still roughly 13-fold (NBSC, 2013; IMF, 2013). Using official exchange rates these sums convert, respectively, to about $200 billion and $5.9 trillion (in current terms) and purchasing power parity (PPP) conversion boosts them to about $250 billion and $10.1 trillion. In 1980, China's economy was (in PPP terms) only about half the size of Italy's, by 2010 it was the world's second largest, more than twice as large as that of Japan (IMF, 2013). This unprecedented achievement is easier to comprehend when seen primarily as a combination of the following factors: the tremendous pent-up desire of the world's largest population, kept for decades in Maoist economic misery, to improve their quality of life; a huge population increase together with delayed urbanization that released hundreds of millions of young productive workers from the countryside to cities, powering the expansion and new manufacturing capacities that made the country the world's largest exporter; and massive direct foreign investment amounting annually to more than $50 billion since the mid-1980s and accompanied by an unprecedented transfer of modern extraction, industrial, and transportation techniques, a perfect case of advantages enjoyed by a late-starter to modernization.

ASCE (American Society of Civil Engineers) (2013) 2013 Report Card for America's Infrastructure, http://www.infrastructurereportcard.org/a/#p/home (accessed 22 May 2013). Atsushi, U. (1995) The riddle of Japan's quakeproof pagodas. Japan Echo, Spring: 70–77. Atterbury, P. (ed.) (1982) The History of Porcelain, Morrow, New York. Austin, P. (2010) Reducing Energy Consumption in Paper Making Using Advanced Process Control and Optimisation, http://www.lcmp.eng.cam.ac.uk/wp-content/uploads/ Reducing-Energy-Consumption-in-Paper-Making-using-APC-and-Optimisation.pdf (accessed 22 May 2013). Ausubel, J. (2003) Decarbonization: The Next 100 Years. Lecture at the 50th Anniversary Symposium of the Geology Foundation, April 25 2003, Jackson School of Geosciences, University of Texas, Austin, TX, http://phe.rockefeller.edu/AustinDecarbonization/AustinDecarbonization.pdf (accessed 22 May 2013).


pages: 476 words: 125,219

Digital Disconnect: How Capitalism Is Turning the Internet Against Democracy by Robert W. McChesney

2013 Report for America's Infrastructure - American Society of Civil Engineers - 19 March 2013, access to a mobile phone, Albert Einstein, American Legislative Exchange Council, American Society of Civil Engineers: Report Card, Automated Insights, barriers to entry, Berlin Wall, business cycle, Cass Sunstein, citizen journalism, cloud computing, collaborative consumption, collective bargaining, creative destruction, crony capitalism, David Brooks, death of newspapers, declining real wages, Double Irish / Dutch Sandwich, Erik Brynjolfsson, failed state, Filter Bubble, full employment, future of journalism, George Gilder, Gini coefficient, Google Earth, income inequality, informal economy, intangible asset, invention of agriculture, invisible hand, Jaron Lanier, Jeff Bezos, jimmy wales, John Markoff, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, Joseph Schumpeter, Julian Assange, Kickstarter, Mark Zuckerberg, Marshall McLuhan, means of production, Metcalfe’s law, mutually assured destruction, national security letter, Nelson Mandela, Network effects, new economy, New Journalism, Nicholas Carr, Occupy movement, offshore financial centre, patent troll, Peter Thiel, plutocrats, Plutocrats, post scarcity, price mechanism, profit maximization, profit motive, QWERTY keyboard, Ralph Nader, Richard Stallman, road to serfdom, Robert Metcalfe, Saturday Night Live, sentiment analysis, Silicon Valley, single-payer health, Skype, spectrum auction, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Steven Levy, Steven Pinker, Stewart Brand, Telecommunications Act of 1996, the medium is the message, The Spirit Level, The Structural Transformation of the Public Sphere, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thorstein Veblen, too big to fail, transfer pricing, Upton Sinclair, WikiLeaks, winner-take-all economy, yellow journalism

The notion that capitalism has long outlived its usefulness is only confirmed when one considers the state of our infrastructure. As discussed in chapter 2, a great infrastructure is the foundation of any successful modern economy, capitalist or not. Financier Felix Rohatyn once told New York Times columnist Bob Herbert, “A modern economy needs a modern platform, and that’s the infrastructure.”32 At midcentury, the United States had the most advanced infrastructure in the world by a wide margin; in the past three decades, it has fallen into collapse. The American Society of Civil Engineers estimates that the United States needs to spend $2.2 trillion over the next five years to get our infrastructure to the level of other economically advanced nations.33 Politicians most closely associated with business interests evince almost no concern.

The point was underlined by the release of a 2012 report conducted by the former chief economist at McKinsey that found the global elite had stashed $21 trillion in foreign bank accounts to avoid taxation in their home countries. The United States was well represented. It can only make those who play by the rules feel like chumps. See Heather Stewart, “£13tn Hoard Hidden from Taxman by Global Elite,” The Guardian, July 21, 2012. 31. For a discussion of this issue, see Morris Berman, Why America Failed: The Roots of Imperial Decline (Hoboken, NJ: Wiley, 2012), 59–62. 32. Bob Herbert, “Risking the Future,” New York Times, Feb. 2, 2009. 33. American Society of Civil Engineers, Infrastructure Report Card, infrastructurereportcard.org. 34. “A Patch on the Road,” The Economist, July 7, 2012, 34. 35. E.J. Dionne, “America Needs a Better Ruling Class,” Washington Herald News, Apr. 17, 2011. heraldnews.com/opinions/columnists/x1225326175/E-J-DIONNE-America-needs-a-better-ruling-class. 36.

Beyond setting up laws to protect private property and investment, controlling currency, and setting tariffs and the terms of trade, the government has played the central role of coordinating the building of the nation’s infrastructure. This includes both transportation and communication—roads, canals, railroads, postal systems, the telegraph, and much more. The complexity and extent of such infrastructure projects preclude private interests from accomplishing them without heavy coordination and support by the state. Alfred DuPont Chandler Jr., arguably the greatest American business historian, credits the creation of the modern transportation and communication infrastructure in the nineteenth century as the primary development that led to the creation of modern corporate capitalism as we know it.82 The task of providing an infrastructure for the market economy has grown in the past century—now including bridges, water systems, sewage and waste systems, dams, airports, and public utilities that form the backbone of economic activity.


pages: 585 words: 151,239

Capitalism in America: A History by Adrian Wooldridge, Alan Greenspan

"Robert Solow", 2013 Report for America's Infrastructure - American Society of Civil Engineers - 19 March 2013, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, agricultural Revolution, air freight, Airbnb, airline deregulation, American Society of Civil Engineers: Report Card, Asian financial crisis, bank run, barriers to entry, Berlin Wall, Bonfire of the Vanities, Bretton Woods, British Empire, business climate, business cycle, business process, California gold rush, Charles Lindbergh, cloud computing, collateralized debt obligation, collective bargaining, Corn Laws, corporate governance, corporate raider, creative destruction, credit crunch, debt deflation, Deng Xiaoping, disruptive innovation, Donald Trump, edge city, Elon Musk, equal pay for equal work, Everybody Ought to Be Rich, Fall of the Berlin Wall, fiat currency, financial deregulation, financial innovation, fixed income, full employment, George Gilder, germ theory of disease, global supply chain, hiring and firing, income per capita, indoor plumbing, informal economy, interchangeable parts, invention of the telegraph, invention of the telephone, Isaac Newton, Jeff Bezos, jimmy wales, John Maynard Keynes: technological unemployment, Joseph Schumpeter, Kenneth Rogoff, Kitchen Debate, knowledge economy, knowledge worker, labor-force participation, Louis Pasteur, low skilled workers, manufacturing employment, market bubble, Mason jar, mass immigration, means of production, Menlo Park, Mexican peso crisis / tequila crisis, minimum wage unemployment, mortgage debt, Myron Scholes, Network effects, new economy, New Urbanism, Northern Rock, oil rush, oil shale / tar sands, oil shock, Peter Thiel, plutocrats, Plutocrats, popular capitalism, post-industrial society, postindustrial economy, price stability, Productivity paradox, purchasing power parity, Ralph Nader, Ralph Waldo Emerson, RAND corporation, refrigerator car, reserve currency, rising living standards, road to serfdom, Robert Gordon, Ronald Reagan, Sand Hill Road, savings glut, secular stagnation, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Simon Kuznets, Social Responsibility of Business Is to Increase Its Profits, South Sea Bubble, sovereign wealth fund, stem cell, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, strikebreaker, supply-chain management, The Great Moderation, The Rise and Fall of American Growth, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas Malthus, Thorstein Veblen, too big to fail, total factor productivity, trade route, transcontinental railway, tulip mania, Tyler Cowen: Great Stagnation, union organizing, Unsafe at Any Speed, Upton Sinclair, urban sprawl, Vannevar Bush, War on Poverty, washing machines reduced drudgery, Washington Consensus, white flight, wikimedia commons, William Shockley: the traitorous eight, women in the workforce, Works Progress Administration, Yom Kippur War, young professional

New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport is an embarrassing slum compared with, say, Shanghai’s Pudong International Airport. America’s trains are slow coaches compared with China’s bullet trains. The 2017 Report Card from the American Society of Civil Engineers puts some numbers to this general impression. The average age of the country’s 90,000 dams is fifty-six years. Thanks to the growing density of the population, the number of “high hazard” dams has risen to at least 15,500. There are an estimated 240,000 water main breaks a year, wasting more than 2 trillion gallons of treated water. The annual cost of airport congestion and delays is almost $22 billion. Four in ten of the country’s 614,000 bridges are more than fifty years old, and one in nine is structurally deficient. More than half the country’s locks are over fifty years old, and almost half the vessels that use them experience delays.

PAGES IN THE CODE OF FEDERAL REGULATIONS 1975 – 2016 America’s regulatory overload makes it harder for the country to live up to its image of itself as a society of problem solvers and innovators. It adds years to most infrastructure projects because officials have to jump through so many hoops (particularly, these days, environmental hoops). During the Great Depression, it took four years to build the Golden Gate Bridge. Today bigger highway projects take a decade just to clear the various bureaucratic hurdles before workers can actually get to work. When the New York Port Authority decided to upgrade the Bayonne Bridge, which arches spectacularly between Staten Island and New Jersey, so that new supertankers could glide underneath it, it had to get forty-seven approvals from nineteen different government departments, a process that took from 2009 to mid-2013. “The process is aimed not at trying to solve problems but trying to find problems,” Joann Papageorgis, the Port Authority official who drove through the adjustment, noted.

Millions of homeowners lost their homes or sank “underwater,” with 1.7 million foreclosures in 2008 and 2.1 million in 2009, and as the list of victims spread from people with subprime mortgages with teaser rates to people with regular mortgages, consumer confidence collapsed. The University of Michigan’s regular survey of households showed that American consumers had not been so pessimistic for thirty years. In the last quarter of 2008, real GDP contracted at an annualized rate of 8.2 percent. By the end of the year, global equities had lost more than $35 trillion in value and American homeowners had lost an additional $7 trillion in equity. Add in corporate entities of all sorts (nonlisted and unincorporated) and global equities had lost about $50 trillion—or close to four-fifths of global GDP for 2008.3 Bubbles are endemic to capitalism and human nature: think of the Dutch tulip mania in the early seventeenth century, when Dutch investors paid extravagant prices for tulip bulbs, or the South Sea Bubble in the early eighteenth century, when the British became obsessed with buying shares in a company selling government debt.


pages: 391 words: 99,963

The Weather of the Future by Heidi Cullen

2013 Report for America's Infrastructure - American Society of Civil Engineers - 19 March 2013, air freight, American Society of Civil Engineers: Report Card, availability heuristic, back-to-the-land, bank run, California gold rush, carbon footprint, clean water, colonial rule, energy security, illegal immigration, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Isaac Newton, Kickstarter, mass immigration, megacity, millennium bug, out of africa, Silicon Valley, smart cities, trade route, urban planning, Y2K

The country built an elaborate network of dikes, man-made islands, and a 1.5-mile stretch of sixty-two gates to control the entry and exit of North Sea waters into and out of the low-lying southwestern provinces. The Delta Plan is one of the largest construction efforts in human history and is considered by the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) as one of the seven wonders of the modern world. New York—like the rest of the United States—doesn’t get nearly that kind of praise from the ASCE. In fact, in its 2009 Infrastructure Report Card, the ASCE gives America’s total infrastructure a D. In New York State, ASCE’s most serious concern is bridges, roads, and mass transit. The engineers found that 46 percent of New York’s major roads are in poor or mediocre condition, 42 percent of New York’s bridges are structurally deficient or functionally obsolete, and 45 percent of New York’s major urban highways are congested.

acid rain, 23–24 adaptation (adaptation strategies), 58, 235–36 Bangladesh, 214–19 Central Valley, 130–35 Great Barrier Reef, 104–10 Inuit Nunaat, 169–72 New York City, 244–48 Sahel region, 74–80 Adrian Gill Medal, 197–98 Africa. See Sahel region, Africa African monsoon, 68–69, 71, 74 Agassiz, Louis, 16–18 Aggarwala, Rit, 246 agriculture Bangladesh, 210 Central Valley, 137–47 Sahel region, 76–77, 80, 81–82 air pollution, 134–35, 142, 246 Akkadian Empire, 261–64 Alcoa, 176–77, 190 Allen, Myles, 269–70 alliaks, 160–61 American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE), 238–39 Andes Mountains, 159–60 Aqqiaruq, Zacharias, 155 Arctic. See also Greenland; Inuit Nunaat, Canada forty-year forecast, 188–95 Arctic amplification, 166, 167 Arctic Circle, 155–56 Arctic sea ice. See sea ice Arctic shipping routes, 192–93 Army Corps of Engineers, U.S., 4–5, 240, 250–51 Arnatsiaq, N., 156–57, 163 Arrhenius, Svante, 21–23, 25–26, 29, 39, 40, 42 Asian Disaster Preparedness Center (ADPC), 202–3, 222–24 asthma, 134–35 Atlanta, hot days in, 288 Australia.

As part of PlaNYC, the city had converted 15 percent of the yellow taxi fleet to hybrid vehicles; planted 174,189 trees across the five boroughs; acquired 13,500 acres of land to protect the upstate water supply; saved 327 tons of nitrogen oxide (NOx) per year by means of retrofits to the Staten Island ferry fleet; and started twenty storm water retention pilot projects. Maybe Rosenzweig is right to be optimistic. New York, New York: The Forty-Year Forecast—Hurricanes, Infrastructure, and Sea-Level Rise Forecast September 2013 You could say New York deserved a lucky break. It had already been slapped around enough by tropical storms. Back in September 2004, the remnants of Hurricane Frances had flooded its subways and stranded passengers. And in September 1999, Hurricane Floyd, by then weakened to a tropical storm, had dumped more than 10 inches of rain on the city, causing mudslides on the bluffs overlooking the Hudson River near the Tappan Zee Bridge.


pages: 432 words: 124,635

Happy City: Transforming Our Lives Through Urban Design by Charles Montgomery

2013 Report for America's Infrastructure - American Society of Civil Engineers - 19 March 2013, agricultural Revolution, American Society of Civil Engineers: Report Card, Bernie Madoff, British Empire, Buckminster Fuller, car-free, carbon footprint, centre right, City Beautiful movement, clean water, congestion charging, correlation does not imply causation, East Village, edge city, energy security, Enrique Peñalosa, experimental subject, Frank Gehry, Google Earth, happiness index / gross national happiness, hedonic treadmill, Home mortgage interest deduction, housing crisis, income inequality, income per capita, Induced demand, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), invisible hand, Jane Jacobs, license plate recognition, McMansion, means of production, megacity, Menlo Park, meta analysis, meta-analysis, mortgage tax deduction, New Urbanism, Panopticon Jeremy Bentham, peak oil, Ponzi scheme, rent control, ride hailing / ride sharing, risk tolerance, science of happiness, Seaside, Florida, Silicon Valley, starchitect, the built environment, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, the High Line, The Spirit Level, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, trade route, transit-oriented development, upwardly mobile, urban planning, urban sprawl, wage slave, white flight, World Values Survey, zero-sum game, Zipcar

Across the United States, broke city governments have found themselves unable to fund police, fire, and ambulance services, let alone school buses or the maintenance of roads, parks, and community centers. Cities stretched so far, so fast, for so long, at such low densities that the country now faces a massive unfunded liability for infrastructure maintenance. The American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) has warned that repairing the country’s major infrastructure will cost more than $2 trillion. Save the Planet and Your Bank Account Residents of denser, more connected neighborhoods in central Atlanta are not only saving money by paying less in combined housing and transportation costs (right). They are also fighting climate change by producing less greenhouse gas emissions (left) than residents in Atlanta’s sprawling suburbs.

$18.9 billion: Safe Routes to School National Partnership, “National Statistics on School Transportation,” www.saferoutespartnership.org/sites/default/files/pdf/school_bus_cuts_national_stats_FINAL.pdf (accessed March 3, 2012). broke city governments: Su, Eleanor Yang, “School Bus Service Vanishing Amid Cuts,” California Watch, September 2, 2011, http://californiawatch.org/dailyreport/school-bus-service-vanishing-amid-cuts-12438 (accessed March 3, 2012). $2 trillion: American Society of Civil Engineers, “Failing Infrastructure Cannot Support a Healthy Economy: Civil Engineers’ New Report Card Assesses Condition of Nation’s Infrastructure,” January 28, 2009, https://apps.asce.org/reportcard/2009/RC_2009_noembargo.pdf (accessed March 3, 2012). looked at job density: Minicozzi, Joseph, “The Value of Downtown: A Profitable Investment for the Community,” Public Interest Projects, 2011. Walmart depresses average wages: Dube, Arindrajit, T. William Lester, and Barry Eidlin, “A Downward Push: The Impact of Wal-Mart Stores on Retail Wages and Benefits,” UC Berkeley Labor Center, December 2007, http://laborcenter.berkeley.edu/retail/walmart_downward_push07.pdf (accessed October 18, 2012).

Census Bureau, “National Population Projections Released 2008 (Based on Census 2000),” www.census.gov/population/projections/data/national/2008.html (accessed April 29, 2013). right up to 2030: Nelson, Arthur C., Reshaping Metropolitan America: Development Trends and Opportunities (Washington, DC: Island Press, 2013). Lakewood, southwest of Deuver: Dunham-Jones, Ellen, and June Williamson, Retrofitting Suburbia (Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons, 2011), 154–71. in the real estate market: Leinberger, Christopher, “Walkable Urbanism,” Urban Land, September 1, 2010, http://urbanland.uli.org/articles/2010/septoct/leinberger. eight parking spaces for every car: Chester, Mikhail, Arpad Horvath, and Samer Madanat, “Parking Infrastructure: Energy, Emissions, and Automobile Life-cycle Environmental Accounting,” Environmental Research Letters, 2010. an entirely new code: Duany Plater-Zyberk, “Projects Map, U.S,” www.dpz.com/projects.aspx (accessed January 27, 2011); Seaside, Florida, “History,” www.seasidefl.com/communityHistory.asp (accessed January 27, 2011).


pages: 398 words: 105,032

Soonish: Ten Emerging Technologies That'll Improve And/or Ruin Everything by Kelly Weinersmith, Zach Weinersmith

2013 Report for America's Infrastructure - American Society of Civil Engineers - 19 March 2013, 23andMe, 3D printing, Airbnb, Alvin Roth, augmented reality, autonomous vehicles, connected car, double helix, Elon Musk, en.wikipedia.org, Google Glasses, hydraulic fracturing, industrial robot, information asymmetry, Kickstarter, low earth orbit, market design, megastructure, microbiome, moral hazard, multiplanetary species, orbital mechanics / astrodynamics, personalized medicine, placebo effect, Project Plowshare, QR code, Schrödinger's Cat, self-driving car, Skype, stem cell, Tunguska event

“CRISPR/Cas9-Mediated Gene Editing in Human Tripronuclear Zygotes.” Protein and Cell 6, no. 5 (2015):363–72. Lipson, Hod, and Kurman, Melba. Fabricated: The New World of 3D Printing. Indianapolis, Ind.: Wiley, 2013. Lockheed Martin. “Compact Fusion.” 2016. lockheedmartin.com/us/products/compact-fusion.html. Lowther, William. Arms and the Man: Dr. Gerald Bull, Iraq and the Supergun. Novato, Calif.: Presidio Press, 1992. Maeda, Junichiro. “Current Research and Development and Approach to Future Automated Construction in Japan,” In Construction Research Congress: Broadening Perspectives, 1–11. Reston, Va,: American Society of Civil Engineers, 2005. Published online April 26, 2012. Mahaffey, James A. Fusion. New York: Facts on File, 2012a. MakerBot. “Frostruder MK2.” Thingiverse. November 2, 2009. thingiverse.com/thing:1143.

April 24, 2015. sciencemag.org/news/2015/04/chinese-paper-embryo-engineering-splits-scientific-community. Kareklas, K., Nettle, D., and Smulders, T. V. “Water-Induced Finger Wrinkles Improve Handling of Wet Objects.” Biology Letters 9, no. 2 (2013):20120999. Kaufman, Scott. Project Plowshare: The Peaceful Use of Nuclear Explosives in Cold War America. Ithaca, N.Y.: Cornell University Press, 2012. Kharecha, P. A., and Hansen, J. E. “Prevented Mortality and Greenhouse Gas Emissions from Historical and Projected Nuclear Power.” Environmental Science & Technology 47, no. 9 (2013):4889–95. Khoshnevis, Behrokh. “Contour Crafting Simulation Plan for Lunar Settlement Infrastructure Build-Up.” NASA Space Technology Mission Directorate. (2013) nasa.gov/directorates/spacetech/niac/khoshnevis_contour_crafting.html. Kipper, Greg, and Rampolla, Joseph. Augmented Reality: An Emerging Technologies Guide to AR.

Even with current, imperfect 3D printing methods, if the Contour Crafting technology could make houses with rudimentary plumbing rapidly and cheaply, they would save many lives while improving the day-to-day experience of suffering people, many of whom are children. A general lowering of the cost of decent housing would be a major benefit to the poorest people in the world. UN-Habitat estimated that in 2012–2013 around 800 million people were living in slums in developing regions, and they expect this number to continue rising in the future. UN-Habitat defines slums by their run-down houses, lack of access to safe water, crowded conditions, lack of proper sanitation and infrastructure, and the fact that residents are not secure in their ownership of the land. Robotic construction methods might mean it would be easier to build decent homes with better sanitation and access to water. This is a good step, but how it plays out in the real world may be unpredictable once we move from rules for robots to rules for humans.


pages: 406 words: 113,841

The American Way of Poverty: How the Other Half Still Lives by Sasha Abramsky

2013 Report for America's Infrastructure - American Society of Civil Engineers - 19 March 2013, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, American Legislative Exchange Council, bank run, basic income, big-box store, collective bargaining, deindustrialization, fixed income, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, full employment, ghettoisation, Gini coefficient, housing crisis, illegal immigration, immigration reform, income inequality, indoor plumbing, job automation, Kickstarter, Mark Zuckerberg, Maui Hawaii, microcredit, mortgage debt, mortgage tax deduction, new economy, Occupy movement, offshore financial centre, payday loans, plutocrats, Plutocrats, Ponzi scheme, Potemkin village, profit motive, Ronald Reagan, school vouchers, upwardly mobile, War on Poverty, Washington Consensus, women in the workforce, working poor, working-age population, Works Progress Administration

There’s no rewinding the clock on how the stimulus package was shaped, and no ability to recoup the hundreds of billions of dollars spent so as to respend them more effectively. But that doesn’t mean there isn’t room, still, for a more limited public works program. Thirty billion dollars, said Attwell, could create a million jobs. Those men and women could, he argued, get to work on the $2 trillion of repairs that the American Society of Civil Engineers estimates needs to be carried out to bring the country’s infrastructure up to par. How could such a program be funded? One way, Attwell explained, would be to set up a social insurance system, similar to Social Security, based on a small payroll tax—Attwell calculated that it would need to be in the 1 percent range—that all workers and employers would pay into, which would then be put into a reserve fund, initially seeded by a loan from the Federal Reserve, used only for public works programs during periods of high unemployment.

In 2011, congressional Democrats in the Progressive Caucus, led by a onetime community organizer from Tucson named Raul Grijalva, pushed a federal budget proposal that, had it been enacted, would have gone a long way toward addressing this challenge. They called it a “People’s Budget,” in a nod to the radical social reform legislation of that same name passed by the British Parliament 102 years earlier. This budget built in proposals that over ten years would have massively ramped up, to the tune of $1.7 trillion, the nation’s commitment to investing in job training, public works, national infrastructure projects, and social safety net programs. At the same time, it carefully accounted for the additional expenditures through reductions in military spending, as well as targeted tax increases, including a series of extra income tax bands topping out at 49 percent for the very wealthiest sliver of the population, higher taxes on capital gains, and higher estate taxes on large inheritances.

Nor is my goal to undermine important moral and philosophical notions about the importance of personal responsibility; rather, it is to suggest ways of giving everybody an opportunity to maximize their own potential. Last, my intent is certainly not to propose a set of policies that inexorably increase the national debt; nor is it to suggest that the country’s political leaders somehow spin money out of nothing. The size of America’s economy, as of this writing, is in the region of $16 trillion per year. That’s large, but it’s not limitless. In an era of anxieties about ballooning budget deficits, I want to show how, in redistributing a few hundred billion dollars per year of that $16 trillion economy, through changes to the tax structure and changes in how we prioritize federal and state spending—or, to put it another way, in reprioritizing who receives and who spends about 2 to 3 percent of the vast national pot of wealth that is America, while leaving undisturbed the remaining 97 to 98 percent—we can create a set of vital anti-poverty initiatives that have the potential to dramatically improve the lives of tens of millions of Americans.


pages: 404 words: 115,108

They Don't Represent Us: Reclaiming Our Democracy by Lawrence Lessig

2013 Report for America's Infrastructure - American Society of Civil Engineers - 19 March 2013, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Berlin Wall, Bernie Sanders, blockchain, Cass Sunstein, Columbine, crony capitalism, crowdsourcing, David Brooks, do-ocracy, Donald Trump, Fall of the Berlin Wall, Filter Bubble, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, illegal immigration, income inequality, Jaron Lanier, Jeff Bezos, Joi Ito, Mark Zuckerberg, obamacare, Parag Khanna, plutocrats, Plutocrats, race to the bottom, Ralph Nader, rent-seeking, Richard Thaler, Ronald Reagan, Shoshana Zuboff, Silicon Valley, Skype, speech recognition, Steven Levy, Upton Sinclair

America has one of the most expensive health care systems in the world, with 25 percent of its budget devoted to administrative costs, and more than 12 percent of Americans still uninsured. Congress is debating whether preexisting conditions should be a ground for denying health insurance, still. The American Society of Civil Engineers grades America’s infrastructure with a “D”—meaning conditions are “mostly below standard.” The engineers estimate we must spend $1.5 trillion by 2025 to make America safe again. The closest Congress could come to the number “$1.5 trillion” was a $1.6 trillion tax cut, benefiting almost exclusively corporations and the very wealthy. Hopelessness is the one idea that now unites much of the Rust Belt with inner cities across America, as aging populations face a future without retirement savings or a system of social security that can support them.

Microsoft assures users that no personally identifiable data is gathered from Skype and that the data is not used for advertising. “Skype Translator Privacy FAQ,” Skype, available at link #126. 96.Andrew C. Oliver, “In Memory of Aaron Swartz: Stealing Is Not Stealing,” InfoWorld, January 17, 2013, available at link #127. 97.Zuboff, Surveillance Capitalism, 521. 98.Zuboff, Surveillance Capitalism, 92. 99.Zuboff, Surveillance Capitalism, 339–40. 100.Zuboff, Surveillance Capitalism, 451. 101.Chris Nodder, Evil by Design: Interaction Design to Lead Us into Temptation (Indianapolis, IN: John Wiley, 2013). 102.Steve Henn, “Online Marketers Take Note of Brains Wired for Rewards,” NPR, July 24, 2013, available at link #128. 103.Hayley Tsukayama, “Video Game Addiction Is a Real Condition, WHO Says. Here’s What That Means,” Washington Post, June 18, 2018, available at link #129. On the neural effects of gaming, see S.

Cramer, The Politics of Resentment: Rural Consciousness in Wisconsin and the Rise of Scott Walker (Chicago: University of Chicago Press 2016), 164–66. 21.Shelby County v. Holder, 570 U.S. 529 (2013). 22.United States v. Classic, 313 U.S. 299, 315 (1941). 23.U.S. Const., Art. I, § 4. 24.The effort to measure the health of our democracy is not anything new. Heather Gerken has been arguing for a “Democracy Index” for more than a decade. And the idea of modeling voter participation as a function of cost has been commonplace since Anthony Downs formalized the idea in the late 1950s. See Heather K. Gerken, The Democracy Index: Why Our Election System Is Failing and How to Fix It (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2009) and Anthony Downs, An Economic Theory of Democracy (New York: Harper & Row, 1957). 25.Shelby County v. Holder, 570 U.S. 529, 535 (2013). 26.Shelby County v. Holder, 570 U.S. 529, 547, 558 (Thomas, J., concurring). 27.Ari Berman, Give Us the Ballot: The Modern Struggle for Voting Rights in America (New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2015), Kindle edition, loc. 5459. 28.Zoltan Hajnal, Nazita Lajevardi, and Lindsay Nelson, “Voter Identification Laws and the Suppression of Minority Votes,” The Journal of Politics 79, no. 2 (April 2017): 376–77, available at link #21. 29.On the partisan effect generally, see Jonathan Brater, Kevin Morris, Myrna Pérez, and Christopher Deluzio, Purges: A Growing Threat to the Right to Vote, Brennan Center for Justice July 20, 2018, available at link #22.


pages: 499 words: 144,278

Coders: The Making of a New Tribe and the Remaking of the World by Clive Thompson

2013 Report for America's Infrastructure - American Society of Civil Engineers - 19 March 2013, 4chan, 8-hour work day, Ada Lovelace, AI winter, Airbnb, Amazon Web Services, Asperger Syndrome, augmented reality, Ayatollah Khomeini, barriers to entry, basic income, Bernie Sanders, bitcoin, blockchain, blue-collar work, Brewster Kahle, Brian Krebs, Broken windows theory, call centre, cellular automata, Chelsea Manning, clean water, cloud computing, cognitive dissonance, computer vision, Conway's Game of Life, crowdsourcing, cryptocurrency, Danny Hillis, David Heinemeier Hansson, don't be evil, don't repeat yourself, Donald Trump, dumpster diving, Edward Snowden, Elon Musk, Erik Brynjolfsson, Ernest Rutherford, Ethereum, ethereum blockchain, Firefox, Frederick Winslow Taylor, game design, glass ceiling, Golden Gate Park, Google Hangouts, Google X / Alphabet X, Grace Hopper, Guido van Rossum, Hacker Ethic, HyperCard, illegal immigration, ImageNet competition, Internet Archive, Internet of things, Jane Jacobs, John Markoff, Jony Ive, Julian Assange, Kickstarter, Larry Wall, lone genius, Lyft, Marc Andreessen, Mark Shuttleworth, Mark Zuckerberg, Menlo Park, microservices, Minecraft, move fast and break things, move fast and break things, Nate Silver, Network effects, neurotypical, Nicholas Carr, Oculus Rift, PageRank, pattern recognition, Paul Graham, paypal mafia, Peter Thiel, pink-collar, planetary scale, profit motive, ransomware, recommendation engine, Richard Stallman, ride hailing / ride sharing, Rubik’s Cube, Ruby on Rails, Sam Altman, Satoshi Nakamoto, Saturday Night Live, self-driving car, side project, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley ideology, Silicon Valley startup, single-payer health, Skype, smart contracts, Snapchat, social software, software is eating the world, sorting algorithm, South of Market, San Francisco, speech recognition, Steve Wozniak, Steven Levy, TaskRabbit, the High Line, Travis Kalanick, Uber and Lyft, Uber for X, uber lyft, universal basic income, urban planning, Wall-E, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, WikiLeaks, women in the workforce, Y Combinator, Zimmermann PGP, éminence grise

“Saving of Wood to the Inhabitants”: Isaacson, Benjamin Franklin, 130–32; Benjamin Franklin, Memoirs of the Life and Writings of (the Same), Continued to the Time of His Death by William Temple Franklin, Vol. 1 (London: H. Colburn, 1818), 94. “simultaneously wholesome and insane”: Jennifer Brostrom, “The Time-management Gospel,” in Commodify Your Dissent: Salvos from the Baffler, eds. Thomas Frank and Matt Weiland (New York: W. W. Norton, 2011), 116. Charles Hermany from 1904: “Address of President Charles Hermany,” Transactions of the American Society of Civil Engineers 53 (1904): 464. to ensure maximum output: Frederick Winslow Taylor, The Principles of Scientific Management (New York: Harper & Brothers, 1919), 5; David A. Hounshell, “The Same Old Principles in the New Manufacturing,” Harvard Business Review (November 1988), accessed online August 18, 2018, https://hbr.org/1988/11/the-same-old-principles-in-the-new-manufacturing. bricklaying to vest buttoning: Jill Lepore, “Not So Fast,” New Yorker, October 12, 2009, accessed August 18, 2018, https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2009/10/12/not-so-fast; Dennis McLellan, “Ernestine Carey, 98; Wrote a Comical Look at Her Big Family in ‘Cheaper by the Dozen,’” Los Angeles Times, November 7, 2006, accessed August 18, 2018, http://articles.latimes.com/2006/nov/07/local/me-carey7.

sequence of numbers: My description of Lovelace’s life and work draws from James Essinger, Ada’s Algorithm: How Lord Byron’s Daughter Ada Lovelace Launched the Digital Age (New York: Melville House, 2014); Betsy Morais, “Ada Lovelace, the First Tech Visionary,” New Yorker, October 15, 2013, accessed August 18, 2018, https://www.newyorker.com/tech/elements/ada-lovelace-the-first-tech-visionary; Amy Jollymore, “Ada Lovelace, An Indirect and Reciprocal Influence,” Forbes, October 15, 2013, accessed August 18, 2018, https://www.forbes.com/sites/oreillymedia/2013/10/15/ada-lovelace-an-indirect-and-reciprocal-influence; Valerie Aurora, “Deleting Ada Lovelace from the History of Computing,” Ada Initiative, August 24, 2013, accessed August 18, 2018, https://www.newyorker.com/tech/elements/ada-lovelace-the-first-tech-visionary; Amy Jollymore, “Ada Lovelace, An Indirect and Reciprocal Influence,” Forbes, October 15, 2013, accessed August 18, 2018, https://www.forbes.com/sites/oreillymedia/2013/10/15/ada-lovelace-an-indirect-and-reciprocal-influence; Valerie Aurora, “Deleting Ada Lovelace from the History of Computing,” Ada Initiative, August 24, 2013, accessed August 18, 2018, https://adainitiative.org/2013/08/24/deleting-ada-lovelace-from-the-history-of-computing.

CHAPTER 8: HACKERS, CRACKERS, AND FREEDOM FIGHTERS like Google and Yahoo!: Barton Gellman, “NSA Infiltrates Links to Yahoo, Google Data Centers Worldwide, Snowden Documents Say,” Washington Post, October 30, 2013, accessed August 19, 2018, https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/nsa-infiltrates-links-to-yahoo-google-data-centers-worldwide-snowden-documents-say/2013/10/30/e51d661e-4166-11e3-8b74-d89d714ca4dd_story.html; Barton Gellman, Aaron Blake, and Greg Miller, “Edward Snowden Comes Forward as Source of NSA Leaks,” Washington Post, June 9, 2013, accessed August 19, 2018, https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/intelligence-leaders-push-back-on-leakers-media/2013/06/09/fff80160-d122-11e2-a73e-826d299ff459_story.html. crowdsourced-journalism project: Andy Greenberg, ‘‘Anonymous’ Barrett Brown Is Free—and Ready to Pick New Fights,” Wired, December 21, 2016, accessed August 19, 2018, https://www.wired.com/2016/12/anonymous-barrett-brown-free-ready-pick-new-fights/.