If you care about infrastructure, become an activist on entitlement reform

by Ryan Streeter on November 20, 2012. Follow Ryan on Twitter.

As I was reading this Economix post on America’s failing 20th century infrastructure, I was reminded of this Third Way report (pdf) that Jim Pethokoukis highlighted recently.

There is plenty to lament when we consider our rapidly aging infrastructure. But we can’t talk about infrastructure, as Third Way notes, without facing the reality that our inability to get our act together on entitlements is directly related to the infrastructure dilemma (and plenty of other dilemmas).

This chart sums this point up better than anything:

  • Carson W

    Hi Ryan,

    It looks like your first link is broken. Readers can find it here:
    http://economix.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/11/16/americas-mid-20th-century-infrastructure/#more-157707

    Regarding the criticism of US infrastructure, it’s certainly worth pointing out that population density is a huge factor in building infrastructure. Germany’s population density is more than 6.5x ours, meaning we have to spend a lot more per person to provide the same quality of infrastructure. This doesn’t provide any excuses for NYC, but nation-wide comparisons aren’t quite fair.

    I’m sure there are lots of ways we could upgrade our infrastructure, and entitlement reform is probably the best start we could hope for.