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Subject:  Re: Goofy Date:  10/4/2002  2:35 PM
Author:  FlyingCircus Number:  79782 of 875599

There are also dozens, no hundreds of examples where the government has done things badly, but on balance it appears that the good has outweighed the bad, at least based on the results of our economy over time.

It is clear from your post that you find no benefit in any of these "intrusions" of government into the private sphere, but I wonder if you can point to a country which has developed such infrastructures, or which anywhere approaches an economic standard such as we enjoy without having done so.

Touche! Good post, although I would argue that the inclusion of NASA, FCC, FAA into the debate is outside of the original scope of the discussion. They are clearly in the area of what a federal government should do, and can do well. Although some, not me, would argue, is the value the space shuttle has provided worth the expenditures over the last 30 years.

I'd agree that there are hundreds of examples of good government-business partnerships or just good infrastructural expenditures. But I hope you would agree, reasonably, that some of those examples, and many others, have turned into incredibly expensive boondoggles that suck billions of dollars out of the economy in the name of nothing but votes. Some of them served their initial purpose and should be killed. Pork barrel train "museums". Massive farm bill bailouts (yep, by GWB). Nearly endless layers of bureaucracy, duplicated services and organizations in different branches and within branches. That list is at least as long as the "good" list.

The problem is that many of those services can and arguably should be done outside of the government, at much less cost and on an optional basis. The underlying theme of these "centrist" posts is that we need to find more opportunities for government to provide good service. I'm also a centrist - but I want the government to have the guts to terminate services that have gone way beyond their time, focus on what it needs to be doing, and not providing a job to a construction worker to build a train museum that nobody wanted.

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