Friday, October 1, 2021

Biden's Infrastructure Package Is Poorly Timed

Like many Americans, I'm concerned and put off by the size and goals of President Biden's infrastructure package. Even the scaled-down package is unnecessary. Part of the problem is the timing of this massive spending bill. Such packages are often introduced at a time when unemployment is high and people can't find jobs, currently, that is not the case. We certainly do not need to stimulate demand at a time suppliers are suffering huge supply chain disruptions.

While many people and politicians see government spending on infrastructure as a job creator and a silver bullet for our ailing economy I would like to raise a word of caution, things are not that simple. Several reasons why the timing of this bill is horrible are staring us in the face, the most notable is that currently, no shortage of jobs exists. In fact, employers are having difficulty finding workers due to the fact many people have dropped out of the workforce and lost interest in returning to work in the current era of "covid-lite."

People are ignoring that a great deal of money already in the pipeline for states and local governments has yet to be spent. Much of this money could be used for infrastructure is being sent to governments based on a "use it or lose it" system of distribution.  Politicians often view this as "free money" allowing them to use it as they please. With this attitude, it is little wonder so much of it is squandered on stupid programs such as allowing people to ride free on public buses or putting in walking and bike lanes in areas where they will see little use. 

Many people have come to think that the money flowing from Washington does not cost us anything because often such bills are shrouded in the message the project will more than pay for itself over time by creating greater growth. The devil is in the details when it comes to such spending. Sadly, politicians often prefer to use such funds on what they view as legacy projects that will shape the future of their area or shiny pet projects that will enrich their cronies. Many of these tend to be rather wasteful and controversial and it is not uncommon to see them plagued by cost overruns.

Already Cones Galore But No Workers!

When recently driving the highways of America, I constantly encounter miles and miles of lanes coned off and in the middle of being resurfaced. 

Still, I often find there are no workers and little equipment present. Blame it on the way road work contracts are granted of work overseen but this indicates the companies performing the work are already stretched thin. Unfortunately, this tends to result in traffic jams. Having employees trapped in 

slow-moving traffic costs businesses a great deal of money and reduces productivity.

Throwing more money at companies already overextended is just asking for shoddy work at a higher price is hardly a formula for economic success. Expect no bargains for taxpayers when this bill gets passed. What it will do is push higher the cost of materials and labor which drives inflation. Ironically, it will also encourage the "premature replacement of good infrastructure" that still has years of useful life. This directly conflicts with the idea of pursuing a "green path forward" which those endorsing the bill claim gives it merit.

An example of this pops up in a recent study about how trading in your old car for a brand new electric vehicle may be doing more harm to the environment than good. Researchers in Japan say choosing to keep and drive your older gasoline-powered car longer is better than crushing it and going new when considering all the energy used to build a new vehicle. In short, research shows keeping older fuel-efficient cars on the road longer reduces CO2 emissions significantly more than speeding up the global transition to green technology. A team from Kyushu University says most of the debate over gasoline and electric cars focuses on fuel efficiency and the CO2 emissions they produce rather than the fact a rapid transition shoots up "manufacturing emissions."


  1. You're arguments are valid, but you are assuming that the politicians are being rational and logical, spending this money to benefit the country and its people. They are not. The so-called "infrastructure" and "human infrastructure" spending is about buying votes, plain and simple. These corrupt politicians claim that they are going to make the wealthy pay for it, while at the same time they want to eliminate the state and local property tax deduction limit, which only benefits wealthy people who own very expensive homes. The fact is that our government has turned against the people. It only does what benefits itself, IE the politicians and bureaucrats, the rest of the unwashed masses be damned.

  2. Great examples showing how labor shortages can damage the economy and drive inflation higher have appeared in Britain. Not only are the Brits facing a gasoline shortage because of the lack of truck drivers, dwindling natural gas supplies, and soaring power bills. Adding to the county's woes are various food shortages and panic buying of essential goods.

    It appears the future looks even more challenging because of so many jobs going unfilled. the latest figures from Britain's National Pig Association warn 120,000 pigs will be culled because of labor shortage. Pig farms all over Britain are running out of space and have a glut of animals as slaughterhouses short on labor and other things have had to drop their slaughter rate. An article on this can be found at the link below.

    1. I can't help but think this has all been engineered behind the scenes. Because as world leaders you can't be this stoopid (yes I misspelled it on purpose) even if your first name starts with a "G" and ends in Bush. Knowing full well what the consequences would be, by shutting down an interconnected globalized, networked economy where EVERYTHING is dependent on a just in time delivery system.