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Assume massive Kenyesian Spending

Discussion in 'Economics, Business, and Taxes' started by Woolleybugger, Apr 26, 2012.

  1. Woolleybugger

    Woolleybugger Mayor

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    Let's not talk about anything but a blank check here just as an exercise in thinking. Let us ask ourselves a simple question:

    If all of a sudden we had 3 trillion dollars a year to spend every year for the next 10 years on the most critical national interests and we simply ignored the debt incurred, what would be the wisest use of this investment for the nation?

    Before everyone starts in on whether or not this is practical or even doable, lets just go through some possible ways to spend this money that would provide us with a new nation at the end of this period of time that could somehow pay it all back and not impact our ability to prosper down the road. In the following list, I posit some very needed expenditures that would likely provide benefits for our nation for years to come and would make us stronger financially, competitively and provide a more efficient and useful society for the next generation to inhabit.

    1. Massive investments in long haul mass transit along the East Coast, West Coast and along Interstates 10 and 80.
    2. Massive investments in urban transportation systems making the use of cars non-essential on a daily basis.
    3. Massive investments in smart power, renewable energies, efficiency and in the way we heat and cool buildings.
    4. Massive investment in solar technology for every building in the nation exposed to sunlight.
    5. Massive investment in space technology.
    6. Massive investment in preventive health measures and in a healthy lifestyle.
    7. Education for both college bound and trade school bound kids.
    8. National standards for intelligent building construction to allow for high speed networking to be the standard model everywhere.
    9. Fiber buildout for every home in the USA within 20 miles of an urban center of 5000 people or more.
    10. Urban planning standards for maximum quality of life while impacting the land as little as possible.
    11. Protection and stewardship of our remaining national parks and forests.
    12. Upgrades of all federal, state and local election systems to form one national standard that was impeachable and trustworthy.
    13. National database of health information.
    14. National database of SS numbers for valid authentication of working status.
    15. Upgrades of all bridges, roads, damns and highways.
    16. Carbon scrubbing devices on every coal burning system in the nation.
    17. Science funding for genetics, batteries, cancer, fuel cells, propulsion systems, computer science and so on.


    Those are some ideas which would employ millions and could pay off in the future if we had the funds or desire to borrow to get them done. We don't want to do this anymore it seems. If any of you have been to Europe, imagine if the founders of modern Paris did not make giant investments over hundreds of years to create that glorious city we now enjoy. What if Rome had been built in a day and looked like a typical American city with stucco buildings, strip malls and parking lots. Now, we could do all these things and put millions to work doing it if we actually thought long term. But we don't. And this is why the Chinese are going to kick our asses because they do think long term.
     
  2. OldGaffer

    OldGaffer Governor

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    A high speed national rail net, even mag-lev, to replace most air travel.
     
  3. Woolleybugger

    Woolleybugger Mayor

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    Yes, emphatically yes.
     
  4. degsme

    degsme Council Member

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    I would point out that about a $100 Billion investment in Solar power would create about 34 Gigawatts of solar power http://www.greentechmedia.com/artic...0-mass-production-2.2b-solar-thermal-project/ A Volt takes 16kwh to charge. 34e9/16e3 == 2e6 Ie 2 million Volts or Prius. could be charged with this.

    USA consumes roughly 140 Billion gallons of gasoline annually http://americanfuels.blogspot.com/2010/04/2009-gasoline-consumption.html
    The daily commute for these 2 million PIH would save about 4 million gallons of fuel, 5 days/wk 52 weeks/yr. Or roughly 0.7% of our annual gasoline consumption.

    So multiply this by 5 ($500Bill) and you are now at 3.5% of Gasoline consumption. Roughly 70% of Oil consumption is for transport. Diesel is part so figure we are talking about a 1.8% drop in our oil consumption with such an effort PER YEAR!!!!

    Do that for 5 years. and you have a 10% drop in oil consumption. That in turn would drop oil prices by a good 5%...Not trivial.
    USA buys roughly 9 million new cars/yr.
     
  5. Woolleybugger

    Woolleybugger Mayor

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    Well, if you actually had people interested in factual analysis that left politics at the door, you could probably find the right things to invest in...but then you have folks like Carly Fiorina saying facts are academic exercises or some such nonsense...
     
  6. degsme

    degsme Council Member

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    Well that explains why Fiorina was such a sucess at HP's helm.....
     
  7. trapdoor

    trapdoor Governor

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    Number 15. A lot of the rest are pie in the sky.
     
  8. OldGaffer

    OldGaffer Governor

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    Pie in the sky is what every future advancement is going to look like from here. Without investing in future technologies, they will always be pie in the sky. Some wont pan out, but others could become the next internet, the next jet airliner, the next Apollo program, who knows? And if we dont invest in the future we stagnate and fall behind those who do.
     
  9. degsme

    degsme Council Member

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    Microprocessors were Pie In the Sky in 1962

    Megabit to the Curb was Pie in the Sky in 1972

    Video On Demand via WAN was Pie in The Sky in 1982 (heck it was Pie in the sky in 1989 in the planning meeting I was in).
     
  10. fairsheet

    fairsheet Senator

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    Part of the problem is that the CATO/Norquist-types have sold all too many on the simplitude that by definition, all guvmint spending is a deadweight loss. Therefore, the only reason the guvmint does or should engage in virtually any spending, is because its forced to by our (d)emocracy. And on the flipside, to the extent that the guvmint can get out of spending a dollar, we're necessarily at least a dollar ahead.

    For instance, we know that we indulged in the WWII and Korean War era GI Bills because the politic demanded them AND in expectation of the 7-1 return on investment we eventually realized. But..the CATO-Norquists will ONLY allow that we did it, because the politic demanded it. That's pissant and false "thinking".
     
  11. degsme

    degsme Council Member

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    Spot on. The whole bit about "deadweight loss" is precisely the myth that keeps getting perpetuated. It takes many forms such as

    Government Waste
    Government inefficiencey
    Private Sector is more efficient
    Government can only spend what it takes away from the private sector

    etc.

    And all of those are economically false claims in the general case. you can find specifica cases where they are true but not the general case.
     
  12. trapdoor

    trapdoor Governor

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    I think advances like that should come out of private industry, not out of public coffers. The person who creates a hydrogen fuel cell as reliable, portable and convenient as a car battery is going to be rich as Croesus -- he doesn't need government to create a fuel-cell development program. Our national infrastructure is something we can do now, that benefits us now, and about as importantly, is a pursuit sanctioned by the U.S. Constitution.

    I grew up in the Space Age and I'm a huge fan of NASA, but I still see no constitutional authorization for government-sponsored space exploration or the development thereof (pass an amendment, please, and then fund the hell out of it -- I want to retire to low earth orbit).

    But throwing hard-earned taxpayer dollars at "the next big thing" without either certainty or constitional authority is about as sound as investing in the next perpetual mortion machine.
     
  13. trapdoor

    trapdoor Governor

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  14. degsme

    degsme Council Member

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    want some oats with that straw? No simply that government has LESS WASTE on average than the private sector. For example the GSA party? In the private sector, individuals of that level would have parties lke that sponsored by the company ON AN ANNUAL BASIS

    Compared to? Compared to the private sector... it is not true. At least not in sectors like infrastructure construction or healthcare services or eductaion.

    No econometric evidence to support such a claim.

    Not even remotely close. Even if we ignore the fact that the government owns the printing presses, Fiscal Multipliers in excess of the tax rate refute this. And in various sectors the Government Fiscal Multipliers ARE in excess of the tax rates. Not in all sectors but all it takes is for it to be true in one for your claim to be proven the bogousity it is.

    True... and that means that you can only validly extract those statements that are CONSISTENTLY ACCURATE.

    So far you have not done that.
     
  15. OldGaffer

    OldGaffer Governor

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    Private industry is not going to invest in cuttiing edge research that has a a low chance of a profitable return, plus they do not have the resources that the research universites have in scientists and engineers.

    What private companies would be researching any of these technologies?

     
  16. trapdoor

    trapdoor Governor

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  17. trapdoor

    trapdoor Governor

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  18. Woolleybugger

    Woolleybugger Mayor

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    Bell Labs is not going to be repeated again. I just saw a cspan interview with a man who just came out with a book about BellLabs. It was on yesterday, you should try to find it online. ATT was a monopoly, it had the opportunity to look long term. I don't see any modern corporation even caring about those issues anymore let alone creating a new version of it.
     
  19. Woolleybugger

    Woolleybugger Mayor

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    Is making a profit a goal of any government? Is getting the most bang for the buck a better way of evaluating government spending? Success for government is not a profit margin, an IPO, a market share calculation. So your entire premise comparing one with the other is based upon totally different ideas of what success is. This is what conservatives get wrong.

    Tell me again. What is success in Government? How do you measure it? Your simple answer will be that you cannot because they will never succeed at anything. Tell me the intelligent answer though....
     
  20. trapdoor

    trapdoor Governor

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    Bell Labs is still in existence and still innovating (something pointed out in that book). It is smaller than when ATT&T had its monopoly, but it has not ceased to exist.
     

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