New York discussed on Knowledge@Wharton

Automatic TRANSCRIPT

New york national gdp the example i give my students and why it's important to be very specific when talking infrastructure is dodge dodge city kansas okay back in eighteen seventy dodge city was an important hub for the movement of beef cattle came up from texas and colorado oklahoma got on the train in dodge and moved to chicago for for processing dodge city's infrastructure was absolutely essential for the economic success of of the west but then the railroads built the built all the way down to texas dodge city disappeared so you wanna think of infrastructure as is important in the immediate economic setting and not just assume because we always had great infrastructure in dodge city we need great infrastructure in dodge city today one of the things you bring up in the in the seminar that you did not only the federal side of this but also the state and local and the role that they have to play maybe on a lower financial scale in some cases but it's still a very vital one in terms of i would imagine being able to dissect the most important areas but also as you say the layout and the need of the economic side from the state and local as well yeah i think in many ways one of the real beauties of our financing and serve provision structure in the united states is the federal structure that is national government has a role to play the states and the cities have roles to play what states and cities bring to this agenda is expertise they know where the needs are their representatives are they're looking at the economy daily they know the needs in a way that federal bureaucrat would not know that he's so the question then i think becomes in the way i look at it is the financing important role for the federal government in this exercise financing but the delivery the construction and the management i think is best done at the state and and the city levels so how do we deal with the financing side of it and also deal with that at a point where we are not significantly increasing debt because of the needs that we have roads bridges etc exactly i the role of the federal government is i would argue is to provide the dollars necessary for services that impact regions wide region states interface interactions and the nation as a whole so the federal role is really looking at the interaction between the states and the cities the financing side of this debt is important but the beauty of infrastructure is that it provides services over the long run at the same time that we're repaying the debt so there is a matching of the benefits of infrastructure provides with the taxes needed to repay the debt so it's not that we should not use debt for the financing of infrastructure it's like mortgaging for.

Coming up next