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Expert: Without steady growth, pumping billions into infrastructure is just a "Ponzi scheme"

Mar 22, 2017

Across our state and across our country, we're talking about infrastructure: How it's failing, what that means, and what it's going to cost to fix.

What if the issue with our infrastructure isn't that we're not spending enough, but that we've already spent too much and spent it the wrong way?

That's the argument Chuck Marohn makes. Marohn is founder and president of Strong Towns, a professional engineer and a member of the American Institute of Certified Planners. Marohn joined Stateside to talk about how our state and our country aren't taking the right approach to infrastructure.

Marohn said we can't just pump billions of dollars into the problem and fix our infrastructure.

"The infrastructure investments we have made don't actually create enough wealth and enough cashflow for local governments, for states, for counties, for cities to actually have enough money to fix them," Marohn said. "We'll spend a million dollars on a road and over the course of the life of that road, we won't get anywhere near a million dollars back to fix it." 

Listen to the full interview above to hear about the eye-opening case study Marohn did in Lafayette, Louisiana. You'll also learn why Detroit could be a model for the rest of the country.

This segment originally aired on Feb. 2, 2017.

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