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Why doesn’t the U.S. revamp and reinvest in infrastructure like China?

为什么美国不像中国那样改造和再投资基础设施?

Ray Comeau, A decade in China, interest in geopolitics

在中国待了十年,对地缘政治很感兴趣

Thanks for request
Revamping US infrastructure is very expensive which drives questions :
Is it economically viable to do so?
Can the US afford it?
Examples of individual projects in process :

谢邀
美国基础设施的改造费用非常昂贵,由此引发了以下问题:
这样做在经济上可行吗?
美国能负担得起吗?

以个别项目为例:

The Port of New Orleans officials hope to deepen the channel by 5 feet, to allow larger ships. Projected cost $1.2 billion.
Puget Sound Gateway, Washington state’s project will expand highways to relieve traffic and congestion between Seattle and Tacoma. Distance 33 miles, Projected cost: $3 billion
New York City Bus Terminal, structural changes will “improve customer experience” and “modernize the terminal. Projected cost: $8 billion

新奥尔良港官员希望将航道加深5英尺,以便允许更大的船只通过。项目预计耗资12亿美元。
华盛顿州普吉湾门户项目计划扩建高速公路,以缓解西雅图和塔科马之间的交通拥堵。扩建距离33英里,预计耗资30亿美元
纽约市公交终点站,结构性改变将“提高客户体验”并“对终端现代化”。预计项目成本:80亿美元

Current/recent US infrastructure project problems:
New Homeland Security HQ. Its massive new headquarters is 11 years behind schedule and more than 50% over budget
Defense Dept/Veterans Affairs, Electronic Health Record System - Well Over $1.1 Billion spent.
D.C. Parking Garage - 400% over budget in 16-year-old project to date is another example of federal mismanagement. It’s still nowhere near completion.

目前/近期美国基础设施项目面临的问题:
新国土安全总部。这座庞大的新总部比原计划完工日期晚了11年,预算超出50%以上
国防部/退伍军人事务部,电子健康记录系统-超过11亿美元的支出。
华盛顿特区停车场——迄今为止,联邦政府管理不善的另一个例子,一个16年的项目,超出预算400%。该项目至今还远未完工。

The US government runs an annual deficit of a trillion dollars. Yes trillion dollars and that will continue to climb annually. Within 30 years interest of debt will be the largest portion of the federal budget.
US Congress will not approve a big infrastructure (or the Mexican wall) because the money is not there to spend.

美国政府每年有一万亿美元的财政赤字。是的,是一万亿美元,而且这一数字还会继续随着时间的推移而不断攀升。30年内,债务利息将成为联邦预算中最大的一部分。
美国国会不会批准修建大型基础设施(或修建墨西哥墙),因为资金不足。

P.S. - Giving away huge tax cuts to big business only results in lower government revenue and weakens the government’s ability fund big projects.
P.S. - The US government often sucks at doing big projects.

注:对大企业实施巨额减税只会导致政府收入减少,削弱政府为大型项目提供资金的能力。
注:美国政府在做大项目时常常表现得很糟糕。

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George Valencia, Masters History, University of California, Davis
加州大学戴维斯分校历史学硕士
because the US prefers to invest in war, and defense despite the fact they are about 40–50 years ahead of any country in terms of war technology(They were developing Stealth technology in the 1960s, countries like China and Russia are already researching and testing the same tech on their own planes.) They’ll spill a line that doing infrastructure would be a major drain on the federal coffers, but they’re okay spending $800,000,000,000 on national defense in the last budget. What you need is a president who is truly for fixing our nation’s infrastructure.

因为美国更愿意投资于战争和国防尽管他们的战争科技水平已经领先其他国家大约40 - 50年(他们在1960年代就开发出了隐形技术,像中国和俄罗斯这样的国家也已经在自己的战斗机上研究和测试了相同的技术。)他们会说,建设基础设施将是联邦财政的主要支出,但他们在上一年的财政预算中划拨了8千亿美元在国防上。你们需要的是一位真正致力于改善我们国家基础设施的总统。

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Bernard Wijeyasingha, BA History of South Asia, University of California, Berkeley (1987)
南亚史学士,加州大学伯克利分校
There are many reasons why America is on a self-destructive path while China is becoming the truly advanced pragmatic power of the early 21st century. I am going to quote sections from a great article that sums up the difference between America and China in this ongoing economic war:

美国走上了自我毁灭的道路,而中国正成为21世纪初真正先进的务实大国,原因有很多。我将引用一篇伟大的文章中的部分内容,这篇文章总结了美国和中国在这场正在进行的经济战争中的不同之处:

“In terms of economic systems, the Chinese are clearly superior. China runs a large economic surplus, allowing it to invest heavily in infrastructure and in resources abroad. America runs a large deficit. China invests in China, America in the military. China’s infrastructure is new, of high quality, and growing. America's slowly deteriorating. China has an adult government that gets things done.

“就经济体制而言,中国人显然更胜一筹。中国拥有巨大的经济盈余,这使得它能够在基础设施和海外资源方面进行大举投资。美国有巨额的财政赤字。中国投资中国,美国投资军事。中国的基础设施是新的、高质量的、不断发展的。美国的基础设施却在慢慢恶化。中国有一个能把事情做好的成熟政府。

America cannot compete with a country far more populous of more-intelligent people with competent leadership and the geographic advantage of being in Eurasia. Washington’s choices are either to start a major war while it can, perhaps force the world to submit through sanctions, or resign itself to America’s becoming just another country. Given the goiterous egos inside the Beltway Bubble, this is not encouraging.

美国无法与一个人口更多、更聪明、领导力更强、地理优势更优越的国家竞争。华盛顿的选择是要么趁它还有能力先发动一场大战,要么通过制裁迫使全世界屈服,要么听任美国变成一个普通国家。考虑到华盛顿内部的自负情绪,我们对结果并不乐观。

China’s approach to empire is primarily commercial, America’s military. The former turns a profit without firing a shot, and the latter generates a huge loss as the US tries to garrison the world. Always favoring coercion, Washington now tries to batter the planet into submission via tariffs, sanctions, embargoes, and so on. Whether it will work or force the rest of the world to band together against America, remains to be seen. Meanwhile, the Chinese economy grows.

中国主要是想在商业方面成为帝国,美国则主要是军事方面。前者不费一枪一弹就实现了盈利,而后者在美国试图驻守世界各地之际造成了巨大损失。一直支持高压政策的华盛顿现在试图通过关税、制裁、禁运等方式迫使全世界屈服。这些手段会起作用,还是会迫使世界其他国家联合起来对抗美国,还有待观察。与此同时,中国经济在不断的增长。

China has a government that can do things: In 2008 an 8.0 quake devastated the region near the Tibetan border, killing, according to the Chinese government, some 100,000 people. Buildings put up long before simply collapsed. Some years ago everything–the town, the local dam, and roads and houses–had been completely rebuilt, with structural steel so as, says the government, to withstand another such quake. Compare this with the unremedied wreckage in New Orleans due to Katrina.

中国有一个踏实能干的政府:2008年,一场8.0级的地震摧毁了西藏边境附近的某个地区(汶川大地震),据中国政府声称,约有10万人在这次地震中丧生。竣工多年的建筑物轰然倒塌。而就在几年前,所有的东西——城镇,当地的大坝,道路和房屋——都被完全重建一新,而且都是用钢结构建造的,政府说,这是是为了抵御另一次这样的地震。相比之下,在新奥尔良市,由于卡特里娜飓风而造成的废墟仍未得到重建。

People alarmed at China’s growth point out hopefully that the Chinese in America have not founded Googles or Microsofts. No, though certainly have founded huge companies: Alibaba, Baidu, Tencent, for example. However, the distinction between inventiveness and really good engineering is not always clear, and the Chinese are fine engineers. With American education crashing under the attacks of Social Justice Warriors, basing the future on a lack of Chinese imagination seems maybe a bit too adventurous.”

对中国经济增长感到震惊的人们满怀希望地指出,在美国的中国人并没有创立谷歌或微软。不过他们确实建立了一些大的公司:比如阿里巴巴、百度和腾讯。然而,创新者和真正优秀的工程之间的区别并不总是很清楚,中国人是优秀的工程师。随着美国教育在社会正义战士的攻击下崩溃,这样一个缺乏中国人想象力的未来似乎有点太冒险了。”

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Adrian Li, MS Electrical Engineering, University at Buffalo (2000)
电气工程硕士,布法罗大学
Because US politicians care about their own job, whether will they get elected for next term. They dont care what and how people like. China had studied the Western’s failures and survey their own lands and people. They know the economy is like a ecosystem.

因为美国政客关心的是他们自己的工作,关心的是他们是否能在下届选举中获胜。他们并不在乎人们喜欢什么,喜欢怎样。中国研究了西方的失败,并调察了自己国家和人民的情况。他们知道经济就像一个生态系统。

People work to make money, how? Build infrastructures and productions to create jobs, for steels, cements, glass, plastic, etc. all those require architectures, engineers, workers, accountants. This create papers demands, pens pencil, computers, printers, calculator, clothing and makeups for business attire etc. you get the pictures

人们工作是为了赚钱,怎么赚钱?建设基础设施和进行生产以创造工作岗位,比如钢铁、水泥、玻璃、塑料制品等,所有这些工作都需要建筑师、工程师、工人、会计。这就产生了对纸张、钢笔、铅笔、电脑、打印机、计算器、服装和专业装化妆品等的需求。

After people work and earned money, time for trips, travels, eataries, restaurants demand..hotels, spa and consumering luxury goods..a few extra toys like cars, smartphones, etc.
Then they also have money to put their kids to better educations, demand for more teachers to produce higher professions. And makes everyone more smarter and making better decisions.

人们工作赚钱后,就需要花时间去旅行、去餐厅、去酒店、做spa、消费奢侈品……还会购买一些额外的消费品,如汽车、智能手机等。
然后他们也就有钱让孩子接受更好的教育,这就需要更多的教师来教育他们的孩子走向更高的职业。这样会让每个人都变得更聪明,都能做出更好的决定。

This all these feed back to moving the society upward and as well the standard of living
And the cycle starts all over again tomorrow..
US politicians give false promises so they can get a high paying jobs in offices. It is same as the pitchman selling snake oils..and only good for themselves and their own piggy banks yet make the society crumbles..and this is why the US progress has beed in a downward trend in all fields.

这一切又反过来推动了社会的进步和人民生活水平的提高。
这样的循环日复一日的进行着。
美国政客为了能在办公室找到一份高薪的工作而做出虚假的承诺。这和卖蛇油的推销员是一样的。这样做只会对他们自己和他们的储蓄罐有好处,而社会就会崩溃。这就是为什么美国在所有领域的进步都呈现出下降的趋势。

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Charles Ang
Indirectly, isn't it the Trump administration doing? USA has no money, even America is still a rich and powerful both economically and militarily. But America is currently running a deficit of about a trillion dollars. Money Washington doesn't have, the quick fix is going to war, a trade war with every countries, allies or not. This is what we're witnessing of the actions Washington has taken by asking the world to pay for it.

委婉地说,这不是特朗普政府正在做的吗?美国没有钱,即使美国在经济和军事上仍然是一个富有和强大的国家。但美国目前的财政赤字约为一万亿美元。华盛顿没有钱,现在的权宜之计是与所有国家进行贸易战,无论这些国家是否是美国的盟友。这就是我们所目睹的华盛顿通过要求全世界为此买单而采取的行动。

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Phil Sales, lives in Clermont, Florida
With the money that the US spends on entitlements, social programs, education, government employees and payments on the national debt growing exponentially, the US doesn't have the capital to spend on infrastructure that could be proportional to Communist China. The Chinese don't have either the higher levels of wages or social programs even close to that of the US.

随着美国在福利、社会项目、教育、政府雇员和国债支付方面的支出呈指数级增长,美国没有资本可以投资于建设可能与共产主义中国相媲美的基础设施。而中国的工资水平和社会福利水平都还没有美国高。

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Leslie Fish, I'm a musician and writer, and history is my hobby.
音乐家作家。爱好历史
It’s planning to, but the effort has to be spread across 50 different states, each of which has different plans and systems. Most states are going with the idea of reviving the WPA and CCC, and hiring the unemployed to restore our infrastructure and forests. They’re all moving at different speeds.

美国一直在计划这么做,但这项工作需要在50个不同的州展开,每个州都有不同的计划和制度。大多数州都支持恢复公共事业振兴署和商品信贷公司,雇佣失业人员来恢复我们的基础设施和森林覆盖率。它们都在以不同的速度改变着。

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Schiffer Xu, Patent Attorney in China (2009-present)
because U.S. did this long before China, most infrastructure finished before the Second World War.

因为美国早在中国之前就这么做了,美国现有的大多数基础设施在二战前就已经完工了。

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Ed Spire, former Retired From 45 Years in Software Engineering
China is not reinvesting in infrastructure, they are investing for the first time. They have to do this, to bring their people into the middle class
The US is not reinvesting because the rich business owners who run this country don’t want to pay the taxes to do so.

中国没有再投资基础设施,而是首次投资基础设施。他们必须这样做,这样才能把他们的人民带入中产阶级。
美国之所以不在这方面进行再投资,是因为管理这个国家的富有企业主们不愿为此而纳税。

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Robert London
We should. Seems though it only comes up during election cycles and goes away just as quickly. We are in dire need of improved bridges, airports and internet access. Seems though the red tape seems to drag the projects to a halt with permits, procurement etc. China’s doesn’t seem to have those problems when the party decides it wants to get something done.

我们应该这么做。但是似乎这个问题只在选举周期才会出现,然后很快消失。我们迫切需要改善桥梁、机场和互联网接入。虽然繁文缛节的许可证、采购等手段可能会将项目拖入停滞,但当中共决定要完成某项工作时,中国似乎没有这些问题。

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Kastus Lobandievsky, Just me
Because it is not such profitable as financial manipulations

因为基础设施建设不像操纵金融那样有利可图。

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Marcus Palmer
Because they'd rather spend the money on defence

因为他们宁愿把钱花在国防上面。

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Gigi Aldo, Banker
Because the US political elite is too obsessed in spending only for wars. And wars yield much fatter bribery for their pocket.

因为美国的政治精英们过于沉迷于把钱花在战争上面。而战争可以为他们带来更多的贿赂。。