"This country can't build stuff the way it used to," argues Jonah Goldberg in the Los Angeles Times. Big public-works projects that once were quick and commonplace have now turned into logistical and financial nightmares that drag on decades. And don't buy the line from the "liberal intelligentsia" that "anti-government" conservatism is to blame. The real reason? Unions, environmental regulations, and other government "bloat" have hardened "Uncle Sam's arteries." Here, an excerpt:
It took 410 days to build the Empire State Building; four years to erect the Golden Gate Bridge. The Pentagon took two years; the Alaska Highway just nine months. These days it takes longer to build an overpass.
For instance, planning for Boston's "Big Dig" officially began in the early 1980s with a budget of $2.6 billion, but ground wasn't broken until 1991 and the last ramp wasn't opened until 2006. The final estimated cost: $22 billion. According to The Boston Globe, it won't be paid off until 2038.
Meanwhile, the "race" to rebuild the World Trade Center as some kind of remorse theme park approaches its second decade.
THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER
- The religious right isn't retreating — it's reforming
- How I lost all my money
- Diagnosing the Home Alone burglars' injuries: A professional weighs in
- 43 TV shows to watch in 2014
- China's leader is telling the People's Liberation Army to prepare for war
- How academia's liberal bias is killing social science
- A brief history of the Christmas present
- How to be the most productive person in your office — and still get home by 5:30 p.m.
- Why Pakistan won't hunt down the terrorists within its borders
- 10 things you need to know today: December 21, 2014
Subscribe to the Week