No. of Recommendations: 68
Bulls**t. Nearly all of the above items were paid for by private investment, user fees (and gasoline taxes for the successful, if exhorbitant, highway system) and private initiative. The national government may have taken action not to stand in their way, but they weren't paid for by income taxes nor run/operated by the government.

I'm afraid you don't know your history very well. The transcontinental railroads were brought into existence by land grants from government to private companies; the costs of building the lines were paid for by the government.

The Hoover Dam, which brought electrification to much of the Southwest was entirely paid for by government monies.

The Interstate Highway System was a use of tax monies to build an infrastructure system. The first dedicated "user tax" for highway construction was put in place precisely at the inception of the concept of the Interstate System; it was a "new" tax, created so as to build the infrastructure.

Most airports are privately owned, or were funded with government bonds, as it was deemed "a public good" to have an airport close to your city, and the airlines were too cash poor to do it themselves. (They still are, of course.)

The Erie Canal was built using (state) government monies and government backed bonds. It opened up the Northeast part of the company to industrial development, in a time when that section of the country was "poor" and the riches of the nation were concentrated heavily in the South.

The rollout of the telephone system was a free-market nightmare, with dozens of companies serving each city, usually refusing to connect their "users" to anyone else. After 30 years of this hodgepodge, the industry was nationalized (during World War I, as a national security issue), and after two years under Post Office supervision, was transferred to the care of AT&T, which gave us the fully interconnected system we still use today. The telephone was one of the first examples of the benefits of "the network effect", and one which was not settled by the marketplace even after several decades.

The electrical infrastructure, like the telephone, came to be thought of as a general right, rather than a privilege, and regulation forced the private companies which were then serving "those who could afford" to equalize service and serve everyone. That paid benefits directly, and indirectly by creating a far larger market for electrical appliances, which became one of the drivers in the economy, particularly after World War II when the rollout had been completed.

(Similarly, the indirect benefits of road construction helped private industries such as car manufacturers, oil companies, tire producers, and so on, not to mention the likewise indirect benefit to you of having a transportation system which reduces costs and speeds up delivery.)

There are dozens, no hundreds of other such examples, of things where the government has provided what the private sector has not, or cannot. Satellite launch, and the current telecommunications systems using geosynchronous orbits is one which comes to mind. Arpanet, the forerunner of the internet, Eniac, the first computer and others. Hydroelectric dams across the country. Nuclear plants which provide power. Making higher education more accessible (the G.I. Bill in an earlier day, student loans today.) The invention of teflon. The indirect benefits to aerospace companies thanks to military and civilian aircraft development and regulation and NTSB investigation of air crashes. The FCC regulation which turned the cacophonous big fat greek wedding of the airwaves into a usable medium of communication. The SEC oversight of the equities markets. The unified monetary system which did not exist except by Federal fiat in the 1800's.

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.

And if you cannot, might you not consider rethinking your basic philosophy, which seems to be formed on the basis of the fact that some things which government has done it has done badly? I realize that is a vain hope, but then every once in a while I find that people respond to reason.
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