Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Examining the "Infastructure" Stimulus

As the orgy of bailouts and stimulus packages begin, Thomas Sowell in the NRO begins to ponder where the money will be spent.

Does spending on infrastructure mean that the money is going to be spent filling potholes and repairing bridges? Or will it be spent creating new things?

One of the key reasons why infrastructure gets neglected, in the first place, is that there is very little political pay-off to filling potholes and repairing bridges, compared to spending that same money creating community centers, bike paths, and other things.

These new things create opportunities for ribbon-cutting ceremonies that give politicians favorable free publicity in the media. But nobody holds ribbon-cutting ceremonies for filling in potholes or repairing bridges.

The whole process is biased toward doing new things, even if the repair and maintenance of existing infrastructure would serve the public interest better.

1 comment:

  1. I am hoping to see more comments from Sowell regarding the bailout. Sowell tends to be right on the money. He also has some great books. I wonder what his parents were thinking when they gave him the name Thomas?