Home Today's Paper Most Popular Video Gallery Photo Gallery
Subscription Blog Signin Register
Logo
Wednesday, June 20, 2018 03:08:40 PM
Follow Us On: Facebook Twitter Twitter Twitter Twitter

Opinion

But who will build the roads?

By
15th-Nov-2014       
Comments
Share your thought
Post a comment »
Read all () »

Kevin Carson :
China just announced a regional infrastructure plan to promote the integration of Asian markets under Chinese leadership - sparking predictably hypocritical outrage from the United States ("China's Pouring $40 Billion Into a New 'Silk Road,'" The Blaze, November 9). Chinese President Xi unveiled the Silk Road Fund to leaders of Bangladesh, Cambodia, Laos, Mongolia, Myanmar, Pakistan and Tajikistan as they prepared for a summit on Asian-Pacific affairs. The announcement follows the creation of a $50 billion bank last month by China and twenty other governments to finance regional infrastructure.
According to unnamed US officials, Silk Road is an unnecessary duplication of existing World Bank efforts. The subtext, of course, is that the World Bank and other Bretton Woods institutions, along with Western foreign aid programs, were created to integrate the world economy under the control of Western capital (primarily that of the US and its trilateral junior partners in Western Europe and Japan). China, as a rising regional power and the second largest economy in the world, challenges the hegemony of global economic governance institutions created to serve American interests - much as the rising power of imperial Germany a hundred years ago challenged Britain's unrivaled naval and colonial domination.
The hypocrisy comes in when you consider the sheer scale of US government global infrastructure financing since World War II, and its pretense that the goal of this financing is service to the neutral interests of some "international community."
Some people (especially liberals) frame state-funded infrastructure as a neutral good that benefits everyone. It is no such thing. Depending on its scale, structure, and degree of overlap between its funders and its beneficiaries, it benefits some economic actors at the expense of others like any other state-funded input. One stereotypical question we anarchists like to attribute to liberals - usually delivered in a whiny, quavering voice - is "but who will build the roooaaads?"
In fact, despite the lionization of "infrastructure" as "progressive," every major, centralized, nationally funded infrastructure project in American history has had politically organized business interests as its main constituency, serving primarily to subsidize their business models. In early US history it was mainly the Federalists and Whigs, parties of the national commercial interests, who promoted federally-funded "internal improvements." The massively subsidized national railroad system, with its high-capacity central trunk lines and reliable schedule, gave rise to a nationwide wholesale and retail ecosystem, which in turn enabled giant industrial corporations to produce on a continental scale. Like the railroad system, the federally subsidized civil aviation and Interstate Highway systems made large nationwide corporations artificially competitive against local producers by enabling them to externalize increased distribution costs onto the taxpayer.
Some right-leaning libertarians whose hearts bleed for corporate interests adopt a pose of ignorance, echoing liberal arguments that "the roads benefit anyone who wants to use them," or disingenuously twisting left-libertarian arguments that subsidized roads benefit some business interests at everyone else's expense as a condemnation of large corporations for "driving on public roads."
Some use similar chicanery on a global scale, asking how libertarians could object on principled grounds to obviously "neutral" activities like the US Navy keeping world sea lanes open for commerce. This is just a larger-scale libertarian equivalent of "but who will build the roooaaads?" For an answer we need only consult Adam Smith, who argued that public infrastructure should be financed by its beneficiaries: That public bridges be financed by tolls based on the weight of vehicles passing over them, and that navies be financed based on the value of merchant cargo shipped under their protection.

Tariff
Add Rate

News Archive

Inside The New Nation

Editorial »

Death of another prosecution witness : Too difficult to accept as an accident


NO sooner had the Eid vacation come to an end but another murder shocked us all. The decapitated body of Sumon Zahid, a witness in a war crimes case and also the son of martyred journalist Selina Parvin was found dead in the capital's Khilgaon the day before yesterday. There ...

Business & Economy »

A delegation headed by Farzana Chowdhury, CEO of Green Delta Insurance makes a courtesy call with Dr. M Khairul Hossain, the newly appointed Chairman of Security Exchange Commission recently. Additional Managing Director and Company Secretary Syed Moinuddin Ahmed and Deputy Managing Director Wafi S M Khan of the company were also present.


Football »

England beat Tunisia 2-1


AFP, Volgograd :Captain Harry Kane came to the rescue with two goals, the second a dramatic injury-time winner, as England began their World Cup Group G campaign with a stuttering 2-1 win over Tunisia on Monday.  Gareth Southgate's men almost paid a heavy price for missing a slew of first-half ...

Football »

Harry Kane : England's new prince


AFP, Volgograd :Harry Kane rose emphatically to the World Cup challenge in England's opening match against Tunisia, scoring a last-gasp winner to give Gareth Southgate's side lift-off in Russia.It was a remarkable World Cup debut for Kane, who bore the added pressure of the captain's armband and the weight of ...

Entertainment »

I`m indebted to J.P. Dutta for life : Pooja Bhatt


Actress-filmmaker Pooja Bhatt said she is indebted to veteran director J.P. Dutta for not only making her a part of 'Border' but also for encouraging her to never change. 'Border' on Wednesday completed 21 years of its release and Pooja took to Twitter to thank Dutta for casting her in ...

International »

US won`t be made a migrant camp


President Donald Trump vowed on Monday that the United States would not become a "migrant camp" as he faced mounting pressure to stop families being separated as a deterrent to illegal immigration."The United States will not be a migrant camp, and it will not be a refugee holding facility," Trump ...

City »

Pedestrians passing through a muddy road as the authority concerned does not repair the road for long time. The snap was taken from Bibir Bagicha area in the city's Jatrabari on Tuesday.


Editorial »

Save the flood victims and take adequate measures for post-flood rehabilitation


INCESSANT rainfall in the last few days has triggered floods in the country's East and South East districts. Thousands of people of Moulvibazar, Habiganj, Feni and Chattogram districts have been marooned as floodwater crawled to inundate their homestead and damage crops and livestock. The New Nation recently reported that Khowai, ...

Football »

A Mexico soccer fan celebrates her team victory against Germany after their group F match at the 2018 soccer World Cup in the Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow, Russia on Sunday.


Sports »

Federer wins 98th ATP title in Stuttgart


AFP, Germany :Roger Federer claimed his 98th ATP title on Sunday with a 6-4, 7-6 (7/3) defeat of Milos Raonic in the grass-court Stuttgart Cup final.The Swiss great, who will be chasing a ninth Wimbledon triumph next month, beat his Canadian opponent for the 11th time in 14 meetings while ...

International »

US policy on migrant kids `unconscionable`: UN rights chief


AP, Geneva :The U.N. human rights chief is urging the Trump administration to end new policies separating migrant children from their parents after entering the United States from Mexico, saying they've affected nearly 2,000 kids in the last six weeks.Zeid Ra'ad al-Hussein says it's "unconscionable" that any country would seek ...

International »

Family separation policy starts dividing Republicans


AP, Washington :The emotional policy of separating children from their parents is also starting to divide Republicans and their allies as Democrats turn up the pressure.Former first lady Laura Bush called the policy "cruel" and "immoral" while GOP Sen. Susan Collins expressed concern about it and a former adviser to ...

City »

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina exchanging pleasantries with diplomats at Ganabhaban in the city on Saturday on the occasion of holy Eid-ul-Fitr.


Editorial »

Eid Mubarak


EID UL FITR is an important religious event celebrated by Muslims worldwide that marks the end of Ramadan, the Islamic holy month of fasting (sawm). The Eid (Muslim religious festival) is the first and only day in the month of Shawal during which Muslims are not permitted to fast. The ...

Cricket »

History-making Afghanistan get baptism of fire in Test cricket


AFP, Bangalore :Afghanistan were handed a bruising introduction to Test cricket by India on Thursday as they capped their astonishing rise from war and refugee camps to joining the sport's elite.Afghan skipper Asghar Stanikzai called it a "very proud moment" as he strode onto the field at Bangalore's M. Chinnaswamy ...

 
Items that you save may be read at any time on your computer, iPad, iPhone or Android devices.
 
Are you new to our website? Do you have already an account at our website?
Create An Account Log in here
Email this news to a friend or like someone
Email:
Write a comment to this news