One thing that I noticed when touring the Bay area was that despite its unmatched beauty and culture, there were a few problems with the infrastructure in some areas. California is subject to a number of different climates, changes, and other elements that all contribute to the decay of specific infrastructure, especially roads. Much of the attractions in the Bay area are surrounded by patches of asphalt, which absorbs heat and plays a large role in the transportation of the area.
As a former construction worker, I brought this up to a former colleague, a company in charge of performing the best blacktop repairs in the area. I asked him what the reasons were for the deteriorating state of the infrastructure was, and what we, as citizens could do about it.
What he said was astonishing, and I later learned that a local brick paving company was responsible for much of the repairs in the Bay area, and were often contracted by local municipalities.
Which came as a surprise
As someone that is relatively informed in local government, I had thought that maintaining the community was incumbent upon the state of California. I was not aware that a lot of contracts taken by local workers were paid for by local governments rather than the state government. It then occurred to me that infrastructure as a whole in the country is outdated and crumbling.
This might seem bad, but think about how that affects concrete driveway prices. The need for local governments to bid on large infrastructure projects means that there is a greater demand for concrete and asphalt jobs. What this does is even though the state government is not paying for infrastructure, local companies being to spring up in order to fill the demand for these jobs.
Many people that notice the state of infrastructure in the Bay area agree that it could use some work. And many would argue that the state should pay for it. However, the current trend of local contractors fixing the infrastructure creates a world in which there is larger demand for these services, sparking healthy capitalistic competition.