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The big disappointment in the world economy today is the low rate of investment.With budget austerity restraining public investment, and major uncertainties concerning public policy and international taxation hampering private investment, such spending has generally declined in the high-income countries.Despite U.S. President Barack Obama's promises of investment in high-speed rail and other modern infrastructure, not one mile of fast rail was built during his eight years in office. The world needs massive investments in low-carbon energy systems, and an end to the construction of new coal-fired power plants.The U.S. and Europe also need major new infrastructure programs. The U.S. – where the last big infrastructure project, the national highway system, was concluded in the 1970s – should emphasize investment in low-carbon energy, high-speed rail, and the mass uptake of electric vehicles.The added revenues should be allocated to new public investment spending.For the poorest countries, much of the needed investment should come through increased official development assistance.
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