Issue: We are living in a period of unprecedented technological advancement, at a rate past generations could have never imagined possible. As solar power passes price parity compared to dirty, difficult to produce fossil fuels, the global economy is entering a new phase. However, the U.S. has failed to adjust to these new realities, electing a leader who doubled down on “dirty” energy instead of putting forward a vision for a renewable economy. When faced with recession a decade ago, we failed to sufficiently invest in our infrastructure and bring our economy into the 21st century.
Proposal: Unless we invest in the infrastructure of the future, we risk falling dangerously behind the rest of the developed world and falling victim to even worse income inequality than we already face today. If we want to maintain our position as a global economic superpower, we need to pass the largest infrastructure bill since the Federal-Aid Highway Act of 1956. We need to build out a network of solar, wind, and other renewable energy sources connecting counties around the country.
We need to repair and modernize our crumbling transportation infrastructure by repairing national highways and providing local grants for road and transportation improvements. Additionally, we must design a national transportation network of high speed railways that connect urban centers and enable economic opportunity for counties left behind by our 20th century infrastructure.
By building out a new national infrastructure, we will create a host of benefits that strengthen the economy in several ways. First, it will ensure the long-term viability and sustainability of our economy in a world where our major competitors, China and the E.U., are pivoting towards renewable energy. Second, it will provide significant job opportunities for manufacturing employees who have been displaced or are otherwise out of work, who will be needed to take on these projects. Finally, by reinvesting in the employees who literally build our country, we will infuse a large amount of income into our middle class, increasing their spending power and the overall health of the economy.