China

China's Infrastructure Investments Going the Way of Its Rail and Energy Investments -- Horribly

A year-old poorly-constructed bridge collapses, killing three.

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But when bridges collapse, that creates even more jobs!

So the Obama administration has insisted we need to invest in renewable energy so we don't fall behind China, but then we discovered that China's renewable energy industry is in an even worse financial state than ours.  China is better than us in transportation, U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood says, because they've built a high-speed rail system. But it turns out China's trains are a scary, hastily built, dangerous mess whose construction was marked with corruption and are too expensive for the Chinese to actually ride.

But China's infrastructure! Oh, man, China's infrastructure! President Barack Obama has praised China's infrastructure investments and has frequently argued that we've got to follow in their footsteps.

Cue the sad trombones (via BBC):

A section of a multi-million dollar bridge in China that opened in November has collapsed, leaving three people dead and five injured, state media say.

Four lorries fell off the Yangmingtan Bridge in Harbin City, Heilongjiang province, when part of it collapsed, Xinhua news agency said.

Shoddy construction and over-loading have been blamed for the incident, it added.

This is the sixth major bridge collapse in China in a year. We can only hope the firms who built these bridges aren't the same Chinese firms that have been contracted to build bridges here in America.

Here's Obama the candidate back in 2008 using the traveling Potemkin village known as the Olympics as a springboard to talk about the infrastructure gap, declaring China's to be "vastly superior" to ours. Wonder if he still feels that way:

(Hat tip to Scott Lincicome)