The U.S. infrastructure level was rated as “failed”. This is the highest score in 20 years
Global Observation丨The U.S. infrastructure level was rated as “failed”. This is the highest score in 20 years.
The most authoritative institution in the United States to assess the status of infrastructure in the United States-the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) The recent release of a four-year evaluation report stated that due to years of inaction by the federal government, the state of infrastructure in the United States has been deteriorating. This year’s overall score is “C-“, which is a “medium level” with “major flaws.”
△Screenshots of CNN reports
If you follow most American schools It is required that the grades passed through the course meet the standard of “C” or higher, and “C-” can also be regarded as “failed” to some extent. Why is the infrastructure of the world’s largest economy so unbearable?
The “world’s largest economy” has been slapped again
Weak infrastructure has always been a pain point in American society. Although the score this time is only a poor “C-“, this is the first time that the state of infrastructure in the United States has exceeded the “D” level for the first time in 20 years. In the words of ASCE Executive Director Thomas Smith, this year’s score is still not up to the standard, “If we do not take urgent action, we will face huge economic losses in the future and our quality of life will further decline.”
The US media pointed out that the US has only paid About half of the cost of upgrading the overall domestic infrastructure to an acceptable “B” level. According to ASCE estimates, the United States will face an infrastructure investment gap of US$2.59 trillion in the next ten years. If you continue to do nothing, by 2039, overdue infrastructure bills in the United States will cause each American family to spend an average of $3,300 per year.
△Screenshot of PBS report
The people of Texas are undoubtedly The fragility of the facility has the deepest experience. The large-scale blackout caused by the recent winter storm once affected more than 4 million users in Texas, and the successive interruptions in the water supply and food supply chain have plunged local residents into a serious life crisis.
Ironically, the ASCE Texas Chapter just rated the state of Texas infrastructure in 2021 as “C” last month, which is higher than the overall level of the United States today. In the face of extreme weather, Texas, the nation’s energy hub, is so vulnerable, and the situation in other states can be imagined. As of now, the lives of Texas citizens have not returned to normal.
△In response to extreme weather, a Texas supermarket The shelves were swept away, and people’s lives were seriously affected.
The US technology blog site “TechCrunch” (TechCrunch) pointed out that the disaster in Texas has made a cold fact very clear: the United States is investing in infrastructure and responding to climate change. The failure of the United States has made nowhere in the United States immune to sudden disasters. “Because of refusing to invest in the construction of sufficient public infrastructure, the national leadership has been unable to perform the basic duty of protecting the health and safety of citizens.”
△ “TechCrunch” (TechCrunch) report screenshot
It is a bit difficult for the United States to spend money on infrastructure
Since the facts are there Since everyone knows that we should invest in improving infrastructure, why has the United States been silent for so many years?
According to US media reports, the Trump administration has also put this on the agenda, but it has never been able to push Congress to pass any comprehensive plan. Recently, the Biden administration is seeking to discuss with Congress a long-term plan to boost U.S. infrastructure totaling more than 2 trillion U.S. dollars, and it plans to announce it after Congress approves the 1.9 trillion epidemic relief bill. However, considering that the US debt has exceeded 28 trillion U.S. dollars, and the new rescue bill is still pending, “Where does the money come from” has clearly become an unavoidable primary problem.
The US “Fortune” magazine reported that improving infrastructure is one of the few issues that has received general support among the American public who support the two parties separately: about two-thirds of Americans believe that the country Not doing enough to meet infrastructure needs; and 80% of Americans support the reconstruction of national infrastructure.
△ “Fortune” magazine report screenshot
However, in the United States, improving infrastructure is a complex The arduous challenge involves many stakeholders. All along, huge budget deficits have made it more difficult to improve infrastructure. “Pick up money” seems to be the only way when the US government, which is heavily indebted, cannot afford to pay, but it is not easy.
Some media said that the Biden government tried to raise capital for infrastructure construction by increasing taxes on companies and the wealthy, but this move aroused clear opposition from related parties. Washington’s most influential American corporate lobby has long warned President Biden not to try to fund his promised infrastructure investment through tax increases.
△Screenshots of reports from the Financial Times in the United Kingdom
There is no doubt that infrastructure construction requires huge expenditures Funds, and this requires government policy adjustments and the active participation of all parties, but many powerful investors do not want to bear this kind of social responsibility. A commentary took Texas as an example and pointed out that rich people are unwilling to make substantial efforts to deal with natural disasters because the local government has always adopted preferential tax policies for them, which enables them to privately pay for related services to ensure climate change. The burden will not “fall on one’s own beach house.”
△”TechCrunch” Screenshot of the report
As the “Fortune” magazine commented, infrastructure construction requires coordinated and dedicated national efforts. “The paralyzed power grid in Texas, the toxic drinking water in Flint, Michigan, the collapse of the bridge in Minneapolis, Minnesota, etc. are not isolated problems, but the failure of the entire system.”
△ Screenshot of Fortune Magazine Report