Observation and Questions.

Max Sawicky sawicky at epinet.org
Tue Oct 20 06:47:23 PDT 1998

>1. It was interesting to read the first of Max's editorials at
http://www.intellectualcapital.com. Max's point of view is that government surpluses simply ought to be invested as infrastructure . . .

Not just bricks and mortar. Education, training, and R&D as well.

Dean Baker at EPI and David Aschauer at the Levy Institute have more on this.

> . . .
>Such a viewpoint among a large proportion of the voting public if true
makes it difficult to accomplish anything progressive. . . .
>class of such people, I find it hard to see how such attitudes will change
for the better. Does anybody have any good ideas.>

Others may judge how good an idea it is, but an appeal to history is in order. For all the flaws in our political system, which are not of course new, in the past the public sector's investment decisions have served us well, in the sense that great, successful projects can be pointed to. The notion of such policies goes back to Alexander Hamilton. Of course, these have not been without social or environmental problems, but if we're going to move forward we need to stress the half-full part of the glass.

Public investment can be linked to productivity growth, and the latter can finance wage growth. (Note my use of the word 'can', not 'will'.) It can also revivify central cities and chronically depressed rural areas.

Other nations do a lot more of it, which is some evidence against the thesis that capitalism cannot abide a robust public investment regime.


More information about the lbo-talk mailing list