Infrastructure Spending: China Knows

by: Gregor Macdonald

When it comes to public infrastructure spending, China knows exactly what to do: build rail. Lots of rail. Friday’s NY Times has a great piece on China’s next round of public works:

A $17.6 billion passenger rail line across the deserts of northwest China, a $22 billion web of freight rail lines in Shanxi province in north-central China and a $24 billion high-speed passenger rail line from Beijing to Guangzhou here in southeastern China are among the biggest projects. But extra spending is being planned in practically every town, city and county across the country.

Hey Barack Obama, did you read that? China’s spending more than six times your pittance of 10 billion on their own rail. And a billion in China goes a lot farther than it does in the US. Even better, China is building all four types of Rail. Heavy Rail for goods. Commuter Rail for workers. Light Rail for mobility. And then High Speed Rail.

China, like the US, is an importer of oil. Accordingly, China has concentrated on electrification. Hydro, yes. And lots of horribly polluting coal. But China is also going heavily for wind, and solar. China gets it. China knows. Howcome we don’t get it? Howcome we don’t know?