• Thu. Jun 13th, 2024

Whats Next for Philadelphia collapsed bridge

Jun 12, 2023

A few days ago, a fire engulfed a truck beneath an overpass in Philadelphia, causing the closure of the vital I-95 artery used by tens of thousands of Philadelphians daily. The governor recently stated that it could take several months to repair, without providing a specific timeline. This situation can be contrasted with the quick action taken by Governor DeSantis in Florida, who managed to rebuild an entire causeway over the ocean in just 15 days after Hurricane Ian devastated it last year. Similarly, in Japan, a massive sinkhole, roughly the size of Philadelphia, measuring 100 feet wide and 50 feet deep (equivalent to five stories), appeared in the middle of a city. Astonishingly, it took only two days to fix, earning praise from The Guardian as a remarkably swift resolution.

One may wonder what factors contribute to such disparities. Both the United States and Japan possess modern equipment and trained road crews, while Pennsylvania likely has access to the same bridge technology as Florida. The key difference lies in government spending. Ironically, the more the government spends, the worse the outcomes tend to be. For instance, Pennsylvania’s state government expends nearly twice as much as Florida, allocating $8,000 per person compared to Florida’s $4,300. At the national level, the United States spends nearly three times more than Japan, amounting to $19,000 per person versus Japan’s $6,500. This discrepancy is consistent with the observation that high-tax regions like New York or Los Angeles often have poorly maintained roads, inadequate public services, and challenges in areas such as waste management, graffiti removal, and infrastructure upkeep. Even more dishearteningly, the capacity to prosecute and investigate crimes may be lacking.

In essence, a government that attempts to do everything ends up doing everything poorly. Perhaps the explanation lies in the fact that as government expenditures increase, the focus shifts toward distracting endeavors. Billions of dollars and thousands of bureaucrats are poured into various social justice quests demanded by an army of activists. Unfortunately, these distractions grow like a cancer, eroding essential services. After all, individuals aspiring to make a name for themselves in the realm of New York City politics are more likely to join equity and social justice groups than the roads or water departments, as that is where the growth and budgetary support reside. Consequently, each expansion of government power gives rise to a permanent parasite that diverts funds away from essential services.

Conversely, a small government prioritizes matters of significance: well-maintained roads, sturdy bridges, uninterrupted electricity, and potable water. Voters, in turn, evaluate their elected representatives based not on the activist flags they wave each week, but on their competence in effectively managing the region. Unfortunately, with the unchecked growth in government spending, this problem will only exacerbate, leading to a situation of plenty overshadowed by misery. Essential services will progressively decline, even as governments squander fresh trillions. As we observe these developments, it becomes evident that the trajectory of our governments necessitates vigilance.

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