View Full Version : One of my favorite passages from an economics book

05-03-2014, 07:30 PM
Therefore, for every public job created by the bridge project a private job has been destroyed somewhere else. We can see the men employed on the bridge. We can watch them at work. The employment argument of the government spenders becomes vivid, and probably for most people convincing. But there are other things that we do not see, because, alas, they have never been permitted to come into existence. They are the jobs destroyed by the $10 million taken from the taxpayers. All that has happened, at best, is that there has been a diversion of jobs because of the project. More bridge builders; fewer automobile workers, television technicians, clothing workers, farmers.

But then we come to the second argument. The bridge exists. It is, let us suppose, a beautiful and not an ugly bridge. It has come into being through the magic of government spending. Where would it have been if the obstructionists and the reactionaries had had their way? There would have been no bridge. The country would have been just that much poorer. Here again the government spenders have the better of the argument with all those who cannot see beyond the immediate range of their physical eyes. They can see the bridge. But if they have taught themselves to look for indirect as well as direct consequences they can once more see in the eye of imagination the possibilities that have never been allowed to come into existence. They can see the unbuilt homes, the unmade cars and washing machines, the unmade dresses and coats, perhaps the ungrown and unsold foodstuffs. To see these uncreated things requires a kind of imagination that not many people have. We can think of these nonexistent objects once, perhaps, but we cannot keep them before our minds as we can the bridge that we pass every working day. What has happened is merely that one thing has been created instead of others.

I reach a sort of Catharsis reading this.

05-03-2014, 07:41 PM
I reach a sort of Catharsis reading this.

you remind me of BILL3. very wordy.
but did you have a point to make?

and if so. what was it?
yes, we should work together to build bridges.

05-03-2014, 07:44 PM
It depends on a lot of things. What if the truth is both Public and Private entities seeking their own interest can create a lot of incidental benefits in their wake, but both are just as capable being hugely wasteful or only benefiting themselves?

Yeah that's right, Government can be a great success story to. Or a ludicrous fail.

Just as easily though, the Private Sector can give us a total self serving disaster like ENRON.

05-04-2014, 07:30 PM
I'm not even going to bother reading someone's "favorite" passage. It's a waste of time when the person posting did not even respond to, at least, the last two threads he created.