Dear Future President,
One of the most overlooked problems in America is our crumbling infrastructure. Every day people travel to work or school on our deteriorating roads and highways, while others are forced to deal with damaged and outdated plumbing that is potentially lethal to its consumers. These problems seem so immediate in our everyday lives. However, these issues continue to remain on the backburner at all levels of government. Some Americans may not understand the importance of infrastructure in their daily life, nevertheless how improving infrastructure is a vital part of our nation’s success.
You will see that there are no perfect systems of infrastructure; there is no flawless stretch of highway or a perfect water pipeline in America; all who have planned for this have seen the impossibility of their ideas and were forced to stop. However, one should expect the roads they drive on to obtain a passing grade on various tests. Sadly, this is not the case. In tests done by the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE), the results of these tests were a D. The report also mentioned that over one-third of the nation's highways were in dangerous conditions that required significant investments to fix these expressways. The ASCE also released its other grades of American infrastructure in the same report, and the results were unfortunately very similar to the grades that highways received. The worst of the marks was a D-, allocated to inland waterways and levees, two crucial pieces of infrastructure needed for trade and protection in the United States. The best grade was a B-, assigned to solid waste management. Looking at this report card done by the ASCE is very troubling. It is sad that a nation as powerful as the United States has failing grades on its infrastructure. While this news is disheartening, it is not nearly as bad as the grim situation in Flint, Michigan. As the country slowly became aware of the horrors that the citizens of Flint had to face, the root of the problem was evident of the failed infrastructure in America. Old lead pipes that were out of date were the reason for the crisis in the first place. Flint is just another example of where infrastructure has failed and has caused a myriad of problems for Americans. Why do we continue to ignore these problems that we see in our everyday society? What will motivate us to find a solution? Are we waiting for a disaster to occur to draw attention to our infrastructure? Sadly, I think that we are waiting for said catastrophe to remedy the dilemma we face with our infrastructure.
One may ask, what are the other benefits that come from infrastructure? Why waste our resources on this infrastructure while other problems manifest themselves? Infrastructure powers businesses and develops trade around the country. A strong infrastructure is to the economy as a foundation is to a building, both give support for growth. There is endless economic potential in infrastructure if developed appropriately. The continually failed application of resources to our nation's infrastructure is precisely the reason for the culmination of problems with the United States infrastructure. As a result of having better infrastructure, the nation would experience extreme economic growth because of the increase in job creation, and the substantial expansion of trade, thus providing the country with another source of revenue from which the government can benefit. One can see that economic growth is spurred on by the development of new roads, buildings, and networks that increase communication and greater opportunities in business, however, many do not acknowledge the social benefit from the expansion of infrastructure. By aggrandizing infrastructure, citizens become more akin to one another. The importance of becoming connected is often understated, and difficult to measure, yet extremely vital to society's ability to flourish in the modern age. There are many different examples worldwide of how investing in infrastructure then causes economic growth. This is most noticeable in the developing Asian markets and various island nations around the world. Although the United States is not a developing country by any means, nevertheless, there are plenty of reasons to believe in the small-scale success of these developing nations, will be able to translate to much wider developmental success in the United States. Much more attention needs paid to the European and Asian approach to infrastructure. In recent years European and Asian nations have begun to focus on the development of their infrastructure which then allows for these countries to have the much better infrastructure. On many rankings of the world’s best systems of infrastructure, there are European and Asian nations dominating the list. It would then be reasonable to think that the United States should at least look into the various examples of infrastructure from prosperous nations around the world. Investments in infrastructure will be able to increase economic growth, while still being a long term sustainable way to steadily boost the economy. While there are many positives to improve infrastructure in America, the economic possibilities related to better infrastructure will benefit the United States. In order to achieve all of these beautiful things that come with building up infrastructure, we need a leader who is willing to take action and not wait for outside influences to overtake the situation, a leader who acts on reason and facts from their observations, and who recognizes what must be done to be successful in helping solve this problem.
Infrastructure is in many ways the backbone of any society. It provides support to many aspects of business and commerce, while also helping with the expansion of trade. These benefits of infrastructure must be taken into account when assessing the problems of our nation. More emphasis is required to fix the collapsing infrastructure we face every day. The problems with our country's infrastructure cannot be ignored any longer. We see how the United States can benefit from improvements to it. However, nothing is truly being done about the problem at hand. We have yet to take the necessary steps to fix our infrastructure in America. The value of this and the comparable resources are still continually ignored. If this problem is handled correctly, we have the opportunity of finally seeing the United States slowly becoming more connected which will inspire greater communication within the nation.
ASCE Foundation. “2013 Report Card for America's Infrastructure.” 2013 Report Card for
Americas Infrastructure, ASCE Foundation, 2013, http://www.infrastructurereportcard.org/.
Mahtani, Shibani. “Singapore Tops Survey With World's Best Infrastructure.” WSJ, Wsj.com, 4 Dec. 2012,
Marsh, Rene. "Damaged Pipelines Are 'ticking Time Bomb'" CNN. Cable News Network, 31 May 2016. Web. 28 Oct. 2016