The Biggest Economic Time Bomb

Mark Skousen

Named one of the "Top 20 Living Economists," Dr. Skousen is a professional economist, investment expert, university professor, and author of more than 25 books.

“When it comes to roads, bridges, and airports, America is a Third World country.” — Jim Rogers, “Street Smarts”


The August 29, 2015, issue of The Economist lambasted the West, and the United States in particular, for failing to address a ticking time bomb — rebuilding its roads, bridges, airports and other infrastructure when interest rates are low.

The Economist states, “IT IS hard to exaggerate the decrepitude of infrastructure in much of the rich world. One in three railway bridges in Germany is over 100 years old, as are half of London’s water mains. In America the average bridge is 42 years old and the average dam 52. The American Society of Civil Engineers rates around 14,000 of the country’s dams as ‘high hazard’ and 151,238 of its bridges as ‘deficient.’ This crumbling infrastructure is both dangerous and expensive: traffic jams on urban highways cost America over $100 billion in wasted time and fuel each year; congestion at airports costs $22 billion and another $150 billion is lost to power outages.”

According to The Economist, it will take $15 trillion-$20 trillion by 2030 to rebuild the West‘s infrastructure. Right now, we are spending 2.5% of gross domestic product (GDP) on capital investment in buildings, roads, bridges, railroads and airports. We should be spending at least 3.5% of GDP.


Why do we have gorgeous state-of-the-art shopping malls and lousy Third World roads and subways to get to them?

The answer is simple: Blame Keynesian economics. The Keynesians are constantly promoting consumer spending at the expense of saving and investment.

A few countries are doing it right. Canada is spending 3.3% of its GDP on investment in infrastructure. Asian nations in general are investing heavily in good roads, bridges and train systems. The airports in Los Angeles, New York and Chicago can’t hold a candle to the first-class airports in Singapore, Hong Kong, Shanghai, Seoul and even Japan.

Now more than ever, the United States needs a heavy dose of supply-side “Austrian” economics to rebuild its economy and make it more efficient. It is time we shifted resources from welfare transfers to investment in infrastructure.


Nailed It! Pat Buchanan on Pope Francis’s Anti-Capitalist Mentality

With Pope Francis’ visit to the United States next week — for the first time — I suggest you read the column by Pat Buchanan on the Pope’s “social” philosophy, which appears to be quite anti-capitalist. Let’s hope the Pope gets a more positive view of capitalism after visiting the center of capitalism — New York — next week.

Among Buchanan’s key points are: Pope Francis seems to have a much less favorable view of capitalism than John Paul II; the new pontiff calls capitalism “idolatry of money” that produces “an impersonal economy lacking a truly human purpose;” and he advocates egalitarianism.

Buchanan disputed that reasoning. He countered that egalitarianism has proven to be the road to dictatorship, which stifles capitalism. Free enterprise has brought millions of people out of poverty, and enabled additional billions of people to live longer, freer, healthier and happier lives, while producing more widespread prosperity, than any other economic system, Buchanan argued.

Buchanan asked whether the 100 million people of Eastern Europe, the 300 million of the late Soviet Union and the 1.2 billion people in China are better off the further they have moved away from Marxism, and the closer they have moved toward free-market capitalism.


The pope is a “saintly man,” Buchanan wrote. But the pontiff has no special understanding of economic systems or of climate change. He is the Vicar of Christ, the Savior sent by God to teach us what we must believe and how we must live to gain eternal life, Buchanan added.

Christ did not come among us to end colonialism, or redistribute wealth, or start a social revolution against the empire of the Caesars, Buchanan continued. He told Pontius Pilate, “My Kingdom is not of this world.”

Pope Francis is the “infallible custodian” of the truths Christ taught, concluded Buchanan, who suggested that the pope leave socialist sermons to politicians such as Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren.

In case you missed it, I encourage you to read my e-letter column from last week about Donald Trump’s formula for wealth. I also invite you to comment in the space provided below my commentary.

Upcoming Conference

New Orleans Investment Conference, Oct. 28-31, New Orleans Hilton Hotel


Join me for the “granddaddy of all investment conferences.” Other speakers include Charles Krauthammer, Mark Steyn, Jim Rickards, Marc Faber, Dennis Gartman and Robert Prechter, among many others. Register now to save. Call toll-free 1-800-648-8411, or go to Be sure to mention you are my subscriber.

Note from the Publisher

In last week’s Skousen CAFE, Mark Skousen told you how he met with Donald Trump, who spoke before a record crowd at FreedomFest this past July. Today, I’m thrilled to be able to offer you a free copy of Trump’s best-selling new book, “Time To Get Tough: Make America Great Again!” (through a special arrangement I’ve made with the publisher… it’s good to know people!)  Click here to claim your copy — you’ll pay just $4.95 to cover shipping & handling, and I’m also including a bonus from Mark Skousen I think you’ll find very useful in the coming months.

share on:

Like This Article?
Now Get Mark's FREE Special Report:
3 Dividend Plays with Sky-High Returns

This newly-released report by a top-20 living economist details three investments that are your best bets for income and appreciation for the rest of the year and beyond.

Get Access to the Report, 100% FREE

share on:


Dr. Mark Skousen

Named one of the "Top 20 Living Economists," Dr. Skousen is a professional economist, investment expert, university professor, and author of more than 25 books.

Product Details

  • Forecasts & Strategies
  • Home Run Trader
  • Fast Money Alert
  • Five Star Trader
  • TNT Trader

Bryan Perry

A former Wall Street financial advisor with three decades' experience, Bryan Perry focuses his efforts on high-yield income investing and quick-hitting options plays.

Product Details

  • Cash Machine
  • Premium Income PRO (exclusively for subscribers of Cash Machine)
  • Quick Income Trader
  • Breakout Options Alert
  • Hi-Tech Trader

Jim Woods

Jim Woods has over 20 years of experience in the markets from working as a stockbroker,
financial journalist, and money manager. As well as a book author and regular contributor to
numerous investment websites, Jim is the editor of:

Product Details

  • Successful Investing
  • High Velocity Options
  • Intelligence Report
  • Bullseye Stock Trader
  • Eagle Eye Opener

Bob Carlson

Bob Carlson provides independent, objective research covering all the financial issues of retirement and retirement planning. In addition, Bob serves as Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Fairfax County (VA) Employees’ Retirement System, which has over $2.8 billion in assets.

Product Details

  • Retirement Watch
  • Retirement Watch Spotlight Series
  • Lifetime Retirement Protection Program

Jon Johnson

Jon Johnson's philosophy in investing and trading is to take what the market gives you regardless if that is to the upside or downside. For the past 21 years, Jon has helped thousands of clients gain success in the financial markets through his newsletters and education services:

Product Details

  • Investment House Daily
  • Stock of the Week
  • Technical Traders Alert
  • Rapid Profits Stock Trader

Used by financial advisors and individual investors all over the world, is the premier provider and one-stop shop for dividend information and research.

Product Details

Popular tools include our proprietary Dividend Calendar, Dividend Calculator, Dividend Score Card, and many more.

  • Dividend Investor

George Gilder

George Gilder is the most knowledgeable man in America when it comes to the future of technology and its impact on our lives.  He’s an established investor, bestselling author, and economist with an uncanny ability to foresee how new breakthroughs will play out, years in advance.

Product Details

  • Technology Report
  • Technology Report PRO
  • Moonshots
  • Private Reserve
  • Millionaire Circle


DayTradeSPY was founded by head trader Hugh Grossman, a retired internal auditor for a Fortune 500 company. After years of first-hand experience trying out one trading strategy after another, Hugh instead developed his own trading system centered around day trading SPY options. That’s it... Nothing else.

Product Details

  • Trading Room
  • Pick of the Day
  • Inner Circle
  • Online Workshops