Those proclaiming of the Senate infrastructure bill that none of the spending is needed are correct. In embracing this gigantic spending bill, Republicans have helped preclude the expansions of competitive enterprise that is actually needed to give emergent infrastructure technologies and innovations—from charging stations and 5G cells to smart cities—the sustainable foundation for future growth they need.
While there have been endless Senate floor speeches about the alleged benefits of the vast sums to be handed out, the public at large will suffer from the bill’s central planning mindset—which created the leaking pipes and crumbling roads we have now.
With any luck, further opportunities to stop this “reset” will emerge. Should some Republicans develop any fortitude with respect to the matter, the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act could be replaced with a concerted infrastructure wealth growth and resilience agenda consisting of:
- The dismantling of federal regulatory agency “silos” separating network and infrastructure sectors so that they can work together on rollout of synergistic projects;
- The abolition of antitrust regulation to enable firms within and across industry sectors to create and execute unfettered business plans, initiate joint ventures and merge without pleading with those same scarcity-creating regulators;
- The purging of common carrier and essential facility doctrine from public policy and, in turn, the renunciation of regulations that impede large-scale and resilient infrastructure wealth creation in both existing and emergent, sectors including automated vehicles, drones, smart cities, and space commercialization; and
- Restoration of any spending that is genuinely “public” in nature by leaving the funds in the states and localities that produced it in the first place.
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