Yesterday’s physical infrastructure is a start; human infrastructure must follow.

The story goes that three workers in a remote Third World village had a job moving heavy loads. Two of them would lift a load onto the back of the third, who staggered away under the weight. The boss saw they needed a better way. He gave them a wagon to move the loads. “This will make the job much easier,” he told them as he left. When he checked on them later in the day, he saw two lifting the wagon, with as heavy a load as before, onto the third man’s back. They hadn’t been taught, so they simply didn’t know it could be rolled.

Factual or not, there’s a lesson here for Congress. Building physical infrastructure, without equipping people to use it, is just as ignorant. One example: A nationwide broadband expansion is hobbled if people aren’t trained to make robust use of it. “If we build it, they will come” is a pipedream if technology workers aren’t available when construction workers finish their job.

That’s just common sense.

Fred Reklau   

Oak Park

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