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Friday, February 6, 2009

Fixing Infrastructure DOES NOT stimulate the economy, it actually does the opposite.

When it comes to "infrastructure" spending, unless a road, bridge, electrical line, or sewage system's collapse is imminent, not spending on infrastructure can actually stimulate the economy faster.

Instead of government prematurely fixing infrastructure, let the private sector know which potholes are not going to be filled so private investors can invest in alignment shops, tire stores, car repair bays, and build the repair shops on both sides of the potholes. Even rims and hubcap places will experience terrific economic stimulation if infrastructure is just left as is and assuming general safety is not being compromised. This will save the government billions on unnecessary infrastructure repairs, and many many new car repair businesses will crop up as a result of LESS infrastructure spending.

One key to a useful stimulus program is to stimulate the consumer to get the consumer to want to pay to fix things that they own that break, including their cars. Another aspect to not going crazy on infrastructure repair is to motivate the consumer to go out and buy a new, "stronger car" that comes with a pothole protection plan. (I bet some car manufacturer will now come up with such a program)

Flying road debris may also stimulate cars into being repainted more often. The less roads that are fixed the more overall stimulation is created, it's how the west was won.

The key to capitalism has never been about efficiency, it's always been about filling the needs of people in need. If we prematurely fix roads and bridges while they still work, we are just increasing the country's long term debt via this bailout bill while simultaneously hurting all aspects of auto maintenance and auto manufacturing.

Better roads mean people's cars will last much much longer than they currently do. Plus, those extra automobile fix it shops that were going to be built near the potholes, the people those new businesses were going to employ, and the taxes that these businesses were all going to pay, never happened because all the roads were fixed instead.

One pothole making machine can do a whole lot more economic stimulating than one hundred construction people fixing an unbroken road ever could.

"But, but, you can't be serious". Well, consider this a "Modern Proposal".

Assuming that infrastructure repair means the timely maintenance of roadways, bridges, electrical and sewage lines and has been done on an annual basis following a logical maintenance schedule, than it really should be business as usual and no stimulus program is needed for infrastructure at all....

....unless, the overall rate of yearly infrastructure deterioration has been occurring at a much greater rate than it was being repaired all along???

If the government is behind on its infrastructure repair maintenance schedule AND the economy is tanking as well, then clearly the government didn't spend wisely over the past few decades on infrastructure, and instead diverted infrastructure funds to pad their own pet projects in ways we'll never know. "If you don't have the money to do infrastructure right the first time, how are you going to have the money to do infrastructure correctly, later?" I would suggest that using taxpayer money to give roadways a new coat of asphalt before it is necessary, is not a way to stimulate the economy.

Fixing only the neediest bridges and roads is all that is needed for infrastructure, and that infrastructure money should already have been allocated within the yearly budget anyways. "What, you mean money that was supposed to go to annual infrastructure maintenance was being diverted to other projects? Really???" So the government now wants to borrow even more money to do the work that should have been being done all along anyways???

Just who wants to stimulate a bunch of politicians now, when it appears they have used prior years budgets to stimulate their own needs rather than fix infrastructure at the proper yearly maintenance level? I don't.

I hope you can understand that as silly as this blog article seems, everything in it is the truth, and that is why we have a MUCH BIGGER problem related to how to run a worldwide economy without it being stimulated by wasteful spending and inefficiency.

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