In two short posts Peter Gordon argues for taking great care before indulging the building enthusiasm for lots more "infrastructure" spending. Like so many--Most? Almost all?--Liberal proposals, the intention is fine, but there is a serious question about the results.
The blinders seem to come on when the old-time religion, more public spending, is evoked. One can excuse the pandering and posturing [of] Clinton and Trump, but the smart people are another story.
(Unlike the more generous Professor Gordon, I don't excuse the pandering and posturing of our politicians. I'd like them to just stop lying.)
See also Edward Glaeser's "If You Build It . . . Myths and realities about America’s infrastructure spending":
None of this is right. While infrastructure investment is often needed when cities or regions are already expanding, too often it goes to declining areas that don’t require it and winds up having little long-term economic benefit. As for fighting recessions, which require rapid response, it’s dauntingly hard in today’s regulatory environment to get infrastructure projects under way quickly and wisely. Centralized federal tax funding of these projects makes inefficiencies and waste even likelier, as Washington, driven by political calculations, gives the green light to bridges to nowhere, ill-considered high-speed rail projects, and other boondoggles. America needs an infrastructure renaissance, but we won’t get it by the federal government simply writing big checks. A far better model would be for infrastructure to be managed by independent but focused local public and private entities and funded primarily by user fees, not federal tax dollars.