Can You Dig It?

Let’s continue discussing Bloomberg’s story about the “$ 2 trillion needed for U.S. infrastructure”.

Although that recommendation was put forth by a supposedly reputable institute, the whole idea is ridiculous. In their ill-advised attempts to reduce the budget and the nation’s deficit, half-wits in the U.S. Congress are pushing to eliminate Medicare, Social Security, food stamps and other critical needs – yet we’re supposed to believe that “the nation will face long-term consequences if major investment in transportation revitalization is postponed”.

The first thing we have to worry about is that the semi-literate American public just might believe such nonsense, and our second concern should be that our greedy elected-elite just might find a way to get that $ 2 trillion sweetheart arrangement approved.

Two quotes come to mind. The first is the remark Will Rogers always made when he poked fun at his audiences. He would mumble – almost as an aside, “I only know what I read in the newspapers.” Will Rogers was well-aware of American gullibility.

Thomas Paine, the author of “Common Sense”, left us with the second quotation that comes to mind: “The trade of governing has always been monopolized by the most ignorant and the most rascally individuals of mankind,” is how he put it. Thomas Paine was well-aware of American greed.

Let’s suppose, though, that Americans weren’t swayed by self-serving “studies”, and that Congress didn’t, or couldn’t, find $ 2 trillion to throw away – under those circumstances could our “project” – and our shipbuilding recommendations – ever see the light of day?

It’s possible. If someone “with clout” could get the President to issue an Executive Order, that would start the ball rolling. So far, so good – but what about the cost? If the cost of that puny 20-mile-long Bosporus Canal is estimated at $ 12 billion, what would our 1,600-mile-long canal cost?

A simple math calculation shows that the cost would be somewhere around $ 1 trillion – but unlike the $ 2 trillion infrastructure upgrade hoax being perpetrated by our economists, the government – us taxpayers – wouldn’t have to pay a dime.

Refer again to Bloomberg’s story about Prime Minister Erdogan’s canal announcement. According to the story, “the plan would generate a building bonanza for Turkish real estate investors and developers … They are jostling for a piece of what Erdogan calls one of the biggest developments in the world: the construction of a new population center on the canal’s banks … Erdogan has praised Inan’s offer to spend $ 30 billion to construct the project; Inan predicted total revenue from building it and nearby facilities will exceed $ 300 billion in 15 years.”-

And that’s for a puny 20-mile-long canal. Our 1,600-mile-long canal would have U.S. real estate investors and developers stepping on each other’s toes in their haste to be first in line with funding.