Fix America by Fixing America
Bernie Sanders is correct when he talks about the need to rebuild our infrastructure and that the way to do that is to, in simplistic terms, throw money at it. He talks about the need to invest infrastructure and into one of the biggest problems with America.
Investing in programs that create jobs that fix roads, bridges, etc. will not only help to give people jobs, but will help to raise our grade of infrastructure from its current level of a D+ to a better grade. (infrastructure report card)
Not only will having a better infrastructure create a better driving environment for the general population, but many of the issues that are created by bad roads, like potholes, can be minimized to a much greater extent then they currently are. Less money spent fixing cars that are damaged by bad roads will help to save more money that can be spent on more important things.
And in states like mine, Ohio, more people who are employed to maintain roads in the winter months will allow them to stay cleaner and safer for people to drive on.
Creating jobs right now
One of the benefits of many of these jobs is the lowered need for more advanced education. This allows these jobs to be open to more people and to allow these people to make enough to live above the poverty line. With more people living above the poverty line, there will be more parents that are able to provide for their children and give them the opportunity to be able to do more things as the grow up.
Parents will be more able to put their kids or themselves through college or some other form of post secondary schooling because they will, hopefully, have more money than enough to just survive., but enough to invest into themselves to and to inject into the economy. And the harder they work, the more money they will have to invest in themselves.
This kind of thing can help to create new cycles of growth that help people to better themselves. And creating a culture where people have the ability to work and have the ability to better themselves through work harder is the culture that is better for everyone.
One of the other benefits of investing into infrastructure is the addition and improvements of sidewalks. This may seem like a trivial thing to look at since many people never use them.
But sidewalks can be an extremely beneficial thing for cities by giving people the ability to use them instead of using their cars all the time. There could also be city initiatives and programs that encourage people to walk more instead of driving everywhere.
One of the way that cities can help to encourage people to use them more would be by building more of them and keeping them clean, even in the winter. If I'm slipping and falling on a consistent basis, then I'm going to be much less likely to use sidewalks. But if the opposite is true, then I will be more likely to, even if it's cold.
There is a lack of sidewalks in many neighborhoods or incomplete ones, and this is something that needs to change to allow people to have the ability to walk around their neighborhoods more easily.
Better roads are better for everyone
Having roads that are limited in potholes and other dangers flaws will allow people to be able to drive faster and to drive safer on the roads. People won't have to swerve around dangerous potholes that could very well damage the structure of the car or pop a tire.
More roads will be more drivable, so that traffic patterns will improve. People will be able to take backroads without having to worry about constant bumps or patches of ice.
New blemishes on the roads that came about will be able to be taken care of much faster. By investing into the infrastructure, roads will be better and people will be able to work much more. More jobs and better roads will benefit everyone.
Better driving conditions will allow there to more efficient travel which will save people money on gas.Drivers will also have an easier time in the winter during bad conditions because roads will be more easily navigated from the increased worker presence. People will have the ability to get where they are going faster and safer while using less fuel.
Construction takes too long
An anecdotal story that I heard of from a teacher I had in school talked about the time he worked in the public sector when he was in high school. His job was to essentially go out and fix various roads.
On his first day of work he was out filling a pothole and, in trying to prove himself to the other workers, was working extra hard. Too hard because the other workers told him to slow down, they didn't want to finish the job too quick.
They got paid by the hour, so it was beneficial to work slower to make more money.
He also told us that after that, he adapted to the culture of the working place by working at their pace. Not only that, but he was also able to come in to work and nap for the first hour before doing any actual work.
Although it may seem like these people are lazy, they really aren't. They have no motivation to work faster and are actually rewarded for working slower. I can't really say that I would be any different if I were working that job.
But you don't have to believe the story of my former teacher. All you need to do is to drive down any road and/or highway for a pretty short amount of time before you either see current construction or the remnants of former construction that was done (cones, signs, etc.)
If workers were incentivized to complete construction faster, the problem of construction taking too long and workers not wanting to work quickly could be fixed. I would rather pay a worker more if they complete a job faster than if it took longer.
Deadlines should be created where workers would get paid more and the longer it took the less money per hour they would make. The amount would start well above the minimum wage and the move done the longer it takes. The workers would obviously never make less than the minimum wage (which should be a living wage), but if they work faster, they would make more money. And when they finished a job quick they could move onto another job and continue to make the higher wages.
People who use the roads would benefit from having good roads more of the time and the workers would benefit by making more money.
More money into America
By putting money into the hands of Americans, they will spend more money and help to increase the size of the economy and make things run better in general. More jobs will be created as a result of more money being spent.
Spending money on infrastructure will be much more productive than wasting it on military like the U.S. government does now. Jobs that build various military things may give some people jobs, they don't have the far reaching benefits that jobs in infrastructure would have.
Leaving the situation how it is now will continue the same things that are evident today when you drive around and have to deal with the various problems that are obvious on even a short drive.