Bob Herbert published an excellent op-ed a few days ago commenting on discussions at the recent "The Next American Economy: Transforming Energy and Infrastructure Investment" conference. The conference took stock of the tremendous infrastructural problems facing the US economy, with a litany of complaints: bridges, roads, the electrical grid, air transport, stressed and leaking municipal water systems, dams, levees, etc. We could add much to that list, particularly an underdeveloped spectrum in the hands of private corporations (should we just say individuals now?), and of course higher education.
The conference was sparked by a sense of dismay over what has happened to the U.S. economy over the past several years and a feeling that constructive ideas about solutions were being smothered by an obsessive focus on the short-term in this society, and by the chronic dysfunction and hyperpartisanship in much of the government.