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Infrastructure op eds

So a little over a month ago, Robin Chase and I put together two op eds on infrastructure policy. Neither caught the attention of newspaper editors. Unfortunately, we delayed in posting them; we’ve both had a busy beginning to 2009. Both are relevant to the debates about the stimulus package, but neither is directly on point because we’re more concerned with the broader infrastructure policy that the Obama administration should develop and implement. Essentially, the infrastructure investments in the stimulus package are only a fraction of the infrastructure spending that our country needs to invest (see, for example, this estimate by the American Society of Civil Engineers of what we need to spend to repair and upgrade our existing infrastructure). This is not surprising or a problem with the stimulus package. The stimulus package will (should) use investment in infrastructure to serve more immediate ends–stimulating the economy and creating jobs. Of course, this does not rule out consideration of other medium and long term objectives in choosing which infrastructure inverstments to make. In any event, an excellent blog post by Neil H. Buchanan Apparently, It’s Never a Good Time to Invest in Our Future, motivated me to post our unpublished draft op eds, for whatever its worth. They are rather long for a blog post, so I will post them separately here and here. Robin is a transportation innovator, founder of Zipcar, GoLoco, and Meadow Networks. Check out her fantastic TED talk.