THE BLOG
07/10/2014 10:53 am ET Updated Sep 08, 2014

Infrastructure and Spaghetti Investing

Advocates of infrastructure are guilty too often of throwing spaghetti at the wall and seeing what sticks. We've got poll numbers to justify almost any infrastructure investment. This only reinforces things.

Investing in infrastructure for its 'multiplier' effect will not get the economy moving any faster. We do not need indiscriminate investment in infrastructure.

Investing in infrastructure can shave time off of our commute. That won't get us out of our economic crisis, although it would be great.

We must look to East Asia.

We should not invest in infrastructure projects, we need a national program geared toward our country.

We need to build infrastructure platforms across the country. These platforms should be inter-connected by roads, rail, communications, and other physical infrastructure.

Right now, we're often more connected by state-of-the-art infrastructure from places like Silicon Valley with China.

East Asia hasn't always had top-notch infrastructure. Someone built it out fairly recently, the 1980s and 1990s. We helped with sweetened loans for our firms wanting to do the building. It was built through infrastructure banks.

We can rebuild America with the same basic formula that we used abroad -- infrastructure banks and public-private-partnerships.

We should look to East Asia to sort out what infrastructure we need. The reason China is a powerhouse is not that it has built infrastructure indiscriminately.

President Obama made this point clear after his visit to Asia in October 2010:

I travelled through Asia several weeks ago... you've got a billion people suddenly plugged into the world economy... access to quality infrastructure [is] the seeds of economic growth ... Where they are planted, the most jobs and businesses will take root.