U.S. infrastructure receives a D+ grade, no one notices.
Most parents would not be pleased if their child came home from school with a D+ on a report card. In fact, it's likely that extra time spent studying or with a tutor would like follow. After all, a child's education is a worthwhile investment.
And yet, no one seems particularly concerned that when the American Society of Civil Engineers released a report card yesterday, the United States's infrastructure received a D+ grade. (It's worth noting that this is up slightly from last year's D grade.) However, there has been no move to invest time, money, or effort to improve the situation.
Perhaps we've all forgotten the well-documented words of warning just two weeks ago from not one but two Secretaries of Homeland Security.
Said former Secretary Tom Ridge:
Take a look at critical pieces of our infrastructure that we have offshored. And so that if you have a problem with the electric grid, if you have problems in other areas of our economy, the dependence, our international dependency on basic manufacturing goods is a national security problem.
Ridge should know. He was, after all, the co-author of the Alliance for American Manufacturing's (AAM) study, which found the U.S. at risk of being dangerously unprepared for serious emergencies due to offshoring of critical manufacturing sectors.
It's easy to look at some of the positive findings of the ASCE's report card and assume things aren't too bad. However, it's integral to the safety and security of the United States to look at the more negative findings and to figure out how to start fixing them. This latter approach has the added bonus of creating manufacturing jobs here, in the United States.
A safer country and a robust job base? Double-win.
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