Of those to whom much is given, don’t expect much

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According to Stephen Flynn, regarding the crumbling US infrastructure,

Our forebears invested billions in these systems when they were relatively much poorer than we are. We won’t even pay to maintain them for our own use, let alone have anything to pass to our grandchildren.

This is from an interesting article by James Fallows. Here’s his full paragraph

The American Society of Civil Engineers prepares a “report card” on the state of America’s infrastructure—roads, bridges, dams, etc. In the latest version, the overall “GPA” for the United States was D, and the cost of bringing all systems up to adequacy was estimated at $2.2 trillion over the next five years, or twice as much as is now budgeted by all levels of government. In 1988, the comparable study gave an overall grade of C, with many items getting B’s. Now, the very highest grade was for solid-waste systems, at C+, or “mediocre.” Roads, dams, hazardous-waste systems, school buildings, and public drinking water all received a D or D–. The average dam in the United States is 50 years old. “More than 26%, or one in four, of the nation’s bridges are either structurally deficient or functionally obsolete,” according to the latest report. Improving existing bridges would cost about $17 billion per year, or about twice as much as currently budgeted. Worn-out water systems leak away 20 gallons of fresh water per day for every American; replacing systems that are nearing the end of their useful life would cost $11 billion more annually than all levels of government now plan to spend. “Engineers don’t usually put things dramatically, but the alarm about infrastructure is real,” Stephen Flynn, of the Center for National Policy, told me. “Our forebears invested billions in these systems when they were relatively much poorer than we are. We won’t even pay to maintain them for our own use, let alone have anything to pass to our grandchildren.”

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