Infrastructure Banks

Now that the Senate has rejected Obama’s American Jobs Act, it’s worth reflecting on what they passed up. A major proposal was an “infrustructure bank.” Competitive Enterprise Institute’s Wayne Crews has commented on this proposal over at Forbes.com:

I stopped by our bank Friday to get something notorized, and, damn, they were all out of free Jolly Ranchers. For a moment, I’d forgotten just what a bank is and is not. Seems I’m not alone, with an American president [proposing] a national “infrastructure bank.”…

Government money is a trap, with labor and environmental strings attached. It promises to crowd out, reduce and degrade American infrastructure.

America does desperately need “infrastructure wealth”; we need it just as we need financial wealth, real estate wealth, manufacturing and service wealth, and health-care wealth. But like all wealth creation, the root is enterprise and property rights.

Corporations already conduct projects of astounding national and regional significance. As society becomes wealthier, infrastructure creation becomes easier, not harder. The America of 100 years ago that built overlapping tangled infrastructure with a paltry developing-world GDP can build today’s, if allowed to. Energy infrastructure, communications infrastructure, electricity infrastructure–all would benefit far more from a sustained deregulation and liberalization campaign than spending.

America doesn’t need Jolly Ranchers from the Infrastructure Bank.

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Daniel Bier

Daniel Bier

Daniel Bier is the executive editor of The Skeptical Libertarian.

View all posts by Daniel Bier

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