Government or Private: Really, which is “investment” and which is just spending?

by Skip

Government marketplace or Private marketplace?

Remember, there is a reason why the Left is redefining the language that Government no longer “spends” but “invests”.  They hate the idea that investments in the private sector can do far better than Government spending, so they (as in many other areas) try to equate the two so as to totally blur any difference for the low-information citizen.

They want you to forget that with a single, monopolistic Government marketplace, there is no anti-monopoly rules to reign in Government overbearing.  Nor is there competition, which is the actual intent of a marketplace.  Yes, the winners can win far more than what dreams are made of, but there are spectacular failures as well as the private sector is ruthless in punishing failure.  Translation: if you do not offer a product at a price I am willing to pay, I will go elsewhere as you are not serving my wants and needs.  Example: I worked for three multi-billion companies in the late 70s and early 80’s; Honeywell Information systems, Wang Laboratories, and Digital Equipment no longer exist with combined revenues of $30 odd Billion / year.  They failed to adapt to new technologies and new business models; other companies better valued (performance / price) products and thrived.

How often does Government allow its failures to actually fail?  How long does the Govt keep failed and failing programs around simply “because” or a special interest group?

(H/T: Mac)

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  • Luke

    Ironically enough, the iPhone in the picture may only have been made possible through ‘government subsidies’. Back in the 80’s Apple at times was close to going belly up, and they only survived by selling products to public educational institutions, i.e. the government. So without the government, the iPhone may never have existed.

    Look what the government has done though. They’ve indirectly helped a start up company create the best sedan on Earth.

    • granitegrok

      Apple creating a new product, the Apple II et al and creating an environment for which educational software was developed was a key to that. Unlike your other example, Apple competed for govt dollars vs Fiskar’s GETTING money as a startup (and it’s battery maker, that also got Govt VC funds, just got sold to China at taxpayer expense).

      Tesla – why, oh WHY does the US Govt have to supply VC funding to a billionaire, Elon Musk? And I doubt that the “masses” are still going to be able to buy it due to its pricing (including the additional tax credits)

      • Luke

        Well, I’m sure glad Apple was able to pull through, the end result is now a wildly popular set of consumer products.

        The government supplied venture capital to Tesla & Elon Musk to revolutionize the stagnant automotive industry which hadn’t innovated since the 90’s. Musk himself has contributed hundreds of millions to ensuring Tesla’s survival. And it worked. They’re now paying off their loan ahead of schedule.

        If you take a look at Tesla’s long term strategy, they’re going to produce the Model X at the same cost as the Model S, and then their BlueStar project should offer a sedan at around the $30k mark.

        Well, I for one can afford the Model S, by saving up, penny pinching and spending frugally, and I don’t consider myself inherently wealthy. I think it’s more of a problem with the out of control spending most Americans have.

        • granitegrok

          Stagnant? I hardly think so. The Big 3 (2 and a 1/2?) just did not create products that consumers wanted, especially GM and Chrysler. They should have gone through a regular bankruptcy – the good parts would have been bought up and the bad parts junked.

          Govt should be the umpire only – they set the stage, now owning Government Motors that is STILL losing market share and with the pitiful share price, taxpayers are on track to take at least a $25 Billion bath. Let VCs take that risk – and let Govt stick to what it is Supposed to do.

          • Luke

            “They should have gone through a regular bankruptcy – the good parts would have been bought up and the bad parts junked.”

            Agreed. If profits are privatized, debt should not be allowed to be publicized.

            But despite this – I will always support government policies which result in innovation, leadership and progress. It’s simply my mindset.

          • granitegrok

            ” I will always support government policies which result in innovation, leadership and progress”

            I have no problem at ALL with the above – at the POLICY level not at the financial level. Let the private sector take care of this – govt policy should be to not hinder those that try to be innovative (re: that stupid Precautionary Principle which mandates “do nothing unless it is proveably absolutely safe under all conditions).

          • C. dog e. doG

            Ya mean I can’t put a “windmill” on top of my hill cuz’ it spoils the view-shed? And my solar panels violate the local junta hysterical board’s sensibilities? What up?
            – C. dog all tangled in lib duplicities

          • granitegrok

            “all tangled in lib duplicities”

            You’re right Dog, both sides of both mouths of both faces

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