Publications

- October 1, 2021: Vol. 14, Number 9

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The potential for partnership: The Biden infrastructure bill opens the door for government to engage with the private sector in innovative ways

by Drew Campbell

In the Biden era, and the Obama era before that, making the case for an expanded government role in America’s capitalist economy has been a priority. President Obama’s quip “you didn’t build that”, referencing how business and the private sector piggyback off government investments in infrastructure, education and research, struck both a chord and a nerve, and got to the heart of one of the country’s fundamental debates: What are the appropriate roles of government and private enterprise?

But supporters of the Biden and Obama approach should also understand the relationship between the public and private sectors is a two-way street, and the role of the private sector — or more accurately, the entrepreneurial spirit that drives it — has been underrepresented in infrastructure procurement in the United States.

In short, out of the Great Depression came a more active government to fill an economic void, but nearly 100 years later, the government-run system

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