Judging Intentions

Judging intentions is extraordinarily difficult but pundits seem to do it regularly without care and often without evidence. Our latest perp is from Jonathan Coppage’s article, Our Infrastructure Inefficiency, in NRODT.  Jonathan’s article is otherwise excellent and worth reading in detail.

Sidebar: Not only are we behind on our reading but we are behind on technology because we can’t reference it. Mea Culpa * 2.  End Sidebar.

After Jonathan says that current federal law has buy American standards including a 100 per cent rule for manufactured items he seems to excuse it by saying:

While well intentioned in their concern for American manufacturing, such policies can inflate the cost of [American] infrastructure.

We have a suggestion for a rewrite:

It is wildly difficult to determine the intent of Congress and it is even more unlikely that every member of Congress has the same intent.  It is easy to determine the impact of tariffs and other restrictions on trade like buy American.  The impact is to provide concentrated benefits, in this case for certain manufacturers, and to widely disperse the costs, in this case over all federal taxpayers by increasing the cost of American infrastructure.

Yes, it is too long compared to what it replaced but we had much to explain.  We think our last sentence is obvious but not everyone will.  Jonathan should be as enthusiastic about eliminating buy American as he is with the other elements of infrastructure reform.


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