Monday, May 5, 2014

Where are all the engineering Whigs?

Henry Clay's Whig Party was the bedrock of civil engineering.  A party with a strong central government dedicated to federal public works (look for the word public works to die this century and replaced with infrastructure, asset management, and P3) like roads, canals, and dams; a national bank to serve as repository to federal monies; sale of federal lands to pay for the federal government's expansive programs; tariff levels designed to protect domestic manufacturers; a government commitment to the "moral, political and intellectual improvement" of American citizens.

We seldom build big things anymore.  Public works creation has been replaced with infrastructure asset optimization.  What happened to civil engineers' stride and spirit?  We just talk about building them and usually decide to take a pass or to wait.

Maybe the Whigs would handle the America the Shrunken better.

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