Our readers are more than versed on the figurative collapse of the United States, but today it is important to look at the literal collapse of America. A key indicator of whether a nation is waxing or waning is the condition of its infrastructure. Specifically, is the infrastructure modern, maintained, robust, and operating efficiently or is it dated, failing, vulnerable, poorly maintained, and inefficient? When one assesses the condition of the US infrastructure, one finds a massively inefficient system that is becoming increasingly costly, breaking down, and in desperate need of repair and/or complete overhaul. Today we will specifically look at the condition of the US transportation sector, which is quite literally, collapsing.
On September 24th a major bridge in Wisconsin near Green Bay had a 400-foot section suddenly sag forcing police to close off the span that carries Interstate 43 over the Fox River some 120 feet below. The bridge carries over 40,000 vehicles a day and will be indefinitely closed. Perhaps even more disturbing is that the bridge was recently renovated and last inspected in August of 2012, when it was declared sound. If a recently inspected and renovated bridge that was deemed sound has failed, what does that say for the older bridges that haven’t been renovated and are already deemed at risk? The answers are dire and supported by the latest civil engineering research.
A US Senate report just released coincided with this latest bridge failure. The American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE’s) 2013 Report Card for America’s Infrastructure graded the nation’s infrastructure a “D+” based on 16 categories and found that the nation needs to invest approximately $3.6 trillion by 2020 to maintain the national infrastructure in good condition. The following are the grades and the investment needs by 2020 for the surface transportation area:
o Bridges received a grade of C+;
o Transit received a D;
o Roads received a grade of D, and combined with bridges, and transit, have an
estimated investment need of $1.7 trillion; and
o Rail received a grade of C+ and has an estimated investment need of $100 billion.
Based on this, the US has to somehow find almost $4 trillion (estimates always go up, never down) in new revenue in what effectively amounts to five fiscal years (funding due in 2020 would need to be programmed no later than Fiscal Year 18 to pay out in Fiscal Year19). Further, to receive C and D ratings, the majority of our transportation infrastructure has to be at risk of failing. The bottom line is the money is not going to be appropriated because we don’t have it. Even if we did, the bureaucracy with its pork, inefficiency, and regulations won’t be able to put the money into effect. This means the repairs will not get done before 2020.
We can expect more and more major infrastructure failures across the nation as corrupt leadership and an overly burdensome bureaucracy continues to siphon off more and more money from the taxpayer. Instead of going directly to maintenance projects where it was earmarked to be spent, the money ends up going to welfare programs, campaign donors, and interest payments on the exponentially increasing state and national debts. None of these recipients add value to the society and will only contribute to the further deterioration of the infrastructure.
The huge problem with the infrastructure collapse is that it is not linear and it has ripple effects. By not linear I mean that failures do not occur along a nice even line that gradually increases or decreases as bureaucrats would like. Our collapse will resemble a more exponential trend similar to power grid failures where a small failure in the network cascades into a major grid failure. Specifically, as one piece of infrastructure fails, it places greater pressure on other parts of the network. This overstresses these nodes and causes them to wear out quicker and catastrophically fail long before their expected service life has occurred. This trend will occur faster than money can be raised and maintenance conducted. This accelerates the collapse of other nodes. Further, as key nodes in the infrastructure network begin to fail, it has a direct negative impact on local, regional, and national economic conditions. To offset the conditions, governments historically have opted to raise even more overly burdensome taxes on the few remaining productive citizens with jobs, which in turn actually reinforces the collapse cycle. In fact, as major hubs begin to fail, businesses begin to lose greater percentages of their revenue, which forces prices higher and causes shortages of goods and services. This reduces government revenues raised in the form of taxes and further reduces the amount of money available to be dedicated toward infrastructure maintenance. Raising taxes higher only further magnifies this problem and creates even worse economic conditions. This creates a viscous downward spiral that accelerates a nation toward total collapse.
Today we are caught in the downward spiral. It is not when or if it occurs. No ladies and gentlemen, we are in the midst of the collapse right now. There has been no economic recovery and only lies and fudged economic numbers. Even Wall Street, which has been booming, will face another even greater collapse when the Federal Reserve is finally forced to stop counterfeiting money, handing it for free to their banker allies, and then billing the taxpayer. Make no mistake, it won’t be your grandchildren that inherit this unimaginable debt as politicians tell you; it will be you. As such, you have two options. The first is to ignore reality and succumb to a new Dark Age and slavery. The masses have repeatedly done this throughout history when faced with a painful choice between immediate gratification or a tough, slow recovery that requires personal sacrifice. The second option is to awaken your mind and open your eyes to what is going on around you and take action. You few that choose the later will be in the minority. You will be persecuted, harassed, and potentially even jailed for taking a stand to right the wrongs, but you will be the few that always change history. Remember, it is never the masses that change history. You know the collapse is coming and can’t be stopped, but you can be prepared for it. Do all that you can in the time you have to prepare yourself, your family, and your community to rebuild. Don’t waste your precious little time trying to fix what amounts to the Titanic sinking for the ship is lost. No, be a Last Minute Survivor. Go and get in a life boat and start paddling while the others remain convinced the Titanic is unsinkable. You may still make it, but they will continue to dance until they drown. Good luck.
By Guiles Hendrik
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