People who know me fairly well, know that I am a news and "human interest story" junkie, but not nearly as knowledgeable as I would like to be. That being said, one of my favorite "must see" television shows is Charlie Rose on PBS. I fell asleep last night and missed it, but caught the 5:00 AM rebroadcast this morning.
There was a very interesting interview with Felix G. Rohatyn concerning government spending and its importance. A little review of some government spending that was at times seen as foolish and wasteful have been anything but. Some of the government spending discussed included Thomas Jefferson pushing for the Louisiana Purchase that allowed for westward migration and the creation of markets for eastern goods. The transcontinental railroad would not have been built without the expenditure of Federal monies, nor would the Panama or Erie Canals.
More recently, President Eisenhower pushed for the Interstate Highway System. How many of us and our cities depend on I74, I55, I155, I80 and all the other local and national interstates?
Seward's Folly - the purchase of Alaska? Deemed totally unnecessary at the time. And no, I will not mention a former candidate for Vice President at this point!
Other government spending? How about the G.I. Bill? Homesteading? Land Grant Colleges? PBS & NPR?
Just this morning on the news, I heard about how our Junior Congressman from the 18th District had secured funds for more than one local fire department. Someone in Kansas might call that an "earmark", but to those community fire departments, its an "atta Boy!"
Banks and businesses have been "nationalized" in the past and then after time, been "privatized" again.
Someone smarter than me should make the case for government investment in infrastructure and causes for the greater good. Oh, wait. Some of those smarter people are. For myself, I have no need of a $600 screwdriver, but I sure could use streets without potholes, bridges that do not collapse and sewer systems that do not overflow.
Note to my government: Invest in the U.S., but do it wisely. Please.