US infrastructure: lessons from Australia, with Darren Brady Nelson – Economics Explained EP36

I recently spoke with Darren Brady Nelson about his new Heartland Institute Policy Brief How to fix America’s crumbling infrastructure: lessons from Australia. You can now listen to our conversation which I’ve published as Economics Explained EP36.

Darren is an Austrian school economist who serves as the chief economist at LibertyWorks, an Australian think tank, and as an associate scholar with the US Center for Freedom and Prosperity. He is also a policy advisor to the Heartland Institute. Darren has previously worked for NSW Treasury, various consulting firms, industry associations, a US Presidential campaign, and for an Australian Senator.

You can use these (approximate) timestamps as a guide to my conversation with Darren:

  • 2:20 – Darren gives an overview of the US’s crumbling infrastructure
  • 7:15 – Darren observes “the average US airport…looks like something out of the Soviet Union”
  • 19:00 – Darren notes “the key is to actually open things up to competition as well, not just to privatise things or to recycle an asset”
  • 20:00 – discussion of National Competition Policy in Australia and how the Australian economic reform process slowed down in the 2000s
  • 28:10 – reference to the Productivity Commission’s finding of substantial economic gains from National Competition Policy in Australia (e.g. see the 2005 Inquiry Report – Review of National Competition Policy Arrangements) and Darren argues the US could easily replicate Australia’s very high ROI with a US National Competition Policy

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