Frank and Roberts on Infrastructure | EconTalk

Via JS: @ EconTalk | Library of Economics and Liberty: Frank and Roberts on Infrastructure :

“Robert Frank of Cornell University and EconTalk host Russ Roberts debate the merits of a large increase of infrastructure spending. In the summer of 2012, Frank and Roberts were interviewed by Alex Blumberg of NPR’s Planet Money. That interview was trimmed to ten minutes for a Planet Money podcast. This is the entire conversation. Frank argues that a trillion increase in infrastructure spending, where the projects are decided by a bipartisan commission, would put people back to work and repair a near-failing system at a time when it is cheap to repair it and cheap to fund those repairs. Roberts disagrees with virtually every piece of Frank’s argument. This lively conversation covers fundamental disagreements over fiscal policy, the proper role for government, and the political process.”

In my view Russ Roberts did slightly better in the debate, but both were surprisingly ill-informed about infrastructure policy in the US. Roberts was also disappointingly willing to concede roads and tracks to the government sector for a libertarian, even tracks that are currently privately owned, like freight.