Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Infostructure Is the New Infrastructure

Mead, Walter Russell. "Infostructure Is the New Infrastructure." The Wall Street Journal, October 15, 2012.

From the article: "The question is no longer whether government has a role to play, but what that role is in today's economy. In the 1820s and 1830s, many states jumped on the canal bandwagon after the success of the Erie Canal, but the arrival of the railroads made that investment essentially worthless. Mule-drawn canal barges don't compete with trains. Even the Erie Canal soon became more tourist attraction than working piece of infrastructure.

In today's economy there are three big problems with the conventional case for infrastructure spending. The first is that nothing is shovel-ready anymore. Not-in-my-backyard, or "Nimby," lawsuits and environmental requirements tie up significant projects for years if not decades." Read more