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Why Nothing Is Shovel-Ready Anymore If you want to understand why liberalism doesnt work very well anymore, travel

up the Hudson River a few miles from New York. Mayor Bloombergs ban on large sodas isnt the only thing inciting New Yorkers this week. Controversy is heating up over a bridge that maybe never should have been built. The longstanding plan to rebuild the Tappan Zee Bridgea massive, crumbling monstr osity inexplicably built at the widest point of the Hudson Riverwill be one of th e most expensive construction projects the state has ever undertaken. As the New York Times reports, the bridge has a projected cost of $5.2 billion dollars: The plan is to replace the current seven-lane bridge with either one or two stru ctures projected to have 15 lanes 8 for traffic, as well as shoulders and breakd own lanes, a lane for pedestrians and bicyclists and space for designated bus la nes. It would be the first major bridge built in the New York City area since th e Verrazano-Narrows Bridge, in 1964. Many environmentalists oppose the plan due to the environmental damage from the massive dredging operation that is necessary to build a new bridge. Other enviro nmentalists support the bridge, but claim that a wider bridge without room for p ublic transit would increase sprawl and lead to a higher carbon output. Local po liticians and planning associations, meanwhile, have added their own lists of co ncerns to the pile. These kinds of complaints are unfortunately all too typical of construction proj ects today. There are so many controversies, so many lawsuits, and so many compe ting interests that negotiations take an enormous amount of time and money. The time between planning a project and actually carrying it out stretches into deca des. To those who bemoan the lack of shovel-ready infrastructure projects in Ameri ca: this is why. Even if you are a Keynesian and believe that deficit spending helps the economy to grow, infrastructure projects wont do the trick anymore. By the time youre actu ally actually able to get the project off the ground, the recession has been ove r for years. And the problem runs deeper than infrastructure. Our bureaucratic institutions a re ponderously slow. We need new structured interactions between laws, courts, a nd agencies that can process information and make decisions in real time rather than putting everything in bureaucratic limbo for decades. Slow governmental process is a facet of the blue social model and the progressiv e era civil service bureaucracies and slow procedures that model has historicall y entailed. And the high costs associated with it are among the reasons that the model is dying.