Who should own and benefit from our country’s infrastructure? What is really being lost here is the public interest. Infrastructure should primarily serve public needs, not generate profits for enterprises owned and controlled by companies that care far more about their own bottom lines than the common good.
That’s not to say that private interests can never build roads or bridges to augment those constructed with our tax dollars, but those efforts should be undertaken with a clear understanding of the primary purpose of the network they join and the risks they assume.
Do we really have a compelling reason to enrich private contractors and reduce (desperately needed) City/state/public revenues? So-called “public-private partnerships” can at times be useful and appropriate. But other times they amount to theft from the public purse. It behooves us to distinguish between those situations and to remember that constructing and maintaining an infrastructure owned by and operated for the use of all our citizens, rich and poor, makes up a foundational obligation of government.
Excerpt from a piece by Shiela Kennedy in response to an article in Engineering News-Record