Government Spending

Corporations have convinced the public that government and government spending are bad for the economy.

Question, was President Eisenhower’s building the interstate highway system good or bad for the economy, the public and in the end for corporations?


10 thoughts on “Government Spending

  1. Not only was Eisenhower’s Interstate System good for the economy.. It was fantastic. It was lobbied for BY CORPORATIONS. Not since the Panama Canal in 1914 had one single government project been that important to business as the interstate system. Auto, Oil, Cement, Steel and Rubber Companies along with Unions lobbied to support it. But, it had a direct effect on the economy. And a direct benefit to business.
    Taking Obama’s plan as laid out by the New York Times on 12/6/2008. It states he wants to “repair roads, green jobs, expand broadband access (we have 90% coverage now). One reason business isn’t behind it is because it’s too vague. If you build a road from LA to Phoenix, then as a business owner I can sell my products in Phoenix now. Repair roads? We already pay taxes for that. Broadband Access? Yes we are 13th in adoption but 90% coverage. The people that aren’t adopting it just don’t want it. Green Jobs? We don’t even know what that is.
    Nothing Obama has laid out will increase the average person’s job or business. Even if you think it will, you have to admit NOTHING they can do would be as important as the interstate system was to the country back then.
    The proper comparison would be to the public works project of FDR. Most of what FDR built was great but it didn’t sustain growth in the economy. It was just a way to employ people temporarily. In fact the WPA was criticized because “wasted federal dollars on projects that were not always needed or wanted”.

  2. My wise expenditure of $20 on fresh fruits and vegetables and another $18 on my son’s oboe lessons does not justify spending $23 on booze, $30 on junk food, $50 on a lap dance and $25 on porn.
    Yours is a very silly justification for blowing hundreds of billions of taxpayer dollars. I sincerely hope you don’t manage your own finances that way.
    In my state we just spent $600 million on a commuter rail system that’s getting 4,000 riders a day. Assuming that’s 4,000 riders taking round trips rather than 2,000 people traveling each way (the article didn’t specify), it comes to a cost of $150,000 per rider. We could’ve bought each of them 7 Honda Civic Hybrids for the money that was spent. You can’t run a country regularly making those kinds of financial decisions.

  3. I guess I should add that it’s a bit revealing that you had to go all the way back to the 50s to find a worthy government program.

  4. Dave, you’ve played into the right-wing’s frame here. Corporations are delighted with government spending, as long as it’s flowing into the right pockets.
    The interstate highway system was sold as a military necessity, but it was built by private contractors who profited handsomely for their efforts. There were obvious other benefits to the civilian economy, particularly the increase in land values in areas not served by railroads.
    A good analogy is the GPS navigation system. Built by the government for military purposes, it is now providing massive benefits to the civilian economy.
    There’s a lot of psuedo-logic coming from the critics here.
    I don’t see how anyone can compare state-funded water systems, law enforcement, wildfire fighting, and public health programs to an individual’s purchase of booze and porn.
    And you can’t compare commuter rail to buying a car for each passenger when the freeways are crawling. It might be better to ask residents in south Orange County if they prefer taxpayer funded freeways to private toll roads.
    The current Stimulus isn’t intended to create anything of lasting value. Very little of the private economy does that anyway – it’s 70% consumer spending.
    We need government spending now just to keep money in motion, because the bastards on Wall Street have abandoned us.
    Let’s face it: Politicians who promise LESS government, only deliver BAD government. Because they really want to divert public spending to their own corporate backers.

  5. The interstate highway system drained our big cities and we are still dealing with the fall out. How’s that for unintended consequences.

  6. Timothy, are you saying that the government should not have passed civil rights legislation?

  7. *** “Timothy, are you saying that the government should not have passed civil rights legislation?” ***
    Dude. Dude. We’re talking about spending programs here, no?
    And as many liberals are keen to point out, the interstate program wasn’t even a great idea.
    The truth is that governments don’t spend money wisely because there’s no incentive to do so. Businesses have a bottom line to look after – a bottom line preceded by dollar signs, so the spending fits right in. The congressman’s bottom line is in elecion returns. He pays back constituencies and cronies. His job is not to measure a return on investment, and so he doesn’t.

  8. This can only be spoken by someone who has not participated in a business or a government.
    I suggest you ask someone who has been in a large company just how efficient and honorable and thrifty they have found it to be. (Do you think a corporate jet, used to transport the CEO’s kids to ski resorts, is thrift?)
    Government, on the other hand, is US. We spend money as wisely as WE decide to. The bottom line of the elected officials being election returns is called democracy.
    And, FYI, women are involved in businesses and government, too.

  9. the=========================================== state can afford stupid things like putting up Guard Rails on Bond Rd (Hwy 307). The State can buy property up to give right of ways to bridges. However, when it comes to good clean recreational activities for families, it cannot afford them.This so smacks of the school systems threatening to close down the football program everytime they want to catch the attention of the masses.I love Ft Flagler with its miles of flat beach to walk on. And the high cliffs and views of the Olympic mts., Indian Island, Ft Warden, Mt Baker, Whidbey Island, and Port Townsend. The historic military buildings and the bunkers are also a nice attraction.

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