5. Bridges

Want to read something scary? Click over to the Federal Highway Administration’s National Bridge Inventory site and do a little reading on the state of America’s bridges. The good news is that most of them are in pretty good shape. More than half. The bad news is that some of our bridges are in pretty [Read More...]

4. The Grid

America’s electrical power grid is a much more complicated thing than the systems we have for distributing drinking water or handling wastewater. The technology of our water system isn’t wholly different from what the Romans used. It’s basically, to quote the late Sen. Ted Stevens, “a series of tubes.” Those tubes were built with about [Read More...]

3. Offshore wind farms

Right now, in 2010, the United States has the same number of offshore wind farms as Mali. Mali is a much poorer country, but its primary obstacle to developing offshore wind power is not a problem of money or technology. Mali’s main problem when it comes to offshore wind is that it’s landlocked. America has [Read More...]

2. Sewers and storm drains

I realize that sewers and storm drains aren’t terribly exciting or interesting, but life without them would be much more interesting, just not in a good way. The situation of our sewer and storm-drain infrastructure is very much the same as that for our drinking water infrastructure, and the idea here is very much the [Read More...]

Why every AG in the country should be suing the credit-rating agencies

Kevin Drum makes a helpful comparison between your credit history and your medical history: In the same way that medical records are available only to people with a legitimate medical need, I think that credit records should be available only to those who actually extend credit. Beyond that, they're private. Employers don't get them, the [Read More...]

Tips on improving your HW score

The Today Show this morning presented its latest variation on the now-routine story "Five Ways to Improve Your Credit Score." "It affects all portions of your life," Matt Lauer says in the introduction, "how much you pay for insurance, even whether or not you might get a job." The report never challenges this "all portions [Read More...]

Credit scoring and unemployment

The previous post arose from things I came across while failing to find what I was looking for. I was trying to find concrete data on the reportedly increasing use of credit "scoring" by prospective employers and its relation to the disturbing trend of very long-term unemployment. Because the two trends seem to me to [Read More...]

1. Water

Let’s start with water. I personally am mostly made up of water, so it’s an important topic for me. One problem here in 2010 is that most of our drinking water in America comes to us through really, really old pipes and mains. America’s towns, cities, counties, states and federal government have been thinking about [Read More...]