Day Sixteen: flying home July 21, 2013

Published: July 21st 2013
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Reflections (warning: some political commentary)

We drove about 4000 miles on this trip, more than we would have liked, but unavoidable given the distances between points. In this area of the world, points of interest are far apart, and there is really no way to experience them without driving.

As in Europe, I was struck by the difference in the Canadian investment in infrastructure and the amount invested in the United States. Roads were well maintained, smooth, and well marked. Bridges were often new. Those on the political right like to cry out about the financial burden we are leaving to our children with the national debt. While I agree that there is reason to be concerned about that, it is pretty obvious that the way out of that problem is to increase revenues, not simply to try to keep cutting expenses. The bigger problem is the lack of investment in the things that will drive our future. While gone, I read an editorial about the water woes in Prince George's County outside of DC. The article mentioned that Oklahoma estimates it will need to spend 82 billion dollars over the next few decades on water and sewer alone. Our bridges average nearly 50 years in age. Similar lack of new port facilities can be demonstrated. We are not investing in our future, and the expenditures will become necessary at some point. This is the real burden we are leaving for our children. Shameful.


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