I don’t have much to add to this graph. Politicians in our nation’s Capitol Building make a big deal of the need to become more competitive in business, especially vis-a-vis China and other emerging markets. Then at the same time I look at graphs like this (from here via here) and wonder what exactly their plan is. China has been spending 7 to 10% of GDP each of the past 15 years on infrastructure, and is set to eclipse our economy in size sometime in the next twenty years. Meanwhile economists say “economic growth depends on high-quality well-maintained infrastructure.”
Meanwhile, we are failing behind in every infrastructure quality ranking to our economic detriment. Decline is a choice, and our lawmakers are certainly choosing it.