Your Opinion: Road to success
Wednesday, June 29, 2011
There’s been a lot of talk these days about creating jobs. Most people recognize that we need to do whatever we can to follow our free enterprise system to work efficiently. A reasonable chance of financial success will give business decision makers and entrepreneurs the confidence to hire employees as they see the potential for growth.
The flip side is that uncertainty makes businesses reluctant to hire new employees. Unfortunately, there is plenty of uncertainty these days. A major concern is possible tax increases that some think would be a way to reduce the federal deficit. There is another one. Will production materials and final products make it through our increasingly congested transportation system on time?
Many companies today use the “just in time” business model to reduce expenses at all levels of the production and market delivery process. This, of course, depends on a transportation network that is reliable, fast and cost effective. However, our nation’s transportation infrastructure is falling apart. The Missouri Department of Transportation has done an excellent job in recent years of using our transportation funds effectively, but the future looks bleak due to a lack of revenue for new projects.
If we will be able to fix our aging infrastructure and make needed improvements, all funding options need to be considered. User fees or other dedicated funding sources must be adequate enough to make transportation self-sufficient and not a contributor to the national debt. Our congressional representatives in Washington must develop a reasonable package that gives state transportation departments a predictable source of matching funds. It’s time for Congress to stop avoiding its responsibility by merely passing extensions (now on the sixth) of the existing transportation law that expires on Sept. 30.
Americans from all parts of the country must demand something better than we are getting now. Businesses of all kinds are forced to contend with serious challenges to mobility of raw materials and products. That’s just another anchor dragging on the creation of new jobs.
If we want American businesses to thrive, we need to provide as much certainty as we can so they can plan for the future with some hope of growth. An important component of that is a reliable transportation system.
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