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The Future of Infrastructure?

We speak in very real terms about the state of infrastructure deficit we find ourselves in as a nation and as municipalities, and scratch our heads as we wonder how we are going to possibly find the money to complete all of the upgrades or renewal required. Charles Hughes Smith, the author of Survival+: Structuring Prosperity for Yourself and the Nation, a book currently sitting in my “to read” pile here at home points out that the financial solution to this problem probably isn’t as hard to spot as we choose to believe…

Maintaining or improving the infrastructure of the U.S. requires a mere slice of the GDP. Maintaining or improving sewage, water, rail/transport electrical and Internet systems requires very little money compared to the trillions squandered on Empire, bailing out various Financial/Power Elites and the 70% of the GDP squandered on “consumerist paradise.”Were priorities to be re-ordered, a Third World GDP would be more than adequate to fund a functioning, efficient infrastructure. The money wasted on Empire and sickcare alone could rebuild the entire nation’s critical infrastructure.

Of Two Minds – Why I am Optomistic

This idea is only a small part of the essay Charles writes in the above link, but my questions to the readers are:

How realistic is this vision of a western society dropping all the pretense of utopia, and getting back to focusing on the reality of providing necessities for healthy, functioning communities?

Can we start having discussions about adequate services that can be provided at a sustainable cost, rather than premium services at premium costs?

Would society, in time, find ways to fill in the gaps that have been left by diminished government budgets?

Mike Thomas

Mike Thomas P.Eng. ENV SP, is the author of UrbanWorkbench.com and Director of Engineering at the City of Revelstoke in the Interior of British Columbia, Canada. If I post something here that you find helpful as you navigate the world of engineering, planning and building communities, that’s wonderful. But when push comes to shove: This is my personal blog. The views expressed on these pages are mine alone and not those of my employer.