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The Great Regression of America's Infrastructure
CNBC.com | October 26, 2011 | 09:48 AM EDT

America is in the midst of physical decline. Decades of infrastructure neglect are eroding centuries of economic progress.

Call it: The Great Regression.

We the people came of age as our ancestors bumped westward down the National Road. The Erie Canal fed our hungry forefathers by making precious commodities from the Midwestern breadbasket affordable. The Transcontinental Railroad realized bicoastal resources. Starving brothers and sisters on the farm during the Great Depression found salvation along Route 66 while en route to the Land of Milk & Honey. Finally, the nation modernized down the superhighway called the Dwight D. Eisenhower National System of Interstate and Defense Highways. A half-century later, we’re lost without a plan forward, without a vision – without a visionary.

The United States is rich because of its infrastructure. It’s not as if the country decided to go on an infrastructural spending spree once it became wealthy. We built ourselves up one turnpike, one waterworks and one rail line at a time. As our physical improvements begot physical improvements, the nation prospered. As the nation’s coffers filled, so too did those of our forbearers.

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