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Bold Endeavors: How Our Government Built America, and Why It Must Rebuild Now

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  • Posted June 8, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    Brilliant plan to rebuild the USA

    Felix Rohatyn starts this fascinating book, "The nation is falling apart - literally. America's roads and bridges, schools and hospitals, airports and railways, ports and dams, waterlines and air-control systems - the country's entire infrastructure - is rapidly and dangerously deteriorating."

    Levees failed to hold New Orleans' floodwaters, a Minnesota bridge collapsed during rush-hour, three-quarters of America's school building are outdated and inadequate, more than a quarter of its bridges are obsolete or deficient, and half the locks on its waterways are obsolete. The American Society of Civil Engineers estimates that the USA needs to invest $1.6 trillion in the next five years to make America's infrastructure safe.

    He shows how large-scale public investments have worked in the past: the Louisiana Purchase; the Erie Canal; the transcontinental railroad, Land Grant colleges and the Homestead Act - all backed by Abraham Lincoln; the Panama Canal; FDR's Rural Electrification Administration and Reconstruction Finance Act; the G.I. Bill; and the interstate highway system.

    Rohatyn argues that the USA needs a National Infrastructure Bank to select, finance and manage the needed investments in infrastructure. "America needs to rebuild its infrastructure. It is a critical national priority, a costly long-term investment, and a visionary enterprise. It is a program that can provide tens of millions of much needed jobs. And it is an undertaking that can only succeed if it is directed, coordinated, and largely financed by the federal government."

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