Thursday, August 16, 2012


When I watch the Rachel Maddow, I hit pause as I go to the computer and check if the information presented is true. Some things just are odd. For example on June 13th 2012, we are listening to Ezra Klein. Here is the transcript of his opening statement:
>> Biggest oddities in all professional sports. You ready? The great state of New York has three, count them, three different professional football teams. There’s the Buffalo Bills, the New York Jets and the New York Giants. One state, three football teams. Now, there are 22 states that don't even have one NFL team. I come from an hour south of L.A., which is not in itself a state but it also does not have a football team, quite to our annoyance but the great state of New York is blessed with three of them. The odd part, of the three New York NFL teams, only one of them plays in New York. The buffalo bills play in orchard park New York, right outside of buffalo. The jets and giants play not in New York but rather in New Jersey. That’s right. The New York Jets and the New York Giants are both based out of New Jersey.
I hit pause after he said “Now, there are 22 states that don't even have one NFL team.” I had to pause it because It seems like I recall hearing Chris Christie saying how one of the recent teams should be called the New Jersey Giants or Jets. So I looked it up to see that as a matter of fact, New York only has one football team. Despite keeping the New York in their name, the Jets and the Giants do not play or even have a their headquarters in New York, so it seems strange to complain about how New York is blessed with three, when as a matter of fact they have only one. Then he discusses how they do play in New Jersey, and does say they are ‘based’ in New Jersey.
This beginning was a bit misleading. I wondered what his point was. Why this complaint? Well this monologue was to lead mentioning of a water mane break out in front of MetLife stadium home of the Giants and Jets then to a discussion on focusing on infrastructure.
Here are his reasons.
We have construction workers who aren't productively employed. the unemployment rate in that sector is about 14%, it's a depression. The global slowdown has meant a slowdown in construction costs because raw materials are cheap because countries like china and India aren't using as many of them. We have factories lying dormant that could be making those materials and employing people to make those materials and we have money that is on the table to borrow for essentially less than nothing. let's be clear -- putting this stuff off is not fiscally responsible. it's like a dollar of borrowing, a dollar to pay later. when you delay the maintenance, that dollar today can become 50 tomorrow as a bridge you were going to fix has now collapsed. so we need to do it, it cheap to do it and it gives people jobs. it is an unbelievable deal. in any world we should be doing it and yet we're not. there be are some things in American politics and policy we should be having real armies about.
What I don't see here is any mention of the unemployment rate for civil engineers. It takes more than just the construction workers. Tear up a road and you will need adequate detours. It may require pre-construction in order to have detours ready. It is also pointless to tear up the road, if you will go back a few years later, in order to have more construction to deal with traffic issues. So you would first examine what changes could be made with traffic flow. Does the road need to be widen? Or does it need to be narrowed? You would need to prioritize projects, you won't be able to do all the projects at once. So you would need to study what roads need changing, then design it, get some government approval, and public feedback on the projects, besides getting financing, so it may be years before a project is shovel ready.
Oh and remember New York only has ONE football team.

No comments: