Kevin Drum’s Jobs Plan
Kevin Drum wants a $1 trillion infrastructure investment to kick-start the economy. I think that even if you take the stimulus argument out of the picture – infrastructure investment is slow and not exactly great stimulus – he’s right about needing to invest in our crumbling infrastructure, and with the ridiculously low interest rates we can borrow at right now, there’s no better time to invest in high-speed-rail, fix up bridges, and put serious money into broadband. We have an aging, out-of-date infrastructure and it’s time to bring it up to code.
Of course, Kevin wants one trillion over the next five years. We’d probably need that just to build a nationwide system of high-speed rail. If we want to upgrade our bridges and broadband and everything else, we’d need to spend a lot more.
Either way, in this political climate I doubt we’ll see anything like this at all, which is too bad. Infrastructure is one area where government has an important role to play. Besides, it could give us a real opportunity to steer the ship away from fossil fuels and toward mass transit, telecommuting, etc.
I realize that heaping up more debt on to the pile we already have scares a lot of people. But if we can spur growth, tackle a dilapidated infrastructure, and increase revenues as the economy recovers, that increased debt shouldn’t be such a problem. I’d be more concerned about a lost decade or two.
Quick League bonus pole: Should we invest in nuclear power or is it too dangerous? If we don’t invest in nuclear, can we ever hope to switch over from fossil fuels to a renewable energy economy?