The American government has a long history of its traditional role of investing in national public goods. From highways to treatment plants to national defense - - we had a collective desire and system that converted private profits into public goods and benefits. We are rapidity changing. The country has developed a consistent track record in recent times of taking private profits and directing them toward private benefits.
Engineering faces a future where spending on entitlements, like Social Security and Medicare, which provide mostly private benefits is rising while investment on national public goods like navigation locks, dam safety, and wastewater treatment funding is falling.