Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Economy: Infrastructure - What America Could Learn From Europe

(Drivebycuriosity) - There is a lot talk about Trump`s plan to invest massive into America` s infrastructure. I think these investments are long overdue, because the American infrastructure could belong to a Third World country: Bridges, streets, sewers electrical grids and many other system are often very old and rotten.The question is how to finance these massive investments. Fed chairwoman Janet Yellen complains that the US government would have to spend tons of money which could expand the US public deficit.

I think Yellen` s concerns could be avoided if the US government follows the European role model. The "old continent" has been privatizing a lot of state owned enterprises:

Airports: The airports of Frankfurt (Fraport) & Vienna (Wien) are traded on stock markets,  London` Heathrow belongs to a private consortium.

Harbors:  You also get can get stocks of the harbor of Hamburg (Hamburger Hafen AG) which is traded on Frankfurt Stock Exchange and other German stock exchanges.

Streets: According to wikipedia "of the 11,000 kilometers of France's highways, 8,000 km are under private concession. 3,120 kilometers of Italy's highways (comprising 56% of the country's toll roads) are controlled by Autostrade Concessioni e Costruzioni Autostrade " (wikipedia)

Railways: Great Britain privatized her railways (independent) and her water system (supply & disposal).

The bankrupt Greece even is going further and is revitalizing herself by privatizing hotels, spas, camping areas, ministry buildings, national roads, forty airports, military installations, natural gas , the defense industry, the water supply  and thousands of hectares of land, wetlands, railways.

The proceeds could be used to invest into the infrastructure (streets, railways) which is in a lamentable condition and to expand & to modernize it. Private airports, harbors, railways and other institutions are less bureaucratic and more efficient, flexible, customer friendly & cost effective then public controlled. So privatization and a better infrastructure could lift the American productivity and foster growth. This also would create more jobs & revenues in the infrastructure industry like Caterpillar (construction machines) or Fluor (engineering ) and could so soothe complaints about "a shrinking industrial base".

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