November 2014

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20 | www.cedmag.com | Construction Equipment Distribution | November 2014 A Closer Look Modern economic growth and development depends on high-quality infrastructure. There is no getting around it. However, what, exactly, does that involve? Infrastructure spans a wide range of public and private assets, including highways and bridges, airports, ports and inland waterways, electricity plants and transmission lines, information and telecommunication networks and water and sewage facilities. Such assets are indispensable for facilitat- ing production across various indus- tries – not least of which include agriculture, energy, mining and, in particular, manufacturing. The ability to safely and efficiently move goods from a manufacturing facility to a customer located far away is crucial to the industry's long-term health and global competitiveness. In other capital-intensive industries, such as telecommunications and electricity distribution, infrastructure plays an equally important role. Beyond the manufacturing industry, basic infrastructure also underlies the daily occupational and recreational activities of U.S. households. Our energy, mobility, information and travel capabilities all depend on safe, accessible and reliable infrastructure. Unfortunately, recent data concerning U.S. public- and private- sector spending indicates a decline in real investment spending for many types of infrastructure. Real or "constant-price" investment is the purchase of structures and equipment by government enti- ties and private companies, where dollar amounts have been adjusted for inflation. It, therefore, is an indication of the physical volume of infrastructure installed in each year. The decline goes beyond the recent recession and includes a period that stretches over the past decade. Consumers are cognizant of delays The Case for A new report from the National Manufacturing Association, authored by Dr. Jeff Werling and Dr. Ronald Horst, provides more evidence that America requires greater focus (and investment) to achieve a more competitive infrastructure. And one of the most compelling arguments: improved household real disposable income – for all. Following is the Executive Summary, reprinted with permission. (continued on page 22) Catching Up

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