Shock of the Old


Belle Waring returns to the United States from Singapore where she lives:

Boy, but America's infrastructure looks baaad, people. And everything is dirty! The girls were like, what's wrong with this bridge? (a metal bridge in Jersey leading from the Newark airport to the Holland Tunnel, I don't know what it's called). Old metal that's just black with soot! And graffiti! Man, if I fully acclimatize to the level of cleanliness, safety, and well-built massive public investment projects of Singapore I'll never be able to move home.

I believe it's the Pulaski Skyway (pictured above). In part, a country like the United States just isn't going to be able to compete infrastructure-wise with a newly-prosperous country like Singapore -- we have a lot of stuff that's oldish, but still usable, and shutting it down to fix or replace it would be extremely inconvenient. But it's also the case that Singapore's not spending 1 percent of GDP a year on a misguided effort to control Iraq. So, yes, we badly need a National Infrastructure Reinvestment Bank.

Photo by Flickr user Doc Searls used under a Creative Commons license