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Posts Tagged ‘infrastructure’

Remarks Prepared for Delivery by Bernard L. Schwartz at Third Way & The Atlantic’s Infrastructure 2.0 Panel

September 30th, 2013

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The Case for Infrastructure

Before we dug the Erie Canal, it cost $120 to ship one ton of flour from Buffalo to New York City. After its construction, it cost $6. Because of that investment, business boomed, consumers lived better, and prices for products dropped.

That was almost 200 years ago, and the lesson hasn’t changed. Our national investment in the Grand Coulee Dam created millions of acres of arable land, whose wealth to our country cannot be estimated.  There is an unshakeable bond that links infrastructure to economic growth and to better lives for people. That is the story of America’s economic success and the creation of the greatest middle class in the world.

So why have we stopped investing? Why have we forgotten what made America and the middle class great?

Nothing would do more to put America back to work in good, long-term jobs than infrastructure investment. Nothing would be better for our long-term economy than making investments in better ports, roads, transmission wires, rail, and broadband so that we can move people, products, power, and ideas better, faster, and cheaper than the rest of the world.

And there is no better time to invest than now. Capital is available and cheap. The need is great. And the workforce is waiting.

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“Why Sputnik?”

January 27th, 2011

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“This is our generation’s Sputnik moment,” President Obama declared in his State of the Union speech Tuesday evening. Interesting metaphor. I was around for the launching of Sputnik in 1957. He wasn’t. Sputnik created a huge wave of shock and paranoia in the United States. The Soviets were beating us! We were losing the Space Race! And maybe the Cold War.

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How the Democrats can stay relevant

November 4th, 2010

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This piece was originally published in Politico.

After sweeping to congressional majorities in 2006 and electing a president in 2008 with the largest Democratic percentage of the popular vote since Lyndon B. Johnson, Democrats are now in danger of becoming an irrelevant party.

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Key to U.S. growth is building wealth, not entitlements

May 6th, 2010

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This piece was originally published in Politico.

For much of the 20th century, progressives put their political capital into building a safety net to protect Americans against market excesses. They aimed for economic security from cradle to retirement.

Today, many on the left say that health care reform is just one more step in this effort.

But it would be a mistake for Democrats to make expanding the entitlement state the defining goal in the 21st century as well.

Rather, they should focus on a new signature cause: policies that build national and individual wealth.

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