Massive unemployment and a nearly desperate need to rebuild our infrastructure could entice the presidential administration to copy a plan designed by President Franklin D. Roosevelt in the 1930’s. The New Deal was a series of programs and projects instituted during the Great Depression by President Franklin D. Roosevelt that aimed to restore prosperity to Americans. When Roosevelt took office in 1933, he acted swiftly to stabilize the economy and provide jobs and relief to those who were suffering. Over the next eight years, the government instituted a series of experimental New Deal projects and programs, such as the CCC, the WPA, the TVA, the SEC and others. Roosevelt’s New Deal fundamentally and permanently changed the U.S. federal government by expanding its size and scope—especially its role in the economy. Although it took our entry into World War II to lift the U.S. economy out of the depression, the New Deal provided many jobs to willing Americans in a time of great need. While I don’t believe we’re in as bad a shape as the 1930’s we are faced with a jobs crisis. To add to the issue, the recent civil unrest has compounded many small businesses problems in getting re-opened.
Our Crumbling Infrastructure
America’s roads, bridges and tunnels are crumbling at an alarming rate. Every 4 years the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE), an organization made up of over 150,000 civil engineers, gives the United States an “infrastructure report card". The organization gave the U.S. a grade of “D+ in its most recent evaluation. This grade is actually an improvement from the previous one. The effects of failing infrastructure and the need for the federal government to improve it are obvious, yet why isn’t the government doing anything? There is little disagreement in Washington that repairs are critically needed. The slow response is mostly a combination of trying to secure funding and the snails pace at which our federal government moves.
President Donald Trump declared at his inauguration, "We will build new roads, and highways, and bridges, and airports, and tunnels, and railways all across our wonderful nation." At least seven times, his White House has declared that the chosen theme of a week would be infrastructure, but each time the issue has become lost in other events, often generated by the President himself. The ASCE says $4.6 trillion is needed for improvements in the next decade. The Democrats said they and Trump had agreed on a $2 trillion price tag for an infrastructure plan which would only be part of a national solution that could also include state, local and private action but precious little has been achieved. There may be no better time than now to get this massive program started. I wonder if the youth of today has the grit of those of the 1930’s to do the work.
The Logistics Industry Has a Vested Interest in These Projects
The transportation industry is faced with several challenges on a daily basis, from traffic congestion to road conditions and customer demands. The legislative shackles which impede the operations of trucking companies nationwide have created additional operational challenges for carriers to meet delivery expectations. It’s reasonable to expect a safe infrastructure within which to operate interstate commerce. Particularly considering the amount of road usage tax each truck pays annually. It may be worthwhile to pause and consider just how utterly dependent our country is on trucking. Take a moment to look around your home or office. Everything you see has been on a truck at some point in its lifetime. The groceries you count on for daily sustenance are delivered at all hours of the night from as far away as California. Also, the fuel and parts that keep your car operating. The list goes on and on. The federal government needs to consider this dependence in its’ deliberations of a new infrastructure funding bill. Without reliable roads, bridges, and airports the logistics professionals of this country will not be able to maintain the level of service the country has come to demand. It is the consumer who will suffer.
Stay Safe Everyone.
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