From Barry Ritholtz:
What can we do as a nation to take advantage of these interest rates before they return to normal? Choose your favorite part of America that can be upgraded:
- Our electrical grid consists mostly of wires strung between wooden poles, which may have been innovative in 1850 but is somewhat past its sell-by date today. After Hurricane Sandy, much of New Jersey, Long Island and Connecticut lost electrical service for two weeks. The entire grid needs to be hardened, upgraded against cyberattack — and buried underground.
- We can make our road system “intelligent” by using sensors and software to move traffic more quickly and efficiently than the current “dumb” system does. The productivity boost and fuel savings make this a big return on investment.
- Bridges that are well past their life expectancy should not simply wait to fail. We should be actively replacing these. The alternative is waiting for random events — like the truck crash that caused the Washington state Skagit River bridge collapse — to cause a disaster.
- The United States’ cellular network is a decade behind Europe’s and Asia’s coverage and reliability. Mandate better minimum service requirements and make available cheap financing to wireless providers to do so. We can do the same with broadband as well.
- The interstate highway system has been one of the lasting legacies of the Eisenhower administration. It is time for a full upgrade of this economic multiplier.