S. transportation infrastructure is a bad idea. But in contrast to these doom and gloom pessimists, a restructuring and revitalization of U.S. transportation infrastructure is not only an excellent idea, but is very necessary if the U.S. economy is going to survive and continue to be a major global economic superpower (Lindsey, 2007).
Without the highway infrastructure, the U.S. would have been unable to grow as it did in the 1950's and 1960's. The same idea is true for future growth. Since the 1960's there has been little development of the current system and many of the U.S.'s bridges and highways are falling into disrepair as other priorities, like the War in Iraq, have taken priority. But the transportation infrastructure, the skeleton and circulatory system of the U.S. economic body, is vastly important for both economic and political stability and security.
US power plants and the internet infrastructure are grossly outdated. Many scientists estimate that the U.S. power grid could benefit by a savings of as much as 40% of the entire power consumption of the U.S. If it were to upgrade the grid to include the most advanced forms of technology (Lindsey, 2007). Internet communication and connectivity is no longer a luxury in the international economy, it's a necessity. If the U.S. is to compete globally, it needs to provide for the upcoming next wave of technological innovation, where computers, processors, and internet access will be universally available for a very low cost or for free. An upgraded technology infrastructure will help the U.S. To emerge as global leaders in this industry and will also help the nation to keep up with even the most basic technological advancements.
The U.S. road system is breaking down largely in part because it is not a priority. Instead of letting the U.S. highway system rot and lose a huge investment in time and energy, it should be retrofitted and updated to reflect the most up-to-date technologies and ideas about transportation, growth, and the economy (Lindsey, 2007). The U.S. rail system is another backbone of the economy. Without the rail system, goods and products would not be able to move as they do, and the trucks and delivery vehicles that utilize the roads would be put under undue stress. The rail system is not adequate, however, and an expansion and update to include higher speed trains like Europe has would help to increase productivity and efficiency as people move from place to place with speed and ease (Lindsey, 2007). The rail infrastructure could also use a face lift since much of the system was built in the early 20th century, when technology was completely different. Though it may take a decade or so before people in the U.S. realize the gains they are profiting from with the new rail infrastructure, it would be difficult to argue that U.S. citizens would not be against such a program due to the foreign nature of high speed rail transport within the U.S.
Investing in the U.S. transportation infrastructure would pay off many times over. Getting over the initial high cost of updating and grow it is something that is necessary for the country's security both economically and politically. As the economy grows back, more and more industries will begin to tap into this vital resource and unless it is ready for the increase in traffic and the technological developments to come, the U.S. will fall by the wayside, giving up its economic superpower throne to countries more adept at creating the infrastructure they need to survive. It is also important to remember that during the current economic recession, millions of people are looking for work and building supplies are relatively cheap. It would be as good a time as any to begin to rebuild the infrastructures that have helped America become as economically powerful as it has over the past half century. Investing in infrastructure always pays off in the long run, and the U.S. can help to mitigate much of the job loss damage that was created by the 2008 recession by putting people back to work on the new U.S. transportation infrastructure.
Lindsey, Robin. (2007). "Transportation infrastructure investments, pricing and gateway competition: Policy considerations." International Conference on Gateways and Corridors, Presentation. Vancouver, Canada.
Rodrigue, Jean-Paul; Comtois, Claude and Brian Slack (2009). The Geography of Transport
Systems. Routledge: New York.
Discussion Board (1 page)
Expand on the 5th Wave of technology innovation by giving some clear examples of information technology that we could say is helping shape this definition. And, do you agree with the timeframe for this 5th Wave as being 1990 -- " 2020? Why or why not?
The 5th wave of technology is currently on the horizon, and bits and pieces of it are starting to show up both within the transportation field and outside of it. The basis for this wave comes from the fact that computers and PC's are now readily available and fairly cheap and processors can now be inserted into almost anything in order to perform literally millions of different functions. Whether it's inside of cars, phones, or even in clothing, computers and processors will help to increase the efficiency and availability of information dramatically.
This wave of technology is being ushered in by innovations at microchip producers that allow computers and processors to fit into smaller and smaller spaces (Montgomery, 2008). These innovations are readily apparent, and by some estimates, the maximum possible computing or processing speed increases by two fold every 6 months. This means that computers can process information twice as fast, or, conversely that these processors are being halved in size every 6 months (Montgomery, 2008). At this speed, processors will soon be too small to detect with the naked eye, and will likely be used in devices and in places that were never before imagined. Some scientists even foresee processors being used on individual blood cells to help fight against autoimmune diseases and certain viruses.
I agree with the notion that the 5th wave will occur sometime between 1990 and 2020. It is already starting to occur, and it's very difficult to define exactly when the wave has arrived. However, since technology has been developing exponentially, I believe that the next five to ten years will be pivotal in helping to define the shift from the 4th to the 5th wave of technology. For the first time in human history, people graduating high school and college have been alive for a shorter amount of time than the internet has been in existence. So it stands to be said that these computer savvy people will likely help to usher in this 5th wave.
Montgomery, John. (2008). The New Wealth of Cities: City Dynamics and the Fifth Wave.
Ashgate: Burlington, VT.
Port and Terminal Operations
Discussion Board (1 page)
In your opinion, which port type is better? Why? Be specific and discuss in detail.
Ports come in many different shapes and sizes. Each type has a specific function but is also limited by certain modal restrictions and limitations. In my opinion, the most useful port is a seaport. I believe this to be the case because it is the most versatile type of port relative to international trade. It is also one of the most complex types of ports to plan, develop, and grow (Goss, 1990). Seaports represent the biggest opportunities for economic trade and import and export.
This type of port is more efficient than airports, rail yards, and highways because seaports take up a relatively small amount of space and are very versatile. Highways and rail lines need to be meticulously maintained in order to be effective and efficient. Seaports need to be maintained as well, but they are not held hostage by the same limitations that other types of ports are. Certainly airports succeed in moving cargo around long distances in short amounts of time, but these ports are very vulnerable to external influences and forces beyond their control. Seaports have much more continuity built into their function.
Besides their versatility and efficiency, seaports also handle large volumes of cargo with ease. They are one of the older types of ports, and in terms of management they are very complex, but they can handle more volume than any other port (Goss, 1990). The U.S. still has a long way to go relative to seaport development as many of the river and lake-based seaports are becoming clogged with traffic. In fact, some of the only unclogged seaports exist on the coasts of the U.S., and the port infrastructure would benefit greatly as far as volume of goods shipped if the U.S. government made seaports a priority.
Goss, R.O. (1990). "Economic policies and seaports: the economic functions of seaports."
Maritime Policy and Management. Vol. 17, No. 3. Pp. 207-219.
Written Paper (3 pages)
On page 53 of the textbook, choose one of the four organizations…