public spending

Anton Sherwood (
Wed, 8 Oct 1997 19:09:23 -0700 (PDT)

M.Lorrey scripsit:
: Sorry, I thought a list of historical precedent would be sufficient
: argument. Ok, maybe not. How about this: Can any socialist in the
: audience please tell me why they think government spends money better
: than private industry, when public debt must be given tax exempt status
: in order to attract sufficient investment to purchase that debt, while
: stocks in private corporations, the largest 40 of which have an average
: annual growth rate twice that of the rate of return on public debt
: instruments. If government was so much better, then Government bonds
: would give a higher rate of return without tax exempt status.
: I think the rate of return on investment is possibly the best yardstick
: one can measure the relative performance of public vs. private sectors.

Good grief, Michael, any fool can tell you that earning money
isn't what the gummint is for. Where's the return on investment
in public goods? Nowhere, because the provider of public goods
doesn't *get paid* ! That's *why* (in theory) we pay taxes, to
fund such things!

Now maybe you mean that if the state spends wisely, the economy
will grow, and tax revenues will grow. If that's what you meant,
do say it more explicitly, because I almost missed it.

: In terms of how well consumers are treated by product or service
: providers, perhaps we can use yardsticks like:
: a) what is the relative accident rate in automobiles between the US and
: former Soviet Union (in accidents/fatalities per vehicle)?

That's better.

: Some other questions to ask:
: How many people have been shot and killed in their beds
: by hit squads hired by the mom and pop store down the street
: (including New York City, I'll be daring)?

Hm, there ought to be a story in that. Perhaps a black-comic
movie, in the vein of "No Way To Treat A Lady".

Anton Sherwood *\\* +1 415 267 0685 *\\*