Later On

A blog written for those whose interests more or less match mine.

Divert some defense spending to infrastructure

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Very interesting post by Matthew Yglesias:

Ryan Avent asks what would happen if for just one year we spent as much on infrastructure investments as we do on the Department of Defense:

With that kind of money you could entirely build out a national network of true high-speed rail. One year’s worth of defense spending gets you that. Which makes one wonder: where are all the economists, wringing their hands over cost-benefit analyses of these defense expenditures?Does anyone doubt that the net benefit of $100 billion spent on high-speed rail is easily higher than that for the last $100 billion spent on defense? Have a look at this if you’re unsure.

And while the gains to new investments in infrastructure (and not just in transportation) would be large, it isn’t as though we lack critical needs.What was the cost, human and economic, of the I-35 bridge collapse? Of the Metro crash and resulting limitations on service? Of the Bay Bridge shutdown? And of course, investments in infrastructure constitute positive contributions to the economy, which ultimately strengthen our ability to direct resources toward defense. Aimless defense spending, on the other hand, may well make us poorer and less secure.

Ryan’s link was to my post comparing …

Continue reading.

Written by LeisureGuy

4 November 2009 at 1:28 pm

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