Report Card for America’s Infrastructure

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pages: 300 words: 78,475

Third World America: How Our Politicians Are Abandoning the Middle Class and Betraying the American Dream by Arianna Huffington

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American Society of Civil Engineers: Report Card, Bernie Madoff, Bernie Sanders, call centre, carried interest, citizen journalism, clean water, collateralized debt obligation, credit crunch, Credit Default Swap, credit default swaps / collateralized debt obligations, crony capitalism, David Brooks, extreme commuting, Exxon Valdez, full employment, greed is good, housing crisis, immigration reform, invisible hand, knowledge economy, laissez-faire capitalism, late fees, market bubble, market fundamentalism, Martin Wolf, medical bankruptcy, microcredit, new economy, New Journalism, offshore financial centre, Ponzi scheme, Report Card for America’s Infrastructure, Richard Florida, Ronald Reagan, Rosa Parks, single-payer health, smart grid, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, too big to fail, transcontinental railway, trickle-down economics, winner-take-all economy, working poor, Works Progress Administration

PART 3: AMERICA THE BEAUTIFUL DILAPIDATED 1 George Washington knew that: Robert Fishman, “Beyond Motor City, 1808–1908–2008: National Planning for America,” 23 Jan. 2010, www.america2050.org. 2 The nation’s overall infrastructure grade: American Society of Civil Engineers, 2009 Report Card for America’s Infrastructure, www.infrastructurereportcard.org. 3 downward trend since 2005: American Society of Civil Engineers, 2005 Report Card for America’s Infrastructure, www.asce.org. 4 “It’s the kind of report card you …”: Katherine Harmon, “U.S. Infrastructure Crumbling,” 28 Jan. 2009, www.scientificamerican.com. 5 According to the ASCE: American Society of Civil Engineers, 2009 Report Card for America’s Infrastructure, www.infrastructurereportcard.org. 6 But we’ve only budgeted $975 billion: Ibid. 7 America’s population is expected to reach: Jeffrey Passel and D’Vera Cohn, “Immigration to Play Lead Role in Future U.S.

2 Aug. 2007, http://minnesota.publicradio.org. 73 On March 16, 2006, the Ka Loko Dam in Kilauea, Hawaii: Craig Gima, “Ka Loko Settlement Is Reached,” 30 Oct. 2009, www.starbulletin.com. 74 The breach created an ecological disaster: Diane Leone, “State Keeps Eye on Dams,” 16 Mar. 2006, www.starbulletin.com. 75 According to Hawaii congresswoman Mazie Hirono, it was not: Joint Hearing on National Levee and Dam Safety Programs, House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure, 8 May 2007. 76 There are more than 85,000 dams in America: American Society of Civil Engineers, 2009 Report Card for America’s Infrastructure, www.infrastructurereportcard.org. 77 It would take $12.5 billion over the next five years: Ibid. 78 Plus, of our 85,000 dams, the federal government regulates: Ibid. 79 In 2007, during congressional testimony: Joint Hearing on National Levee and Dam Safety Programs, House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure, 8 May 2007. 80 Like any number of agencies charged with protecting: Harry Shearer, “Fixing the Responder, Ignoring the Cause,” 25 Nov. 2008, www.huffingtonpost.com. 81 Instead of fulfilling its responsibility to build: Harry Shearer, “New Orleans: Where Accountability Failed, Liability Follows,” 19 Nov. 2009, www.huffingtonpost.com. 82 The American Society of Civil Engineers estimates: American Society of Civil Engineers, 2009 Report Card for America’s Infrastructure, infrastructurereportcard.org. 83 Over the next ten years, there will be a five-hundredfold: “Fixing America’s Crumbling Infrastructure,” Free Enterprise: News and Views from the U.S.

2 Aug. 2007, http://minnesota.publicradio.org. 73 On March 16, 2006, the Ka Loko Dam in Kilauea, Hawaii: Craig Gima, “Ka Loko Settlement Is Reached,” 30 Oct. 2009, www.starbulletin.com. 74 The breach created an ecological disaster: Diane Leone, “State Keeps Eye on Dams,” 16 Mar. 2006, www.starbulletin.com. 75 According to Hawaii congresswoman Mazie Hirono, it was not: Joint Hearing on National Levee and Dam Safety Programs, House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure, 8 May 2007. 76 There are more than 85,000 dams in America: American Society of Civil Engineers, 2009 Report Card for America’s Infrastructure, www.infrastructurereportcard.org. 77 It would take $12.5 billion over the next five years: Ibid. 78 Plus, of our 85,000 dams, the federal government regulates: Ibid. 79 In 2007, during congressional testimony: Joint Hearing on National Levee and Dam Safety Programs, House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure, 8 May 2007. 80 Like any number of agencies charged with protecting: Harry Shearer, “Fixing the Responder, Ignoring the Cause,” 25 Nov. 2008, www.huffingtonpost.com. 81 Instead of fulfilling its responsibility to build: Harry Shearer, “New Orleans: Where Accountability Failed, Liability Follows,” 19 Nov. 2009, www.huffingtonpost.com. 82 The American Society of Civil Engineers estimates: American Society of Civil Engineers, 2009 Report Card for America’s Infrastructure, infrastructurereportcard.org. 83 Over the next ten years, there will be a five-hundredfold: “Fixing America’s Crumbling Infrastructure,” Free Enterprise: News and Views from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, Jul. 2008, www.uschambermagazine.com. 84 Federal Communications Commission chair Julius Genachowski explains: “National Broadband Plan: Consumer Survey Results Are In,” 23 Feb. 2010, www.brookings.edu. 85 In a study of 120 countries, researchers found: Iain Morris, “Resilience Amid Turmoil: Benchmarking IT Industry Competitiveness 2009,” Sept. 2009, www.economist.com. 86 Even a farmer these days needs high-speed Internet: “National Broadband Plan: Consumer Survey Results Are In,” 23 Feb. 2010, www.brookings.edu. 87 In 2001, the United States ranked fourth among: Jerome Cukier, “Internet Penetration—Who’s Online?”

 

pages: 219 words: 61,720

American Made: Why Making Things Will Return Us to Greatness by Dan Dimicco

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2013 Report for America's Infrastructure - American Society of Civil Engineers - 19 March 2013, 3D printing, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, American energy revolution, American Society of Civil Engineers: Report Card, Bakken shale, barriers to entry, Bernie Madoff, carbon footprint, clean water, crony capitalism, currency manipulation / currency intervention, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, decarbonisation, fear of failure, full employment, Google Glasses, hydraulic fracturing, invisible hand, job automation, knowledge economy, laissez-faire capitalism, Loma Prieta earthquake, manufacturing employment, oil shale / tar sands, Ponzi scheme, profit motive, Report Card for America’s Infrastructure, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, smart grid, smart meter, sovereign wealth fund, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, too big to fail, uranium enrichment, Washington Consensus, Works Progress Administration

Gerry Smith, “Internet Speed in United States Lags behind Many Countries, Highlighting Global Digital Divide,” Huffington Post, September 10, 2012, http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/09/05/internet-speed-united-states-digital-divide_n_1855054.html. 14. “2013 Report Card for America’s Infrastructure,” American Society of Civil Engineers, March 19, 2013, http://www.infrastructurereportcard.org/. 15. “Failure to Act: The Impact of Current Infrastructure Investment on America’s Economic Future,” American Society of Civil Engineers, January 15, 2013, http://www.asce.org/uploadedFiles/Infrastructure/Failure_to_Act/Failure_to_Act_Report.pdf. 16. “2013 Report Card for America’s Infrastructure,” American Society of Civil Engineers, March 19, 2013, http://www.infrastructurereportcard.org/. 17. President Barack Obama, “Barack Obama’s Acceptance Speech,” Democratic National Convention, Denver, Colorado, August 28, 2008, http://elections.nytimes.com/2008/president/conventions/videos/transcripts/20080828_OBAMA_SPEECH.html. 18.

 

pages: 128 words: 35,958

Getting Back to Full Employment: A Better Bargain for Working People by Dean Baker, Jared Bernstein

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2013 Report for America's Infrastructure - American Society of Civil Engineers - 19 March 2013, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, American Society of Civil Engineers: Report Card, Asian financial crisis, collective bargaining, declining real wages, full employment, George Akerlof, income inequality, inflation targeting, minimum wage unemployment, new economy, price stability, quantitative easing, Report Card for America’s Infrastructure, rising living standards, War on Poverty

But we will not stop pulling for full employment until we get there and stay there. References Akerlof, George, William Dickens, and William Perry. 1996. “The Macroeconomics of Low Inflation.” Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Vol. 1996, No. 1, pp. 1-76. http://www.jstor.org/discover/10.2307/2534646?uid=3739584&uid=2&uid=4&uid=3739256&sid=21101919624531 American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE). 2013. “2013 Report Card for America’s Infrastructure.” http://www.infrastructurereportcard.org/a/#p/home Anderson, Palle and David Gruen. 1995. “Macroeconomic Policies and Growth.” Research Discussion Paper 9507. Sydney: Reserve Bank of Australia. http://citeseerx.ist.psu.edu/viewdoc/download?doi=10.1.1.200.1174&rep=rep1&type=pdf Appelbaum, Eileen, Thomas Bailey, Peter Berg, and Arne Kalleberg. 2000. Manufacturing Advantage: Why High-Performance Work Systems Pay Off.

 

pages: 227 words: 62,177

Numbers Rule Your World: The Hidden Influence of Probability and Statistics on Everything You Do by Kaiser Fung

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American Society of Civil Engineers: Report Card, Andrew Wiles, Bernie Madoff, Black Swan, call centre, correlation does not imply causation, cross-subsidies, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, edge city, Emanuel Derman, facts on the ground, Gary Taubes, John Snow's cholera map, moral hazard, p-value, pattern recognition, profit motive, Report Card for America’s Infrastructure, statistical model, the scientific method, traveling salesman

His principle of “triple convergence” is a winning argument against adding capacity as the final solution to congestion because new capacity will just induce new demand. Downs put forth the provocative thesis that congestion itself is the market’s solution to a problem of mismatched supply and demand. National statistics on commuting were taken from Elisabeth Eaves’s article “America’s Worst Commutes,” published in Forbes. The American Society of Civil Engineers issues an annual Report Card for America’s Infrastructure, which measures road congestion in all fifty states. The engineering community has only recently recognized the importance of managing the reliability (variability) of trip time; see Richard Margiotta’s presentation to the National Transportation Operations Coalition, available online, for the state of the art. There are many more fascinating statistical problems in public transportation.

 

pages: 190 words: 53,409

Success and Luck: Good Fortune and the Myth of Meritocracy by Robert H. Frank

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2013 Report for America's Infrastructure - American Society of Civil Engineers - 19 March 2013, Amazon Mechanical Turk, American Society of Civil Engineers: Report Card, attribution theory, availability heuristic, Branko Milanovic, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, carried interest, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, David Brooks, deliberate practice, en.wikipedia.org, endowment effect, experimental subject, framing effect, full employment, hindsight bias, If something cannot go on forever, it will stop, income inequality, invisible hand, labor-force participation, labour mobility, lake wobegon effect, loss aversion, minimum wage unemployment, Network effects, Report Card for America’s Infrastructure, Richard Thaler, Rod Stewart played at Stephen Schwarzman birthday party, Ronald Reagan, Rory Sutherland, side project, sovereign wealth fund, Steve Jobs, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Tim Cook: Apple, ultimatum game, Vincenzo Peruggia: Mona Lisa, winner-take-all economy

For an excellent survey of how views about luck differ along the political spectrum, see Dean M. Gromet, Kimberly A. Hartson, and David K. Sherman, “The Politics of Luck: Political Ideology and the Perceived Relationship between Luck and Success,” Journal of Experimental Social Psychology 59 (2015): 40–46. CHAPTER 6: THE BURDEN OF FALSE BELIEFS 1. American Society of Civil Engineers, Report Card for America’s Infrastructure, 2013, http://www.infrastructurereportcard.org. 2. Donna M. Desrochers and Steven Hurlburt, “Trends in College Spending: 2001–2011; A Delta Data Update,” Delta Cost Project: American Institutes for Research, 2014, www.deltacostproject.org/sites/default/files/products/Delta%20Cost_Trends%20College%20Spending%202001–2011_071414_rev.pdf. 3. Robert Hiltonsmith, “Pulling Up the Higher-Ed Ladder: Myth and Reality in the Crisis of College Affordability,” www.demos.org/publication/pulling-higher-ed-ladder-myth-and-reality-crisis-college-affordability. 4.

 

pages: 222 words: 50,318

The Option of Urbanism: Investing in a New American Dream by Christopher B. Leinberger

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American Society of Civil Engineers: Report Card, asset allocation, big-box store, centre right, credit crunch, David Brooks, desegregation, Donald Trump, drive until you qualify, edge city, full employment, Jane Jacobs, knowledge economy, McMansion, mortgage tax deduction, new economy, New Urbanism, peak oil, Ponzi scheme, postindustrial economy, RAND corporation, Report Card for America’s Infrastructure, reserve currency, Richard Florida, Seaside, Florida, the built environment, transit-oriented development, urban planning, urban renewal, urban sprawl, walkable city, white flight

James Duncan and Associates, The Search for Efficient Urban Growth Patterns: A Study of the Fiscal Impacts of Development in Florida (Report presented to the Governor’s Task Force on Urban Growth and the Florida Department of Community Affairs, Florida, July 1989), 13. 52. Go to http://www.cabq.gov/council/impactfees.html for information about the City of Albuquerque impact fee system, which passed in 2003. The author served on the impact fee advisory panel, and the studies backing up the impact fee legislation justified fees that were twice as high as those implemented. 53. American Society of Civil Engineers, “Report Card for America’s Infrastructure,” http://www.asce.org/reportcard/2005/. 54. Congressional Research Service, Report for Congress, “Energy: Selected Facts and Numbers,” November 29, 2006, http://ncseonline.org/NLE/ CRSreports/06Dec/RL31849.pdf. 55. Testimony of Congressman Roscoe Bartlett before Congress on February 8, 2006, http://www.peakoil.net/Publications/PeakOilSpclOrder%2 315TextCharts020806Low.pdf. House Committee on Energy and Commerce, Subcommittee on Energy and Air Quality, “Understanding the Peak Oil Theory,” 109th Cong., 1st sess., 2005, http://www.access.gpo. gov/congress/index.html. 56.

 

pages: 346 words: 101,255

The Big Necessity: The Unmentionable World of Human Waste and Why It Matters by Rose George

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American Society of Civil Engineers: Report Card, Anton Chekhov, Celtic Tiger, clean water, glass ceiling, indoor plumbing, informal economy, job satisfaction, John Snow's cholera map, joint-stock company, land reform, New Urbanism, Potemkin village, Report Card for America’s Infrastructure, Steven Pinker, urban planning

Sewerage undertakers House of Commons Committee of Public Accounts, Out of Sight—Not Out of Mind, Ev. 2. Bonuses totaling £1.26 million Martin Horwood MP, Parliamentary Debates, Westminster Hall, June 27, 2006. One of the most unpleasant events House of Commons Committee of Public Accounts, “Out of Sight—Not Out of Mind,” Ev. 2. D minus American Society for Civil Engineers, “Report Card for America’s Infrastructure 2005,” http://www.asce.org/reportcard. Crumbling, dangerous sewer pipes NRDC, “Swimming in Sewage,” p. 23. 2,175 Olympic-sized swimming pools David Hsu, “Sustainable New York City” (New York: Design Trust for Public Space and New York City Office for Environmental Coordination, 2006), p. 21. 1.46 trillion gallons U.S. EPA, “Implementation and Enforcement of the Combined Sewer Overflow Control Policy, Report to Congress,” U.S.

 

pages: 339 words: 88,732

The Second Machine Age: Work, Progress, and Prosperity in a Time of Brilliant Technologies by Erik Brynjolfsson, Andrew McAfee

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2013 Report for America's Infrastructure - American Society of Civil Engineers - 19 March 2013, 3D printing, access to a mobile phone, additive manufacturing, Airbnb, Albert Einstein, Amazon Mechanical Turk, Amazon Web Services, American Society of Civil Engineers: Report Card, Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic, autonomous vehicles, barriers to entry, Baxter: Rethink Robotics, British Empire, business intelligence, business process, call centre, clean water, combinatorial explosion, computer age, computer vision, congestion charging, corporate governance, crowdsourcing, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, employer provided health coverage, en.wikipedia.org, Erik Brynjolfsson, factory automation, falling living standards, Filter Bubble, first square of the chessboard / second half of the chessboard, Frank Levy and Richard Murnane: The New Division of Labor, Freestyle chess, full employment, game design, global village, happiness index / gross national happiness, illegal immigration, immigration reform, income inequality, income per capita, indoor plumbing, industrial robot, informal economy, inventory management, James Watt: steam engine, Jeff Bezos, jimmy wales, job automation, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, John Maynard Keynes: technological unemployment, Joseph Schumpeter, Kevin Kelly, Khan Academy, knowledge worker, Kodak vs Instagram, law of one price, low skilled workers, Lyft, Mahatma Gandhi, manufacturing employment, Mark Zuckerberg, Mars Rover, means of production, Narrative Science, Nate Silver, natural language processing, Network effects, new economy, New Urbanism, Nicholas Carr, Occupy movement, oil shale / tar sands, oil shock, pattern recognition, payday loans, price stability, Productivity paradox, profit maximization, Ralph Nader, Ray Kurzweil, recommendation engine, Report Card for America’s Infrastructure, Robert Gordon, Rodney Brooks, Ronald Reagan, Second Machine Age, self-driving car, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Simon Kuznets, six sigma, Skype, software patent, sovereign wealth fund, speech recognition, statistical model, Steve Jobs, Steven Pinker, Stuxnet, supply-chain management, TaskRabbit, technological singularity, telepresence, The Bell Curve by Richard Herrnstein and Charles Murray, The Signal and the Noise by Nate Silver, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, total factor productivity, transaction costs, Tyler Cowen: Great Stagnation, Vernor Vinge, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, winner-take-all economy, Y2K

Office of Science and Technology Policy, March 2012, available at http://www.whitehouse.gov/sites/default/files/microsites/ostp/competes_report_on_prizes_final.pdf (accessed September 18, 2013). 22. For a detailed list, see the appendix of McKinsey and Company, “And the Winner Is . . . ” Research Report, 2009, http://mckinseyonsociety.com/downloads/reports/Social-Innovation/And_the_winner_is.pdf (accessed September 18, 2013). 23. “2013 Report Card for America’s Infrastructure,” ASCE, 2013, http://www.infrastructurereportcard.org/a/#p/home (accessed August 12, 2013). 24. See Matthew Yglesias, “The Collapse of Public Investment,” Moneybox blog, Slate, May 7, 2013, http://www.slate.com/blogs/moneybox/2013/05/07/public_sector_investment_collapse.html (accessed August 12, 2013); and the underlying data at “Real State & Local Consumption Expenditures & Gross Investment, 3 Decimal,” Economic Research—Federal Reserve Bank of St.

 

pages: 305 words: 89,103

Scarcity: The True Cost of Not Having Enough by Sendhil Mullainathan

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American Society of Civil Engineers: Report Card, Andrei Shleifer, Cass Sunstein, clean water, computer vision, delayed gratification, double entry bookkeeping, Exxon Valdez, fault tolerance, happiness index / gross national happiness, impulse control, indoor plumbing, inventory management, knowledge worker, late fees, linear programming, mental accounting, microcredit, p-value, payday loans, purchasing power parity, randomized controlled trial, Report Card for America’s Infrastructure, Richard Thaler, Saturday Night Live, Walter Mischel, Yogi Berra

Jaikumar, Firefighting by Knowledge Workers (Information Storage Industry Center, Graduate School of International Relations and Pacific Studies, University of California, 2000), retrieved from http://isic.ucsd.edu/pdf/firefighting.pdf. Steven Covey finds it helpful to classify tasks: S. R. Covey, The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People (New York: Free Press, 2004). approximately one in four rural bridges: Bridges—Report Card for America’s Infrastructure, retrieved from http://www.infrastructurereportcard.org/fact-sheet/bridges. scarcity makes this problem a whole lot worse: There are many studies of the planning fallacy. Good reviews are: Roger Buehler, Dale Griffin, and Michael Ross, “Inside the Planning Fallacy: The Causes and Consequences of Optimistic Time Predictions,” in Heuristics and Biases: The Psychology of Intuitive Judgment, ed.

 

pages: 324 words: 92,805

The Impulse Society: America in the Age of Instant Gratification by Paul Roberts

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2013 Report for America's Infrastructure - American Society of Civil Engineers - 19 March 2013, 3D printing, accounting loophole / creative accounting, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, American Society of Civil Engineers: Report Card, asset allocation, business process, Cass Sunstein, centre right, choice architecture, collateralized debt obligation, collective bargaining, corporate governance, corporate social responsibility, crony capitalism, David Brooks, delayed gratification, double helix, factory automation, financial deregulation, financial innovation, full employment, game design, greed is good, If something cannot go on forever, it will stop, impulse control, income inequality, inflation targeting, invisible hand, job automation, Joseph Schumpeter, knowledge worker, late fees, Long Term Capital Management, loss aversion, low skilled workers, new economy, Nicholas Carr, obamacare, Occupy movement, oil shale / tar sands, performance metric, postindustrial economy, profit maximization, Report Card for America’s Infrastructure, reshoring, Richard Thaler, rising living standards, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Rodney Brooks, Ronald Reagan, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, speech recognition, Steve Jobs, technoutopianism, the built environment, The Predators' Ball, the scientific method, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thorstein Veblen, too big to fail, total factor productivity, Tyler Cowen: Great Stagnation, Walter Mischel, winner-take-all economy

Liz Kennedy, “Citizens Actually United: The Bi-Partisan Opposition to Corporate Political Spending and Support for Common Sense Reform,” Demos, Oct. 25, 2012, http://www.demos.org/publication/citizens-actually-united-bi-partisan-opposition-corporate-political-spending-and-support. 23. Chris Myers, “Conservatism and Campaign Finance Reform: The Two Aren’t Mutually Exclusive,” RedState, April 24, 2012, http://www.redstate.com/clmyers/2013/04/24/conservatism-and-campaign-finance-reform/. 24. David Brooks, “The Opportunity Coalition,” The New York Times, Jan 30, 2014. 25. “2013 Report Card for America’s Infrastructure,” American Society of Civil Engineers, http://www.infrastructurereportcard.org/. 26. In Robert Frank, The Darmn Economy: Liberty, Competition, and Common Good. 27. Brooks, “The Opportunity Coalition.” Footnotes Chapter 1 * Traffic fatalities in the 1920s were about seventeen times higher, per mile traveled, than today. † Violence that, shamefully, federal and state authorities often contributed to.

 

pages: 441 words: 136,954

That Used to Be Us by Thomas L. Friedman, Michael Mandelbaum

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3D printing, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Albert Einstein, Amazon Web Services, American Society of Civil Engineers: Report Card, Andy Kessler, Ayatollah Khomeini, bank run, barriers to entry, Berlin Wall, blue-collar work, Bretton Woods, business process, call centre, carbon footprint, Carmen Reinhart, Cass Sunstein, centre right, Climatic Research Unit, cloud computing, collective bargaining, corporate social responsibility, Credit Default Swap, crowdsourcing, delayed gratification, energy security, Fall of the Berlin Wall, fear of failure, full employment, Google Earth, illegal immigration, immigration reform, income inequality, job automation, Kenneth Rogoff, knowledge economy, Lean Startup, low skilled workers, Mark Zuckerberg, market design, more computing power than Apollo, Network effects, obamacare, oil shock, pension reform, Report Card for America’s Infrastructure, rising living standards, Ronald Reagan, Rosa Parks, Saturday Night Live, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Skype, Steve Jobs, the scientific method, Thomas L Friedman, too big to fail, University of East Anglia, WikiLeaks

But in many ways, LAX, JFK, and Penn Station are us. We are the United States of Deferred Maintenance. (China, by contrast, is the People’s Republic of Deferred Gratification.) In the Terrible Twos, our roads got more crowded, our bridges got creakier, our water systems got leakier, and the lines in our airports got longer. In 2009, the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) issued a Report Card for America’s Infrastructure, and gave America an overall grade of D. The report also gave individual grades to fifteen infrastructure categories. None got higher than C+. “Decades of underfunding and inattention have endangered the nation’s infrastructure,” the engineers said, adding that since the ASCE’s last report card in 2005, there has been little change in the condition of America’s roads, bridges, drinking-water systems, and other public works, but the cost of repairing them (when they do get repaired) has risen.

 

pages: 692 words: 167,950

The Ripple Effect: The Fate of Fresh Water in the Twenty-First Century by Alex Prud'Homme

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2013 Report for America's Infrastructure - American Society of Civil Engineers - 19 March 2013, American Society of Civil Engineers: Report Card, big-box store, bilateral investment treaty, carbon footprint, Chance favours the prepared mind, clean water, Deep Water Horizon, en.wikipedia.org, Exxon Valdez, hydraulic fracturing, invisible hand, John Snow's cholera map, Louis Pasteur, megacity, oil shale / tar sands, peak oil, renewable energy credits, Report Card for America’s Infrastructure, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, urban sprawl

New York Times Magazine, August 8, 2008. 112 Bruce Henderson: Sam Hodgson, “Sanders Wants to Flush Water Reclamation Plans,” Voice of San Diego, July 19, 2006. 112 David Spath: Bettina Boxall, “Doubts Still Swirl to Surface,” Los Angeles Times, May 7, 2006. CHAPTER 11: WATER SCARCITY 107 Tunnel No. 3: New York City Department of Environmental Protection: http://www.nyc.gov/html/dep/pdf/factsheet.pdf and http://www.nyc.gov/html/dep/html/ dep_projects/cp_city_water_tunnel3.shtml. 107 Ted Dowey: Author’s tour of Tunnel No. 3 with Ted Dowey, March 5, 2007. 119 The American Society of Civil Engineers: “Report Card for America’s Infrastructure,” American Society of Civil Engineers: http://apps.asce.org/reportcard/2009/grades.cfm. 120 In 2007, 159 leaks: Anthony DePalma, “Mysterious Leak Provides Hint of Lost Manhattan,” New York Times, February 5, 2008. 120 The EPA estimates that 1 trillion gallons: US Environmental Protection Agency, Water Sense, “The Facts on Leaks,” http://www.epa.gov/WaterSense/pubs/fixleak.html. 120 the water pressure inside: From David Grann’s indispensable article on Tunnel No. 3, “City of Water,” New Yorker, September 1, 2003. 122 Standard pay is $35 to $38 an hour: Ibid. 122 Hogs have their own language: Ibid., and Dowey interview.