Sixty years ago, when the Interstate Highway system was being developed the word “Infrastructure” was limited to only roads and bridges. Since then, it has been expanded to mean “things needed for the operation of a society”. It is nice to see that President Biden’s latest plan includes all those things. But, as usual, the Republican want to limit it to a 60-year-old definition that includes only highway improvements. High-speed universal Internet connection, power grids, cell grids, and other things that are required for a 21st century to function for all of us have to be included.
The Republicans, as usual, say they can’t support an infrastructure bill until it is stripped of all the other things. Even that restriction is not getting much support from the good old GOP. There is a Republican here and there that gives tacit response that they might support the Biden Plan, but that is about it so far. Maybe the only way to actually make that happen is if it is renamed as the GOP plan and give them all the credit? 😎
I have been a blogger for thirteen years now and have struggled with a sub-par Internet connection for all those years. Right now I am mostly limited to an on again/off again 2Mpb speed on a 60-year-old copper line stretching down our country road. Even that connection cost three times what my city neighbors pay for eighty times that speed. Recently, I have discovered that I can connect to my iPhone hotspot and get speeds of thirty-some Mpbs, but that costs me another $60/mo to get that.
I would gladly accept more potholes on my road if it was a choice between a fast Internet and that. The savior of this frustration is proving to be Elon Musk and his Starlink program. He says it will be available soon… I certainly hope so.
Getting back to the main topic of this post. Bridges and roads certainly need massive improvements but, as recent news has shown us the other things on the new list are just as important.
From the new definition of infrastructure the US lags pretty far behind the rest of the developed countries. If you care to see the overall listing click here. Our roads are a joke of the world. We might be the country with by far the biggest war machine and number of guns per population, but that is about it.
I don’t know if the current gridlock in Washington DC will break to put through the needed changes in our infrastructure, we can only hope. We simply can’t go on the way we are politically and hope to survive as a world leader. There are simply too many countries who are willing to put in the efforts to take that mantel from us and China is probably the one closest to our heels.