The System is Broken

The American Society of Civil Engineers reports year in and year out that America’s grade on its infrastructure is a D+. Yet no one does anything about it: Politicians study the problem, but never find or implement solutions. Commuters and taxpayers complain, but never with enough force to cause the politicians to change their ways. The system is broken. At one time, the United States had world class schools, highways and airports.  The great infrastructure boom of the 1950s, 60s, and 70s enabled a period of growth, security, prosperity, and success. The gas tax- the primary funding mechanism for highway improvements- has been fixed at 18.4 cents per gallon for the last 18 years, and this is only one example of our inability to act. Today our outdated policies and inactivity on infrastructure are putting our prosperity and safety at risk.

I recently began pursuing a Masters in Organizational Dynamics at the University of Pennsylvania. I developed this site as part of a course on crisis management – A Systems Approach to  Crisis Preparedness and Organizational Resilience  taught by Dr. Steven Freeman  to look in depth at the problem of our failing infrastructure. I will be blogging about current problems and some innovative solutions. While working at a  utility company for the last nine years, and in management and supply chain for  the last 20 years I have witnessed first- hand the importance of public and private infrastructure. My company has spent significant time and resources building and maintaining quality infrastructure to support its own efforts and it is constantly communicating with customers and politicians regarding  the importance of maintaining quality infrastructure.

The infrastructure crisis is especially interesting to me as, at its heart, it is a political problem, a topic that is one of my favorites to explore.  As a subject matter expert on supply chains, I have always  had an interest in how things are bought and sold, planned and executed.  I like to explore issues and study the dynamics of what does and doesn’t get done and why. I am hoping to provide my readers with a better understanding of the infrastructure crisis and to offer as well as support the development of innovative solutions.  Ultimately I’d like to persuade others to lobby their politicians for a more reasonable and rational national infrastructure policy, one that could return America to its former standing of international greatness.

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