A Caulk and Bill Story

“Information Week” produced this report on February 28th.

“U.S. Infrastructure Needs Billions Of Investment, Executives Warn”, was the headline.

“CHICAGO – The aging U.S. infrastructure needs billions of dollars of new investment and repairs from roads to rails, ports and the electrical grid, executives told the Reuters Manufacturing Summit this week.

“That huge repair bill offers big financial opportunities for equipment makers, but projects would have to surmount enormous hurdles first, such as getting approval from lawmakers loathe to seek tax increases, executives said….”

“‘You would have thought that that bridge collapse would have been a wakeup call,’ Norfolk Southern chief executive officer Wick Moorman said. ‘It doesn’t seem to have done anything.’

“Moorman said the U.S. has lacked the will to address critical infrastructure needs that might require tax increases or to simply speed the construction of new projects to improve rail or road service … Railroads, he said, which compete with the trucking companies, could benefit ‘in a perverse way’ from an apparent lack of will to repair and expand the U.S. highway system …”

“But despite years of federal transportation reports on the deteriorating conditions of bridges, little infrastructure investments have been made, said John Stropki, chief executive of welding equipment maker Lincoln Electric Holdings. The United States needs continuous investments, he said, and not just because that would be good for Lincoln Electric. [Nah!]

“‘I can tell you if it is not done, I think it is going to be bad for the economy in general,’ Stropki said.”

“Ports on the West Coast of the United States are stretched thin and approaching maximum capacity and need more investment to meet 10 percent annual growth rates, said Gerry Wang, chief executive of container shipping company Seaspan.

“Rehabilitating and expanding ports runs into the millions of dollars and building new ports from scratch costs billions of dollars, something that might require a jump start from the government first, Wang said. ‘I am a strong believer that for long term infrastructure investments the government should lead. You can always privatize it, sell it in bits and pieces’…”

[Now why do you suppose these “chief executives” want us taxpayers to invest in new and improved transportation systems? As long as their firms are the ones that will be cashing in on the so-called “economies of scale” that result from such “investments”, shouldn’t they be getting the funds from their own stockholders and port officials? Is it a good investment or isn’t it? Silly question.]