Bidens infrastructure 1

Infrastructure Programs, 1




invest look back win/won/won
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road intervene good/better/best
millage anxious administration
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bridge class (2) fast-forward (2)
line (3) employ cost/cost/cost
coast race (2) lay/laid/laid
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phase engine (2) period (3)
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remap estimate overestimate
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source suburban landscape (2)
cyclical segregate on the other hand
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kind of times (2) spend/spent/spent (2)
benefit worse off bad/worse/worst
effort major (2) think/though/thought (2)
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Joe Biden, US President: “In 50 years people are going to look back and say, “This was the moment that America won the future.”

Joe Biden wants to invest two trillion dollars ($2 trillion) to fix America’s crumbling infrastructure. The US ranks thirteenth (13th) in the world in overall quality of infrastructure.

So, where does Biden’s plan rank among the biggest projects in US history?

Documentary Narrator: Never in all history has any people build it on a scale so colossal.

Robert Selt, Hisotrian, Brown Uniersity: “The role the federal government in infrastructure construction in the 20th century is a is a really important one. There are a couple of key moments when the federal government intervenes in that process in a major way.

One is the New Deal of the 1930s during the great depression.”

Documentary Narrator: Hunger drove our people to the breadlines. Anxiously we waited for some sign of better days. Then came the federal government’s work program.

Robert Selt, Historian, Brown University: “Probably most important in terms of infrastructure was the WPA the Works Progress Administration.”

Documentary Narrator: “How big is the WPA road program? In its first 18 months of operation the mileage end to end would have stretched five times around the earth.

Robert Selt, Historian, Brown University: This is a federal agency that built highways and bridges and airports, sewer lines.”

The WPA employed 8.5 million people at the cost of $130 billion.

“The WPA did play an incredibly important role in laying infrastructure for what would become a period after World War II of extraordinary economic growth in the United States.”

The 1950s: Remapping the US.

Robert Selt, Historian, Brown University: “You could argue that the most important federal investment in infrastructure in American history was the Federal Highway Act of 1956.

Documentary Narrator: “The most talked about phase of the act is the Interstate Highway System, a 41,000 mile network of our most important roads. They will me take the over-the-road driver from city-to-city, coast-to-coast at highway speed.”

Robert Selt, Historian, Brown University: “This represented an effort by the federal government to completely, in a way, remap the way that car travel worked in the United States.”

The act cost the federal government five-hundred billion dollars ($500 billion).

“It’s hard to overestimate the importance of the highway system to economic development in the United States in the Post-War period, the creation of a suburban landscape that is today a source of economic growth; but also a highly segregated by race and class landscape.”


Joe Biden, US President: “It’s a once in a generation investment in America.”

Robert Selt, Historian, Brown University: “If we fast-forward to President Biden’s nearly two trillion dollar infrastructure plan today, it’s not as large, relative to the economy, as the New Deal spending was. On the other hand the economy is not as worse off right now as it was in 1929.”

I think that there is very much in this proposal a kind of hearkening back to an idea that the national government can play a central role in the construction of national infrastructure.

There certainly is little argument among most economists that counter-cyclical spending and federal investment in public works can be a real engine of economic development, as well as of course benefiting individual people and families and communities.”

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Road. Is US President Joe Biden forward looking? Is he a visionary? Does he have a short-term or long-term view?

Street. Does Biden want to only build entirely new roads, bridges and sewer lines?

Highway. The project is cheap and will be spearheaded directly by the high-tech industries. True or false?

Freeway, Motorway. Is Biden’s agenda unprecedented or is it a recurring theme?

Bridge. The first major infrastructure program happened when the US economy was booming. Is this right or wrong?

Park. Was the Federal Highway Act considered a “pork barrel” or a “white elephant”?

Sewer line. Most economists believe in the free market to solve and fix everything. Is this correct or incorrect?
Airport. How would you describe the infrastructure of your city and country? Superb, excellent, very good, good, adequate, needs revamping, crumbling or in ruins?

Port, Harbor. Is there a serious need for revamping, refitting or rebuilding public works? Would it be worth the costs involved?

Canal. Were there periods of major infrastructure building programs? When where they?

Overpass. Is there lots of controversy and arguments over investments in infrastructure?

Tunnel. What do you think people and governments should do?

Rail-line. What might happen in the future?

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