We're No. 1! In Lack Of Vision And Leadership On Infrastructure Projects!

So we have the lowest scores for vision and leadership on infrastructure? We're number one right down there with Peru!

WASHINGTON, D.C. — CG/LA Infrastructure LLC announced the results of its annual survey of public- and private-sector executives on the U.S. infrastructure market. [...] Results were released ahead of next week’s third North America Strategic Infrastructure Leadership Forum, being held Oct. 11-13, 2011 in Washington D.C., an event that draws several hundred international infrastructure development companies, banks, and policymakers to develop expertise and collaborate on projects.

[...] The CIC survey polls respondents on eight areas fundamental for infrastructure project development, calling for a ranking from 1 to 10, with scores below 7 indicating a failing grade. The U.S. Score for 2011 is 43.8, compared with Brazil’s most recent score of 50.8 and India’s score of 51.3.

Aside from the extraordinarily low scores, there are a number of important findings. First, two scores — for overall vision and for leadership — are the lowest for any country surveyed. Second, on a positive note, the score for domestic engineering, procurement, and construction firms (EPC) is a passing grade, indicating confidence in the technical capabilities of the U.S. private sector to build necessary infrastructure projects.

Norman F. Anderson, the guy whose company did the survey, also just wrote this op-ed for the Washington Post in which he argues for a new approach to infrastructure:

A focus on job yield will help the nation prioritize those infrastructure sectors that are most productive in job creation, channeling marginally more resources in that direction. Think about it — project investment would have less to do with congressional districts and political favors and more to do with systematically building our future. Here you could easily argue that the Silver Line extension to Dulles Airport would be a better investment than adding a lane to a parallel highway.

A focus on yield begs the addition of a second critical concept: velocity. Projects around the country are ready to go now, large and critically important projects; there are easily a million jobs in tipping-point projects. My firm recently identified 10 ready-to-go projects worth $90 billion, which would create nearly 1.5 million direct jobs.

Wait, so there's some connection between failing infrastructure policy and this?

WASHINGTON — Signs that US firms are still not hiring are raising alarm that a key US unemployment report due on Friday will show yet more pain for American workers.

According to a private sector survey released Wednesday US firms created a paltry 91,000 jobs last month, indicating a long slog ahead to reclaim the nearly nine million jobs lost since the financial crisis.

"Like August, this month's jobs report continues to show modest job creation," said Gary Butler, the head payrolls company ADP, which produced the report.

Although it is often difficult to draw a straight line between ADP's reports and Friday's key government report, economists said recent news did not portend stellar jobs growth.

The ADP does not include government payrolls, which have been steadily shrinking as local authorities shed positions to cut costs.

"In Friday's employment report, we expect the unemployment rate to be unchanged at 9.1 percent for the third straight month," said Jeffrey Greenberg, an economist with Japanese bank Nomura.

Who'd a thunk it? Maybe someone should do something.


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