Tuesday, 30 September 2008

What else can a $700 billion investment buy the American people?

A friend on a local list sent this in last night...

"Some cost comparisons:

Triborough (RFK) Bridge in 2008 dollars cost to build: $858 million.

The cost to build the Cross-Bronx Expressway in 2008 dollars: $1.08 billion. Until Boston's Big Dig, the Cross-Bronx Expressway the most expensive highway project ever per mile.

The Empire State Plaza $2.1 billion dollars (including interest).

The Big Dig in Boston: $14.6 billion dollars.

The total cost all projects built by Robert Moses in his 34-years in charge of Triboughbourgh Bridge Authority, NYC Parks Commissioner, City Planner, and NY Power Authority, as cited in the NYT Obituary of him: $60.1 billion in 2008 dollars.

The ENTIRE Interstate Highway program, including construction and repairs, has ONLY cost $500 billion over the past 51 years of it's existence."

Which got me wondering the same thing as you? Just How much is $700 billion? What could a $700 billion investment get us?

So how much does universal healthcare cost? What would $700 billion do for education? How many free college tuitions would that be? How much public education would it fund? i.e. what sort of impact would it have on local property tax payers? etc.

And as this is a tech blog and speaking of highways... just how much of an information superhighway could we build for $700 billion? Think we could close the gap with the rest of the world for $700 billion?

Think we could publicly finance campaigns for $700 billion so that the influence of filthy rich investers didn't have more say that us average A's and Z's? So that they didn't get to change the rules and break the financial, regulatory, environmental, legal, and governmental systems and leave us to pay for their mess in the first place?

What else can a $700 billion investment buy the American people?