U.S. versus German infrastructure spending and results

“Quality, Not Just Quantity, of Infrastructure Needs Attention” (Wall Street Journal, May 20, 2015) has some interesting data. The U.S. has spent, adjusted for deprecation, 52 percent of GDP on “public capital stock” (infrastructure such as roads, bridges, train tracks, etc.) while the Germans have spent just 35 percent of GDP. What results have been achieved? “global executives” rated the German infrastructure superior to that of the U.S.

In other words the Germans are getting substantially better value for each public dollar invested.

Why the constant calls by Americans to put more money into public infrastructure if it turns out this is not one of the things that we can do competitively?


Philip Greenspun’s Weblog

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