View Poll Results: Does strong infrastructure perpetuate economic growth

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  • Yes, economic growth is dependent on infrastructure investment

    28 84.85%
  • No, economic growth is NOT dependent on infrastructure investment

    3 9.09%
  • Unsure/other

    2 6.06%
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Thread: Does strong infrastructure perpetuate economic growth

  1. #1
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    Does strong infrastructure perpetuate economic growth

    Obama keeps pushing for a high speed rail system, meanwhile, many in the GOP disdain the idea and the spending it would require. I have even heard some Conservatives argue that the only reason we have the national highway system, is for better transportation of troops.

    If we didn't have the highway system, do you think the US economy would be nearly as powerful?

    The GOP claims they want to improve the economy, and Obama can't do it... so is the GOP on the wrong side here?

    A high speed rail system would allow quicker and more efficient transportation of labor and people in general, and quicker and more efficient transportation of labor and people over longer distances.

    Many businesses in the USA would benefit from a rail system. Not only could companies send people to various locations on flights, but we'd have the choice to travel across country by rail too. I have found this to be a very real and huge barrier since graduating college. A lot of talented and bright people in the business world hate flying, and they often turn down jobs and promotions because it requires some flying.

    Investing in a rail system would create jobs, and it give us more control over reducing US dependence on oil.

    I believe that if America refuses to invest in a high speed rail system, the American economy will be held back.

    What do you think?
    Last edited by SheWolf; 09-11-11 at 01:29 PM.

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    Re: Does strong infrastructure perpetuate economic growth

    I don't think we need a national high-speed rail system at this point. If we did, the most suitable places would be the Northeast corridor, perhaps the midwest, and the Pacific Coast, but on the whole, the costs and lack of demand for such a system would probably outweigh the benefits, IMHO.

    I do think other types of infrastructure need serious overhaul. Roads, bridges, highways, power grid, etc. The last time we seriously updated our national infrastructure was in the fifties.
    Last edited by StillBallin75; 09-11-11 at 01:31 PM.

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    Re: Does strong infrastructure perpetuate economic growth

    The problem with a high speed rail system in the US is that we have 2 1/2 coasts where most of the wealth of the country is generated, and then a giant chunk in the middle that on average never goes more then 200 miles from its house. If a highway speed rail system were to be built, it'd necessarily have to exclude most of the geographic middle of the country. Otherwise we're looking at some very expensive lines that nobody uses. HSRs in Europe work because you can go in pretty much every direction and you'll hit a major commercial center every 100-150 miles.
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    Re: Does strong infrastructure perpetuate economic growth

    Quote Originally Posted by StillBallin75 View Post
    I don't think we need a national high-speed rail system at this point. If we did, the most suitable places would be the Northeast corridor, perhaps the midwest, and the Pacific Coast, but on the whole, the demand for such a system isn't enough to outweigh the costs, IMHO.

    I do think other types of infrastructure need serious overhaul. Roads, bridges, highways, power grid, etc. The last time we seriously updated our national infrastructure was in the fifties.
    I do realize that some places that are not economic centers or have lots of workers, probably wouldn't benefit from a modern rail system as much as others. However, if such an area wanted to grow into a bustling economic center, attract the best workers and from longer distances, and reach it's full potential, then infrastructure investment becomes important. That is the general rule. No area/town/city can grow into a economic center without a strong infrastructure. One goal or need will naturally cause the other need.

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    Re: Does strong infrastructure perpetuate economic growth

    Quote Originally Posted by SheWolf View Post
    I do realize that some places that are not economic centers or have lots of workers, probably wouldn't benefit from a modern rail system as much as others. However, if such an area wanted to grow into a bustling economic center, attract the best workers and from longer distances, and reach it's full potential, then infrastructure investment becomes important. That is the general rule. No area/town/city can grow into a economic center without a strong infrastructure. One goal or need will naturally cause the other need.
    I agree. I just question the need for high-speed rail in the US. Infrastructure is important, but what type and how you go about implementing it is also important.

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    Re: Does strong infrastructure perpetuate economic growth

    I like the idea of a new kind of system much more than the current idea of expanding the old system. I believe, to an extent, that good economic growth needs good infrastructure, but I'm not sure that "new roads" equals "good infrastructure". Bringing existing roads up to better condition makes some sense. But, investing in transportation alternatives that have less long term maintenance expense and less reliance on foreign oil makes more sense to me (although I think we have plenty of oil here if we'd use it). But, what is the endgame of continuing to build more and more roads (a large part of the original stimulus package)? We haven't been able to keep up with the roads we have. Building more roads just obligates future maintenance expense.

    A national high-speed rail system would certainly be a change for the better - especially if it encouraged multi-modal local systems like bus rapid transit, bike use, etc. If the average income isn't going up, taking the cost of living down a notch would be beneficial. It would also increase quality of life at the same time (less sitting in traffic, fewer traffic fatalities, less drinking & driving, more greenways and park connectivity, more social interaction, etc.).
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    Re: Does strong infrastructure perpetuate economic growth

    High Speed Rail in the US would be worthwhile in three general locations

    Southern California from San Diego to San Fran

    The East coast, pretty much from Florida to Boston

    And the Chicago region perhaps to Detroit.

    Other areas of the US do not have the population densities to make such a capital investment worthwhile
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    Re: Does strong infrastructure perpetuate economic growth

    Quote Originally Posted by SheWolf View Post
    I do realize that some places that are not economic centers or have lots of workers, probably wouldn't benefit from a modern rail system as much as others. However, if such an area wanted to grow into a bustling economic center, attract the best workers and from longer distances, and reach it's full potential, then infrastructure investment becomes important. That is the general rule. No area/town/city can grow into a economic center without a strong infrastructure. One goal or need will naturally cause the other need.

    There ya go thats the point of high speed rail...to bring GROWTH to areas that dont have it as well as serve areas that are already thriving metros...like the NE and W

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    Re: Does strong infrastructure perpetuate economic growth

    Infrastructure is vital to the nation, but you need to build it intelligently. The high-speed rail project between LA and the bay area is a disaster waiting to happen. Despite being a great theoretical location, it is going down the tubes thanks to poor implementation. The most practical infrastructure development would be to replace or upgrade existing developments. Many older systems are falling into disrepair or need to be expanded to handle larger traffic volumes.

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    Re: Does strong infrastructure perpetuate economic growth

    High speed rail is a great invention. However it has two main drawbacks - it is a monopoly and it could be easy target for terrorists. But I believe this can be tackled.
    I don't see any problem with the middle states not having HSR because of low population density. You'll have to take the plane.

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