What it will take to build world-class infrastructure in the U.S.
President Joe Biden made a bold claim when he signed the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act into law.
“Because of this law, next year will be the first year in 20 years that American infrastructure investment will grow faster than China’s, for example,” Biden said. “And we’ll once again have the best roads, bridges, ports, and airports.”
Will we? Really?
“In China, the Chinese government can just say, ‘We’re going to do this and everyone along the way, you just have to move. And we’re going to compensate you, but you don’t have a choice.’ You know, some people suffer, but some people benefit from that,” Nancy Qian says.
“In the U.S., we can’t do that,” she adds. “We have to have every local government and state government coordinate. And you can imagine how difficult that is for anything.”
Today, On Point: Fact-checking Biden’s bold claim, and what it will really take for the U.S. to once again have world-class infrastructure.
Nancy Qian, professor in the Kellogg School of Management Managerial Economics and Decision Sciences.
June Zhu, a Shanghai resident.
From The Reading List
Wall Street Journal: “What the U.S. Can Learn From China’s Infatuation With Infrastructure” — “Even China’s staunchest critics express awe at its capacity to build bridges, railways and other infrastructure, feats of engineering made possible by a command-style political system.”
Council on Foreign Relations: “The State of U.S. Infrastructure” — “Experts say that U.S. infrastructure is both dangerously overstretched and lagging behind that of its economic competitors, particularly China.”
This article was originally published on WBUR.org.
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