lokisnow Posted September 20, 2018 Author Share Posted September 20, 2018 5 hours ago, Altherion said: You'd think so, but they compared, for example, the cost of subway construction and maintenance to other large modern cities (London, Paris, etc.) and NYC is absurdly expensive. And even so it wouldn't be so bad if they were providing quality public services -- but they're not. Compared to other expensive and inexpensive cities I've lived at in Europe and in the US, NYC ranges from mediocre to awful. It's just that there's a great deal of money here so the parasites are out in force. The same is true of many other places in the US. It is not impossible to determine that the services being provided are severely overpriced and usually bad without having internalized anything -- one can do it simply by comparison to other places. Alon Levy has been extensively digging at the global disparities in capital construction for a long time and throughout this year. and one of his conclusions since that January article was published as to why the United States has such huge costs compared to the rest of the world is: that the professional government civil service in the United States is lacking institutional expertise and knowledge as well as being under staffed, under informed, under paid, and undervalued by the governments that employ them. while simultaneously civil servants are the target of all the vitriol and opposition in America. (the contractors charging these premiums for infrastructure projects are never blamed by the public the way that civil servants are.) basically it is a multiaxial asymmetry problem which the contractors continually exploit and costs keep escalating as they have realized there is no penalty to be suffered for continuing to escalate. the problem and the solution is the opposite of what you’re claiming: it is the inadequacy of public investment in robust and empowered civil service (oversight and project management) compounded over decades that has resulted in out of control infrastructure costs in the United States. (And as Alon has gathered data, the disparity has smoothed out (still extremely large) as he’s no longer comparing outlier to outlier). Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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