All leftist media sources are constantly beating the drum about an “infrastructure crisis” in the US. And indeed there are big problems but they are generally not at all what the media are reporting.
First and foremost government is supposed to care for most of this infrastructure, but government is too busy wasting trillions on welfare handouts and free cell phones and issuing useless reports about so-called ‘global warming’ to worry about our roads and bridges. Here are excerpts from a CNN.com article on the subject with a Nikitas3.com comment after each:
CNN.com reports: Long a source of national pride, America’s infrastructure is in critical need of repair, but federal government spending on the issue has gone down 9% in the past decade. Nikitas3.com comment: Gee, who has been president since 2009? Obama. Who spent $800 billion in the “stimulus” spending of 2009 and fixed virtually no infrastructure? Obama. Who could have fixed most of the infrastructure with that $800 billion? Obama. But most of that money disappeared into the pockets of Obama’s corrupt political cronies. As expected. Because socialism is expert at identifying problems and nagging us about those problems, but famous for doing nothing to solve them and even stealing the cash.
CNN.com reports: High-risk pipelines carrying essential but dangerous fuels like natural gas run under the streets and buildings of dozens of major American cities. And when they go bust, the results can be deadly. Nikitas3.com comment: The low-rent, alarmist media always seek to highlight the worst news. On the other hand they ignore the fact that 99.999% of all fuels in pipelines reach their destinations safely, that pipelines are statistically the most efficient and safe way to transport fuel.
CNN.com reports: The natural gas industry says it is actively replacing aging pipelines, but the rate of replacement depends on dollars available. The pipelines belong to the energy companies, who are responsible for paying the cost of repair and replacements — expenses that are ultimately passed onto consumers. The industry says there are caps on how much it can raise customer rates to fund its aging pipeline replacement program. Nikitas3.com comment: So if the government limits the energy companies in how much they can raise rates, then the government is stopping the companies from raising the money to fix the pipelines. Duh…
CNN.com reports: The (pipeline safety rules) took five years to get in place. DOT tells CNN it will continue to develop stricter regulations for the natural gas industry but government red tape makes it a slow process. Nikitas3.com comment: Government red tape. No kidding.
On airports, CNN.com reports: More than 230 million passengers are expected to fly in the coming months. … Outdated and overcrowded airports are in dire need of upgrades. “People are going through airports built in the 1950s, the 1960s, the 1970s,” says Kevin Burke, president and CEO of Airports Council International. That infrastructure, largely unchanged for decades, is struggling now to service a nearly 12-fold spike in passenger volume across the decades. Nikitas3.com comment: The huge increase in airline traffic is a result of private companies working efficiently in a DEregulated environment. The public globally has responded with wild enthusiasm for air travel. Even the Euros have abandoned their precious taxpayer-subsidized passenger trains in huge numbers for cheaper, faster, private-sector air travel. Meanwhile the same socialists who are so worried about our aging airports slobber with praise over our “historic” train stations serving grossly inefficient passenger trains.
CNN.com reports: South Korea’s Incheon International, located about 90 minutes outside Seoul, consistently ranks as one of the best in the world. With showers, spas and an on-site hotel, travelers can enjoy a concert while shopping at high-end retail stores. Nikitas3.com comment: The United States expended 33,000 US military lives saving South Korea from the communists in the Korean War. Maybe South Korea could build us a few shiny new airports to pay us back.
CNN.com reports: The Airport Council International says Congress would need to invest an estimated $75 billion over the next five years to begin to compete with the government-subsidized gems in Asia and the Middle East. “It’s not a fair fight,” Burke says. “Their governments recognize the importance of airports. Our government says it does, but they need to show it by increasing funding for us.” Nikitas3.com comment: This money could be raised easily. Heck, the federal government wastes $1 billion every morning before breakfast. This is why we need Donald Trump to start to run the federal government like a business. This massive waste could be eliminated quickly.
CNN.com reports: Parker also points to the need for upgrades to the Federal Aviation Administration’s (FAA) air traffic control system. Created in the 1960s, during the first flight boom, the technology hasn’t quite kept up with the times. Upgrading to real-time GPS locators that could unsnag air traffic and speed up arrivals. Nikitas3.com comment: FAA is yet another government bureaucracy that has undermined the air traffic control system with antiquated equipment and practices. This system should have been privatized decades ago. But Democrats fight privatization at every turn since Democrats desire decay and delay which are fundamental aspects of socialism.
About trains, CNN.com reports: The Portal Bridge in New Jersey is the most heavily trafficked rail span in the Western Hemisphere. Connecting New Jersey to New York City’s Penn Station, an estimated 450 trains cross it every 24 hours. Below — sometimes not much more than 25 feet down — is the Hackensack River, itself a busy thoroughfare for boats and barges. To accommodate both, the Portal Bridge operates on a swing-span, allowing it to open for watercraft, then close up again to complete the rail path. “The problem we have is that, as it swings back, those miters don’t always come down right, because this thing is so old,” explains Amtrak CEO Joe Boardman. Nikitas3.com comment: This bridge is used by public-transit trains including both Amtrak and New York City commuter trains. The government is supposed to maintain the bridge. It has not. As expected. In short, the “infrastructure crisis” is really just another government incompetence and corruption crisis.
Meanwhile America’s private-sector freight railroads have a fantastic infrastructure which has improved dramatically since DEregulation under the Staggers Act of 1980.
CNN.com reports: The price of renewing and safeguarding the web of railways that runs up Amtrak’s “Northeast Corridor” — more than 450 miles — stands at an estimated $20 billion. In May 2015, an Amtrak passenger train traveling more than twice the 50 mile per hour speed limit jumped the tracks in Philadelphia. Eight people were killed and more than 200 riders were injured. The deadly derailment might have been prevented if the tracks had been fitted with a technology called “Positive Train Control” (PTC), an innovation that automatically slows speeding rail traffic. Nikitas3.com comment: Amtrak has been free to install PTC any time in the last 20 years, but it did not since Amtrak is too busy wasting billions on its inefficient system and for sky-high salaries for its rude, incompetent, unionized workers.
CNN.com reports: With Congress tied up in partisan knots over new spending, the bullet trains of Japan — which cruise at nearly 200 miles per hour and could cut in half the travel time between Boston and Washington, D.C. — seem a long way off. Implementing a similar system along the northeast corridor would come with a price tag exceeding $151 billion. Nikitas3.com comment: OK, here we go again with this ‘bullet train’ nonsense. The fact is that these super-expensive Japanese ‘bullet trains’ have contributed dramatically to Japan’s debt crisis and its ongoing economic crisis. These trains are colossally inefficient. Meanwhile American airlines operate in the private sector with no taxpayer subsidy.
This ‘bullet train’ technology fortunately is not going to happen in the Eastern US because we are not going to bulldoze hundreds of thousands of homes for the new tracks. Nikitas3.com has suggested 100-passenger, jet-powered helicopters to easily replace Amtrak to move passengers quickly between major cities much more cheaply and more energy-efficiently than trains. Tracks would not even be required; just a small landing spot at each end, the size of a parking lot and close to the city center.
CNN.com reports: According to the American Society of Civil Engineers, bridge infrastructure investment needs to be increased by $8 billion annually. The society said that increase would address the estimated $76 billion in needs for deficient bridges across the United States. Nikitas3.com comment: Again, Obama’s $800 billion “stimulus” bill should have covered that $76 billion cost 11 times over but did not.
Conclusion: There is no “infrastructure crisis” in the United States. It is a crisis of waste, corruption and incompetence in government. In New York City in the 1980s the city government spent 5 years and $6 million trying to repair the city-owned skating rink in Central Park, and failed. Donald Trump took over the project and fixed the rink in 6 months for $500,000 of his own money. This is yet another example of how the national so-called “infrastructure crisis” can be easily solved.
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