Public works

From Academic Kids

The notion of internal improvements or public works is a concept in economics and politics. The term public infrastructure refers only to the infrastructural capital involved in these activities.

An internal improvement is some constructible object, via which, a nation can improve its economic infrastructure.

Examples of internal improvements are: airports, canals, dams, dikes, pipelines, railroads, roads, tunnels, and artificial harbours.

Public works is a slightly broader term, it can include such things as: mines, schools, hospitals, water purification and sewage treatment centers. It is often used interchangeably with municipal infrastructure, e.g. urban infrastructure which is often, in big-city contexts, just called infrastructure.

Utility of investment

In some cases, it is argued that internal improvements can be used to reduce unemployment. Opponents of internal improvement programs argue that such projects should be undertaken by the private sector, and not the public sector. However, the private sector lacks the ability to make large investments that will not begin to provide a return for 50 years or more; consequently, almost all significant infrastructure in the U.S., including the Transcontinental Railroad, the Tennessee Valley Authority, and the Interstate highway system, were created through federal investment -- through private subcontractors. Advocates of American System Economics point out that such federal investments in infrastructure are counter-inflationary, because they increase the overall productive power of the economy, in contrast to federal investments that prop up speculative bubbles, as was the trend in the 1990s.

See also

fr:Travaux publics ja:公共事業 Template:Econ-stub Template:Poli-stub

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