All the News That's Fit to be Tied

I have an axe to grind, but unlike the New York Times, I freely admit it.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Why Infrastructure Spending Doesn’t Create Jobs

It is the fashion of Democrats to rant and rave about the importance of highways, bridges and other infrastructure spending as way to boost the economy through government spending in times of economic troubles. The problem is that due to the way infrastructure construction takes place it often takes years for it to produce jobs and provide economies with a boost. In fact, money earmarked or budgeted for these funds now will not be spent for several years, because the actual building of infrastructure takes much longer than appropriating money for it. It often takes years of planning just to begin implementing the construction process. New York’s various bridges, tunnels and subways demonstrate this aptly. Many have been in the works for two decades or more and are still not finished, not because of money, but because of bureaucracy and the time required to complete infrastructure building. In addition, such projects do not create new jobs, as most of these are existing union jobs and often go to the same construction firms’ generation after generation. None of this is to say that infrastructure spending is not a good thing; it is. It is only to say the jobs are not provided quickly and any such statements made by politicians who would like to use infrastructure as a way to boost the economy quickly are blowing smoke and you know whose face it is being blown in.