If I Ruled the World – Infrastructure: Build Me a City

The pandemic has given me a chance to do a lot of driving across the country for work.  Some of those drives included driving thru the middle of nowhere in areas where I didn’t see a McDonalds for several hours and had questionably paved highways.  I was driving on more of a dirt road than street and look out the window to see nothing but grass and fields everywhere.  I would think to myself seems like the land is wasted and not be maintained.  I wonder what it costs to create my own city from scratch.  We’ll if I were running things, I would set up a new infrastructure initiative based on creating greenfield cities.  During that would allow people to spread out and make more use of land.  I’m not talking about tearing down forests, just areas where there’s grassy land or corn fields that are poorly maintained.  Think of middle of nowhere Kansas or Iowa.  This would be funded partially by government but also would ask corporations to invest money into these initiative in exchange for some property to build businesses in these new cities.  Each city would have all the basic facilities like city hall, post office, public works, etc. paired with some of the usual big brand companies and several tourist attractions like theme parks, museums, casinos, and much more.  When all establish some satellite locations for big universities as we know universities stay loaded with money.  Most of these cities end goal would be to get to the size of place like Minneapolis, Cincinnati, or Milwaukee.  So, a city that’s not too big or too small but people have heard of it.

For the existing infrastructures issues the country has I would look at the most critical paths of our infrastructure and the conditions they are in and address them first.  Quality of infrastructure really affects the economy of an area.  If businesses, goods, and services can’t reach a location there will be less activity.  Less activity means less tourists, restaurants, sports teams, and jobs!  We might conclude that more states must use tollways to help fund infrastructure replenishments.  I would look at the type of vehicles folks drive closer and tie license plate renewal more to the type of car you drive.  For example, a Toyota Highlander and Toyota Yaris owner pay the same price for license plate fees.  Do you charge the Highlander owner less because they have a bigger car that carries more people?  If so, are you creating another problem because people will trade in their more gas efficient Yaris for bigger car?  I think in the end less vehicles on the road is better.  Anyway, again I would fix existing infrastructure issues by prioritizing the most used areas that need attention, consider more tollway fees for those highways, and add some costs to car license plates that charge folks more for the size vehicle they drive and add that to infrastructure funding pot.

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