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This may be semantics, and maybe I'm reading too much into the word "investment", and not taking Drew's comment within the context he meant it.  For me investment is more about allocating funds into economic activity.  So questions like, where should the US economy (or any other economy) invest,,,,the technology industry, the pharmaceutical industry, retail, etc.  And the type of "investment" funds I'm thinking of are spending for research and development, building new factories, building infrastructure to support the businesses, etc. etc.  In my view, these decisions generally, not always, are best made in the private sector of the economy.  There is a role for government, and you and Drew brought up some good examples such as the intra-state highway structure, the GI bill, just to acknowledge a few areas among money where government investing is more appropriate than investment from the private sector.  

And government through regulation can influence the investment decisions made by the private market--higher taxes on gasoline and higher mile per gallon standards for transportations (and not excluding SUV's and light trucks from those standards) are an example of where government has tried to influence investment decisions, but imo, not gone far enough.

Your comment above leads me to believe that I'm not interpretting his comment in the way he meant it, and perhaps you are.

by wchurchill on Wed Nov 22nd, 2006 at 01:23:56 PM EST
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Hard to say if I am or not.

Assuming I knowing his POV, I assume he thinks of public investment just in the productive, public good sense, and limited only to a heavily prescribed area of production, far more limited than I would find warranted.

I strongly suspect he would disagree with the notion that most Capital allocation should be greatly influenced, if not controlled, by democratic and egalitarian principles, and in this regard, his pov is far more in line with yours.

This being said, regardless of one's political viewpoints, a bad investment is a bad investment, and pork general is one such investment, and an aspect of certain political systems. NPV is simply a math concept, not a statement of political value...


The Hun is always either at your throat or at your feet. Winston Churchill

by r------ on Wed Nov 22nd, 2006 at 01:47:33 PM EST
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