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Failure to Act

  • 2021 Report: Economic Impacts of Status Quo Investment Across Infrastructure Systems

    Failure to Act: Economic Impacts of Status Quo Investment Across Infrastructure Systems quantifies how the persistent failure to invest in our aging infrastructure impacts the economy, including GDP, jobs, personal disposable income, and business sales. The electricity and water/wastewater reports (above) were conducted after this full economic study. 

    ASCE finds that with an increased investment of $281 billion a year — $5.48 more per household a day — the U.S. can eliminate this drag on the economy, protecting by 2039: 

    • $10 trillion in GDP, nearly half of the annual U.S. GDP in 2019
    • More than $23 trillion in total output (primarily business sales)
    • More than 3 million jobs in 2039, two times the number of Walmart employees in the U.S.
    • More than $3,300 in a family’s annual disposable income each year from 2020 to 2039, which is over half of the average American’s household’s monthly expenditure of $5,102. 
  • Read the full report

    Failure to Act Report (2021) - cover Read the report

  • Recent Failure to Act economic reports include:

      • Electricity (2020) — An additional investment of $16.9 billion per year between now and 2039 in our electricity infrastructure can protect 540,000 jobs and $5,800 per household in personal income.
      • Water and Wastewater (2020) — By investing in our water infrastructure to make it more reliable, we can prevent $250 billion in increased costs to businesses by 2039.
      • Surface Transportation preliminary findings (2020) — These preliminary findings show that if industry costs are passed onto customers, costs per household could be as high as $12,500 over 20 years, or $625 dollars per year.  Losses to households and industries will amount to $677 billion over the 2020–2029 period and $1.5 trillion during the 2030–2039 decade.
  • Failure to Act Report 2021 infographic


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