Christie and Infrastructure Folly

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6 Responses

  1. The problem is that these big projects get mired in red tape and take years to complete. They are also ripe for corruption and mismanagement (see Big Dig). We need a way to expedite them but it’s nearly impossible with government beauracracy.Report

  2. Avatar Mike Schilling says:

    I used to characterize the contemporary GOP as a party whose economic policy is “let’s eat the seed corn,”

    Rather, let’s find the people that are already the best fed, give them the seed corn, and tell the starving remainder that it’s their own fault.Report

  3. Avatar Jason Kuznicki says:

    If the project is “absolutely essential,” is it priceless?

    I’m frankly an agnostic on this issue. I don’t have a position. But how much would it have to cost before you would concede it’s too much? How wasteful would it have to be?

    Or — given its importance — aren’t cost-control safeguards proportionally more important? With essential projects, contractors become the agents in a principal-agent problem. They’re difficult to control; they know more than you do; and they have a personal profit motive.

    What would you recommend?Report

    • Avatar Chris in reply to Jason Kuznicki says:

      @Jason Kuznicki,

      With essential projects, contractors become the agents in a principal-agent problem. They’re difficult to control; they know more than you do; and they have a personal profit motive.

      This isn’t really about this project in particular, but a couple years ago, at my state university, contractors were hired to do some rennovations in my department’s (3-year old) building. They took up a whole wing of the 3rd floor, and it was rather intrusive (our weekly area colloquia were held in that wing), so one day while getting my mail (the mail room was also in that wing), I asked one of the construction supervisors how long they were going to be there. His answer was, “Until the money runs out.”

      Of course, now the university is in dire financial straights, laying people off left and right, and cutting programs. I can’t imagine how that ever happened.Report

  4. Avatar Lyle says:

    Actually foisting any overrides on the port authority makes a lot of sense. It is in a position to tax those who would benefit from the lines, by raising the tolls on the bridges and tunnels, as well as the rail fares. In fact the port authority should pay for all (possibly raising the landing fees at the airports to pay for it, definitly at Newark, because it would allow fast rail service from Manhattan to Newark. Consider a $20 one way toll on the bridges.Report

  5. Oh, yeah! Keep building those roads and tunnels. That way people won’t have to really consider any other way to work and shop except by physically moving.Report

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