WWL>Topics>>2-25 9:10am Tommy talks to Nobel Prize winner Peter Diamond

2-25 9:10am Tommy talks to Nobel Prize winner Peter Diamond

Feb 25, 2013|

Tommy talks to Peter Diamond, an Economist at MIT and the 2010 Nobel Prize in Economics winner, about infrastructure spending

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Automatically Generated Transcript (may not be 100% accurate)

David we have a guests on hold and you know eventually everybody has put their differences aside I mean it happened with the hat fields and -- write they mean absolutely. You look at Dean Martin Jerry Lewis -- eventually reconciled. That Nancy Kerrigan Tonya Harding eventually they need -- Richard Burton was Tyler yeah same thing so our next guest here Peter diamond an economist at NN -- T. That he this guy barely nudged me out for the 2010 Nobel Prize mechanized. All right -- Jordan wanted to have him on message utilized were so close -- our -- know close now because I should've won -- Nobel Prize but then again the thinking about and it's like well. Pete that's like Collins got a lot to offer some one we go ahead. Heavy on -- -- as that sounds so with that Iowa -- Peter diamond. An economist at MIT and winner of the 2010 Nobel prize in economics mornings are howry and aren't I decided to let it go. Doctors you deserved it more than I did. Again a thanks for it to join in -- seriously we wanted to talk about. The president wanting to spend fifty billion dollars on. Projects to fix the infrastructure in the country let's start a little background on this what. What is the the infrastructure like in the United States. Well. Various engineering groups have reviewed all the different pieces bridges roads. Airports throughout the whole bit. And very very in the grade they do -- -- the state of our infrastructure. Occasionally get up to would be hugely to the end. Now we have the budget sequester coming up and cuts and and a big concern about debt and deficit in the country but the president wants to spend. Fifty billion now I know we have to be concerned about that but yet. Is it accurate. Professor doctor I presume doctor diamond -- Come make a comparison to your home and and the best money you can spend it is. He in putting any new improvements in your home. First of all that -- true but. Yet there is apparently he. Little deep in the home let's put it that. About it not a dig deep in the home as an investment but if you plan on keeping it which. I don't think we plan on some in the country to the Chinese or is that a show for another day. I think you've appeared dead right and we're in the by and large go on living here and so yes there. Keeping up the infrastructure is important for the economy and important for daily life. And if you do good maintenance that often holds down long run cost. And we also need new construction that we all remember bridges falling down. And levees not being strong enough. And those things when addressed at a time save money in the long. -- you review to strike a -- there with Levys not being the strong enough so. How do you balance that with debt and deficit. Two things. First the -- if that this stuff we need to do sooner or later. -- It's going to be an expense and rural later we should ask the question is this a good time to do and the answer is a very obvious yet. Because we've got a lot of vital resources in the country labor and capital equipment. Things like. And by doing more. Infrastructure repair in the building. At a time when -- got to idle resources. We're getting socially on the -- And so that's a real plus and then a second port of course. It's given the state of the economy. Via extra spending now will help boost the economy. And of course the interest rate. The federal government. It's an honor to small. That doesn't take away from the fact that we have a long run unsustainable. Problem. But the point is that emphasis there is on the long run. We're not -- the bond market isn't on the verge of demanding much higher interest rates from a we need to get things under control. But we don't need to do with Andy Murray and mine mine which really important is to do it intelligently not stupid. One thing that then I have a concern about an and I understand. The idea of getting people to work and I understand that. -- I'd buy the argument I'm old school but the best money again assuming you're you're gonna stay in the house of this money can spend as put it in the house and specially the roof is leaking and is achievers that -- in money can spend the best banging get for your buck is to. Repair the roof before it ruins a sheet rock and in erodes foundation and and we keep going on and on with that but. Professor when it comes to. And we are talking about this before you came on. Given the -- the fine line between bringing home the bacon and and pork barrel spending in Washington. How you keep this -- did you or make sure there's fifty billion goes to I guess the items that are most needed and that we don't wind up. Spending money in districts that where the legislators have the most cloud in that. We triage these these needs these infrastructure needs in the country and and the bridges that are that are in most dangerous fallen down get fixed -- that. Here in new loans we have a heck of a problem with streets collapsing because that's the sewage system and then and then did water delivery system is. Close of 300 years old 450 years old and collapsing. How do you make sure that the most urgent need gets the money first in -- doesn't devolve. Into. Legislators with the most cloud get the money first. Let me calm down kind of in the middle on this one you identify the really important problem. That it matters how intelligently the money is spent but let's recognize it is going to work in your own home. Looking for perfection and -- spend. It's gonna happen. So we're gonna have to live we have some of it being political and some bottom line what matters the year it's process. The more we can get this in the hands. Of commissions committees of experts. And the lasts we're Spain. Small things putting in the big pieces of legislation the better. And so I think it's really important. As we went through with the base closing commission. Support. Some political leverage. It doesn't tick away the the final right of congress to vote yet certain now but political leverage in the hands of people who -- outside on. One other question before we let you go in and he you have a time line here deadline I'm glad you took the time to spend -- this. When it comes soon to sequester we hear about today cuts to military spending and some days studies what do what do they show in terms of of by and bombs and blowing them up and and build an other countries is opposes spending the money here I would imagine. That would be a no brainer or is it that obvious. The military. -- an important role for the country abroad as well as being here. Stop somebody landing on the beach. And the issue here with the military and with a lot of nonmilitary. Programs and how well the money being spent. And again the studies that I've seen suggests there's lots of room for improvement. The quality with which. That money is spent the purchasing process. The way we use. Contractors. Things like that. And yes we could probably live -- is a bit less military given how much more -- Then any other country. Thank you professor anything were missing that you wanted to hand. -- you -- five spot let's. Definitely not let the sequester happen it's it's stupid way of cutting spending. And that's gonna happen upon in the economy's quite vulnerable. And could really slowed down. I appreciate your time though we did talk to you again. Thanks for call.

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