Will president elect Trump’s US infrastructure plan look beyond easy, short-term answers?
It’s a new year but it doesn’t feel like it. Future forecasts uncompromisingly bind together the decisions of last year with the outcomes of this one. “What’s it all about Alexa?” Maybe we all need regular blasts of Artificial Intelligence to help us through.
A robust dose of technology is exactly what the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation (ITIF), a leading US science and tech policy think tank, is urging President Elect Trump to think about: to focus on innovation infrastructure in his Infrastructure Plan.
“Just as physical infrastructure undergirded the U.S. economy in the industrial era, scientific and technological innovation is an essential building block for sustained growth now and as we look to the future,” said ITIF President Robert D Atkinson.
“The US economy is saddled with stagnant productivity and chronic underinvestment, which are slowing growth and preventing us from raising people’s living standards. Filling potholes and repairing sewers would certainly create jobs in the short term, but we also need investment that will address these structural issues for the long run. Increased productivity is the only path to better standards of living, and traditional infrastructure stimulus won’t be enough to get us there.”
A new ITIF report, written by policy advisor Peter Singer, argues that while traditional infrastructure spending can stimulate short-term job growth, it won’t address the lack of investment that is holding back sustainable, long-term growth.
Singer urges policymakers to invest in research funding; advanced-technology development; research infrastructure; smart infrastructure and pre-competitive cooperative advanced-manufacturing research institutes. This he believes will support the kind of innovation needed to get the US economy back on track and in future health.
“President-elect Trump’s campaign focused on getting the United States out of its low-growth rut,” said Atkinson. “We hope his infrastructure plan will look beyond easy, short-term answers and also instead invest in what the country needs to have sustainable growth that improves living standards across the board.”
However, at this time, the huge job of sorting out America’s lagging infrastructure stands pale in comparison to finding musicians/singers willing to perform at the presidential inauguration.
Alexa, can you help?