|Necessary? I don't know.|
Cool? You bet your ass.
One thing that bothers me about this score is that the American Society of Civil Engineers aren't exactly an impartial body. Continued investment in infrastructure, roads, power lines, rail, water, electric, and so on, is in their best interest. I am not suggesting they are intentionally scoring America lower in order to drum up more government funds towards projects that would directly benefit them. Rather that they are more likely to say more money is needed than not. There is a obvious conflict of interest.
The other is when they score our drinking water at a D -. Frankly, I find this absurd and laughable. I have traveled the world and America is one of the few countries that it is safe to drink the tap water. In all my life I have never heard about, read about, or seen anyone get sick from drinking tap water. In todays alarmist news climate there is no way that people getting sick from our drinking water would go unnoticed. This alone made me begin to question the rest of the report.
The other is, as Charles Lane points out, that when the US is ranked lower than Barbados when it comes to Infrastructure, or when Guatemala is ranked higher than Italy, you really have to question the veracity of such reports as a whole. I've been to Guatemala and Italy, and I can tell you from first hand experience, there is no comparison. Italy has an infrastructure that is better by many magnitudes than Guatemala.
This isn't to say that America's infrastructure isn't in need of upgrading, repair, and replacement. Increasing brown and black outs in this country suggest otherwise. Moreover much of our infrastructure was completed around 50 year ago, about the time for structural obsolescence for these items baring major revisions over the years. But when I hear claims that our infrastructure is on the verge of failing, which outside my major metropolitan area I have never seen any evidence of anything but well maintained and cared for roads, power lines, and rail in my neck of the country, so I have to wonder if this is true; or if there is some hyperbole going on. Perhaps those with extensive cross country traveling experience, *ahem* Captain, would like to make their own observations on the state of our infrastructure.