Can We At Least Fix Our Infrastructure Deficit?
Last week saw a number of opinion pieces, in the Globe & Mail, the New York Times and the Washington Post, discussing the failure of political will across the West and what it portends. Collectively they question whether Western civilization has entered irreversible decline (Hint, it sure looks like we have).
Canadian author and professor, Andrew Potter, summed up our malaise:What these looming crises have in common is that they are marked by a failure of some combination of political conviction, state capacity and collective action. We have lost the ability to solve big problems and meet big challenges, and there is every reason to think this is only going to get worse, thanks to the effects of a number of long-standing trends. These include the economic and technological stagnation that has been in place since at least the 1970s, the rise of highly polarized and tribalistic politics, and the high decadence of the internet-fuelled culture wars.
Mirza estimated that Canada’s infrastructure requirements have reached a cost of about $1 trillion, while a recent survey by the McKinsey Global Institute earlier this year stated that worldwide infrastructure needs are about $57 trillion.
The lack of political will is one of the biggest obstacles to infrastructure funding, which is why Mirza proposed that Canada adopt a best practices solution to addressing our climbing infrastructure costs.
“What we need, and I’ve pleaded for it several times, is a national infrastructure policy in Canada because our governments have a tenure of four years, whereas infrastructure exists for 7,500 years,” said Mirza.