Politics and Logistics

The August edition of Logistics Management magazine includes an interesting article by Jeff Berman on the infrastructure legislation working its way through Congress. I have strong political opinions but usually keep them out of my posts and articles. In this case, however, politics and policy have major implications for logistics.

A few years ago I wrote and published a book review of “Wedding of the Waters” which chronicles the building of the Erie Canal. The debate about the project was similar to today’s and centered around the amount of federal funding needed. Of course the canal was completed and transformed commerce in the US as well as globally through the Port of NY/NJ. Later infrastructure projects (which were called internal improvements in the 19th Century) included the transcontinental railroad, the interstate highway system, the St. Lawrence Seaway, and many more. None of these would have been possible without federal funding.

While Public-Private Partnerships and a potential Infrastructure Bank are good politics and good policy, our massive needs also require massive federal funding.