Starting a family business is difficult under any circumstance, but when your family is over four hundred miles away the struggles are only amplified. Though we have contemplated moving in together, we at Orzel Black have decided its best to have a presence in both Savannah GA and South Florida in order to capitalize on the local communities. However, when we want to visit one another we feel the struggles of being eight hours away by car and really get a chance to see what the state of our infrastructure has become between Georgia and Florida alone.
The videos attached to this article were published between 2015 and 2016 since then many politicians have championed the need to fix our infrastructure as one of the tenants of their platform. We thought it would be interesting to see where we stand four years later with a new President and several election cycles later.
To recap, when the videos were made America received a D+ from the American Society of Civil Engineers (time 4:15) and the US was ranked 16th in quality of overall infrastructure by the world economic forum. Since then, the Federal government has invested around $160 billion while State and Local governments combined have invested around $530 billion and the US is now ranked 9th in the world on infrastructure according to the World Economic Forum but has not budged on the American Society of Civil engineers grade of a D+.
Though we are not the best, it is obvious that efforts to improve the state of our country’s infrastructure have been made. However, the focus over the discourse that has led the country on this trend is beginning to dwindle. Infrastructure was one of the headlining talking points on the campaign trail for the 2016 presidential elections and as such, upon Trump’s election his Administration released an initiative to modernize the country's infrastructure. The initiative, which is estimated to cost $200 billion, seeks to spur $1.5 trillion in state, local and private infrastructure investments over the next ten years by giving incentives to project sponsors that can demonstrate innovative approaches to create new revenue sources for projects and improve procurement practices and project implementation. The infrastructure initiative also seeks to support rural communities through project grants and speed up the delivery of large-scale infrastructure projects across the country with increased federal loan support. With the 2020 elections on the horizon and the campaign trail in full blaze, talk of such programs are minimal with Sen. Amy Klobuchar being the only democratic candidate to bring propose a plan(4).
Now, the the democratic candidates choosing not to bring up the case of infrastructure may be in part because of the fact that there have been good efforts to fix the countries dilapidated system of roads, bridges, and ports and highlighting that may be patting Trump on the back. However, the fact of the matter remains, when issues are no longer talked about, they tend to be forgotten and it is imperative we do not allow our infrastructure to diminish our competitive advantage internationally.
*All videos attached to this article are used as referral material only.
1)ASCE -What the grade means and how it is made
2) Federal investment 1962-2018
3) The way forward what are expected funding rates and how will it be funded?
4) Amy’s plan