Tuesday, June 10, 2014

The Elections of Pontius Pilots - 5

The lesser of two evils method is ineffective.
This Dredd Blog series deals with the reality that our feeble democracy does not afford us a choice among candidates in primaries who would have a positive effect on the direction the nation has been going.

And as today's photo shows, when the primaries are over and it is time to choose between two candidates, the choice of the "lesser evil" is of no consequence either.

Let's examine that concept or hypothesis in the context of something Dredd Blog has wondered about for several years now (Mega Infrastructure Bill To Make Jobs?, Infrastructure - Fake Word For Earmark, Inferior Structure).

That something is our national infrastructure:
We are at a pivotal moment when it comes to maintaining and modernizing our nation’s infrastructure. Many of our roads, bridges, water systems, and our national electric grid were put into place over fifty years ago, and these systems are simply overwhelmed or worn out.
...
For the most part, the problem is hidden. Most of us do not notice infrastructure until it stops working – when a bridge is closed causing us to be late for work, when the lights go out, or when there is no water for your morning shower.

But failing infrastructure is not only an inconvenience, it financially impacts our families and our country. Our infrastructure is the foundation of our economy and our quality of life, and repairing and modernizing it has exponential benefits, including: increasing our gross domestic product, growing household income, protecting jobs, and maintaining a strong U.S. position in international markets. Unless we address the backlog of projects and deferred maintenance throughout the country, the cost to each American family will reach $3,100 per year in personal disposable income.

As civil engineers, ASCE’s 140,000-plus members are stewards of our nation’s infrastructure – charged with the design, construction, operation and maintenance of these critical systems. We developed the Report Card for America’s Infrastructure to give the public and decision-makers a comprehensive assessment of the conditions of the nation’s infrastructure across many sectors.
(President ASCE, emphasis added). A "report card" for the government sounds like a good idea, so how is it going?

The ASCE indicates the grades 1988 through 2013:

Category'88'98'01'05'09'13
-------
AviationB-C-DD+DD
Bridges-C-CCCC+
Dams-DDD+DD
Drinking WaterB-DDD-D-D
Energy--D+DD+D+
Hazardous WasteDD-D+DDD
Inland Waterways   B--D+D-D-D-
Levees----D-D-
Parks/Recreation---C-C-C-
Rail---C-C-C+
RoadsC+D-D+DD-D
SchoolsDFD-DDD
Solid WasteC-C-C+C+C+B-
TransitC-C-C-D+DD
WastewaterCD+DD-D-D
Ports-----C

These grades mean:
  • A = Exceptional
  • B = Good
  • C = Mediocre
  • D = Poor
  • F = Failing

In preparation for the disasters of global warming, which involves cutting down on fossil fuel usage, we get an F.

Now tell me again, what does "exceptional" mean?

The previous post in this series is here.

It Ain't Me Babe (a.k.a. "The Elected Officials' Theme Song")




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