Oil, natural gas, gold, iron, timber, soy, orange juice, tropical fruits, along with a long list of other important commodities are pulled cheaply from the ground daily, hourly, a few hours from where I am writing right now. Very rich people pay very poor people peanuts to make them even wealthier.
They say the price of commodities is going to keep going up. That will make these rich people even wealthier. It will keep the poor people just about where they are now, maybe a little bit better off for a few years but serious imbalances will continue.
America cannot compete with the price of the commodity when it comes from the ground. It’s impossible. However, America can get the raw commodity to market faster and cheaper because they pay their employees enough to care. And their workers care enough to make the hours and days and weeks of difference.
Infrastructure and transportation in the United States is not in a position today to erase the competitive edge of emerging markets. But a serious investment in transportation, alternative energy exploration and efficiency would put America back into the driver’s seat on commodity prices.
The Democrats and Obama are right. Whatever it costs, whatever price, we need to fight to build a 21st century infrastructure.
Here in a foreign land, working for America’s chief competition, I am convinced 100% that such an investment is our only hope.
Where I saw nothing but despair only months ago, today I see a glimmer of hope...in that sweet blessed thing we call "transportation."