Infrastructure plan invests in the future. Letter, Schenectady, New York

Michaels, Robert A. Infrastructure plan invests in the future. Letter, Schenectady, New York; Daily Gazette,, 3 April 2021;

The Biden Administration wisely is promoting a farsighted infrastructure bill, costing trillions of dollars. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg described it as “generational.” The bill deserves bipartisan and unanimous support, in the context of the adage “penny-wise, dollar-foolish.” Many examples illustrate that inaction may cost (a lot) more than action. In 2018 Trump shortsightedly disbanded pandemic response teams in the National Security Council’s Directorate for Global Health Security and Biodefense in 36 countries including China. This money-saving measure was not cost-effective, to say the least. Likewise, Japan protected its Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant from a devastating 2011 tsunami, but bean counters blocked protection of the reactor’s emergency diesel electricity generators. New Orleans took shortcuts in protecting its levees, but Hurricane Katrina in 2005 breached over 50 of them, flooding the city. Boeing took shortcuts in designing the 737 Max, but in 2019 and ‘20 catastrophic crashes produced ruinous groundings. Now the world is suffering from shortcuts at the Suez Canal, failing to deepen its full channel width since opening in 1869. Deepening would have prevented grounding of the enormous Evergreen Marine container ship in a windstorm. Today, about 400 ships wait to cross the blocked canal, freezing $10 billion of daily commerce. Some might excuse inaction in Egypt by asking, who could have anticipated such winds? Some might deny that climate change might amplify hurricanes in New Orleans. Some might deny that governments should regulate airline manufacture stringently. I support passage of the infrastructure initiative, and prevention of the I-wish-I-could-take-back-that-decision pandemic.