Wednesday, November 24, 2021

Mathematics: The Enemy Of Pipe Dreams

 We now have the trillion-dollar infrastructure law signed and going into effect.

All parties responsible are running around crowing about the cornucopia of projects that will be unleashed by the passage of this public works expenditure law: broad band, bridges, passenger rail, highways, water systems, replacement of poisonous pipes, expansion of ports and airports and on and on and on.

The trillion dollars is the amount committed to projects over the next ten years.

So, the actual amount of money is a hundred billion dollars a year.

The estimate of the cost of fixing the Northeast Commuter Corridor is one hundred seventy-six billion dollars; and caveats are added: there are sure to be overruns of unknown magnitude.

That means two or more years of the new law's funding will need to be spent on one project; maybe they can get to broadband in year three.

I guess a trillion dollars doesn't go as far as it used to.

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