An earlier version of this piece appeared in Public Works Financing, for which Mr. Poole writes a regular column, © Robert W. Poole, Jr., 2008.
Published here September 2008.

Editor's Note | Introduction | An Alternative Source of Funding 
A Shift in Investment Thinking | Tax Implications Overlooked
Pension Funds in Australia and Canada | Construction Trade Unions in the US

Robert Poole is director of transportation studies at Reason Foundation (, a free market think tank he founded in 1978. He has written hundreds of articles, papers, and policy studies on privatization and transportation issues that have appeared in national newspapers, including New York Times, Wall Street Journal, USA Today, Forbes, and others. He has also been a guest on network television programs such as Good Morning America, NBC's Nightly News, ABC's World News Tonight, and the CBS Evening News. Bob earned his B.S. and M.S. in mechanical engineering at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and did graduate work in operations research at New York University. Bob can be reached at xbob.poole[AT]

Editor's Note

Project managers are not normally concerned with where the money comes from for their projects - but perhaps they should be. In recent years the focus seems to have been on the plethora of relative small IT projects. But obviously, without serious funding, large projects such as infrastructure projects do not get launched. Bob Poole draws attention to the serious need for infrastructure investment in the United States.

However, the same is true of Canada and other parts of the western world where maintenance or replacement is overdue, and upgrading and expansion are required to meet the needs of an ever-increasing population. Bob suggests that the USA should emulate the solutions found by Australia and Canada. But even in Canada infrastructure investment needs fall a long way short. Perhaps it is time for project managers, who are familiar with the time and effort that it takes to establish and complete large projects, to add their voice to the urgency of this discussion.


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