Tuesday, December 6, 2016

GOP Negotiators Announce Deal on Water Measure

GOP Negotiators Announce Deal on Water Measure: Senate Democrats object to provisions dealing with California drought and Buy America program.

What the Trump Infrastructure Plan Must Target

From Forbes -

"President-elect Trump and Congressional leaders should put a plan together that focuses on the infrastructure repairs and maintenance projects that provide the highest economic returns, meaning bridges, dams, levees, airports, and roads. By concentrating their spending on the most vital infrastructure in the most severe disrepair, taxpayers are protected against vanity projects and wasteful ideas that hope to take advantage of the spending boom to finally secure funding."

The Chinese Century

From the Washington Posr-

"U.S. student performance in the most recent assessment should serve as a “Sputnik moment” for U.S. leaders and educators, said Marc Tucker, president of the National Center on Education and the Economy. Tucker pointed specifically to the results from Chinese students and said that the United States should study how a country that is still relatively poor can outperform students in the wealthiest country in the world."

Sunday, December 4, 2016

Avoid Variable Costs in the Short Term

From the Circle of Blue 2015 annual water/wastewater national rate survey:


Better Estimating Tools for Engineers

The Importance of Ports

From the Arup Connectivity blog (which I highly recommend adding to your reading list):
"Over 80% of the world’s products and services are transported via sea and depend on port infrastructure to transport products and commodities to and from their final destinations. But for an island nation like the UK, with over 500m tonnes of goods, food, materials, fuel and cargo delivered by sea every year, it might come as a surprise to learn that there’s no single institution championing the strategic interests of UK ports. I believe they need advocacy in order to adapt and prosper.  
Although shipping companies have relatively high profiles, the public remains largely unaware of ports themselves. In the UK, 80% of imports and exports are transported through the country’s top 15 ports. But organisationally the UK port industry is a patchwork of bodies and interests, a mixture of privately run enterprises or locally-held trusts. Ports also compete among themselves for business so have traditionally failed to speak with one voice.
Other countries demonstrate what’s possible. Denmark now hosts an annual global maritime forum that brings together the biggest names in ports and shipping, relevant policy makers and other influencers to debate the future of this vital aspect of the world economy. The UK should be taking a similar lead." 

Term of the Week - Ad Hoc Deal-Based Capitalism

From Larry Summers in the Washington Post:

"It seems to me what we have just witnessed is an act of ad hoc deal capitalism and, worse yet, its celebration as a model. As with the air traffic controllers, only a negligible sliver of the economy is involved, but there is huge symbolic value. A principle is being established: It is good for the president to try to figure out what people want and lean on companies to give it to them. Predictability and procedure are less important than getting the right result at the right time. Like Hong Kong, as mainland China increasingly imposes its will, we may have taken a first step toward a kind of reverse transition from rule of law capitalism to ad hoc deal-based capitalism."