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Source link: http://archive.mises.org/6941/the-wrong-lessons-of-the-bridge-collapse/

The Wrong Lessons of the Bridge Collapse

August 6, 2007 by

How interesting that rather than blame those who are at fault, we are supposed to bemoan our “nation’s collapsing infrastructure.” The correct message from the bridge collapse which was allowed to happen with full knowledge of the bridge’s structural problems, is that government cannot get the job done. The government lacks the incentive to fix problems. And even with the incentive, there is a core calculation problem associated with prioritizing the use of resources. This is where private markets excel. They are not perfect but resources are used efficiently to solve the most urgent demands as revealed in the system of profit and loss. The government lacks this mechanism, so everything becomes arbitrary at best and political at worst. FULL ARTICLE

{ 62 comments }

scott August 10, 2007 at 5:06 pm

“By resorting to taxation, governments are blind to the economic signals and information that are needed to distinguish between economically sound and unsound activity.”

why does this seem so unbelievable?

Anonymous August 10, 2007 at 5:43 pm

Ron said he worked for the DOT for a while. Perhaps, should he be forced to see reality (or at least the blog’s point of view) he might be inclined to jump off a bridge. Who would want their whole reality destroyed in a paragraph.

Anonymous (usually posts under other moniker)

Anthony August 10, 2007 at 6:29 pm

“George

What really scares me is I think you really believe what you just wrote.

Have a nice day.”

Can you not even grasp the most basic of arguments? Have you done a stitch of studying in economics in your entire life? I, and others, have asked what enters into the calculations you referred to, and got no answer but semi-condescending evasions.

Ron August 10, 2007 at 7:05 pm

Dear Anonymous

Since you made a rude post under the anonmyous banner, my reply is ..have a nice day.

Ron August 10, 2007 at 7:37 pm

George

I have tried to explain the budgeting process when it comes to a DOT. Just because my economic and political views differ with your economic philosophy does not mean I am condescending. It is ok though that anonymous members of this blog have told me to go jump off a bridge. That sure is a wholesome debate tactic. I have been told I am not welcome on this blog.

I disagree strongly with the economic theory I have seen on this site. I do not remember your exact philosophy. Kevin recently posted politely to me and I thanked him. So, I don’t think my actions have been condescending.
George you said in your last post:” Can you not even grasp the most basic of arguments? Have you done a stitch of studying in economics in your entire life? I, and others, have asked what enters into the calculations you referred to, and got no answer but semi-condescending evasions.”
I am being condescending? Treat me with a stitch of civility and you will receive a civil reply.

I will not be responding to anything this weekend and early next week. I wish you all a pleasant weekend.

ron August 10, 2007 at 7:43 pm

Scott

Thank you for the civil response, I will get back with you on the link you posted for me.

George Gaskell August 10, 2007 at 8:58 pm

George you said in your last post:” Can you not even grasp the most basic of arguments? Have you done a stitch of studying in economics in your entire life?

I did not.

I have tried to explain the budgeting process when it comes to a DOT.

I do not believe that you have tried to explain it. You have asserted that it is not arbitrary, but provided no reasoning in support of this assertion. You have stated your position, but have offered no argument in support of it.

I will invite you to do so. I am sure that we are all interested in a discussion of the calculation problem from the perspective of someone who has experience in the government-spending process.

In the absence of profit and loss, how are costs and benefits accounted for in a governmental allocation process, and how are these costs and benefits compared to all other possible courses of action?

Anthony August 10, 2007 at 9:50 pm

The name’s Anthony, not George, Ron. Other than that, George’s last post was right on track.

Now you’ve repeatedly said you only came here because of someone linking you to the site. Fine. This site is an economics site though, for the discussion of economic theory and data – so please begin to familiarize yourself with this if you want any meaningful debate.

月饼 August 11, 2007 at 6:05 am

The name’s Anthony, not George, Ron. Other than that, George’s last post was right on track.

Anthony August 11, 2007 at 7:01 am

月饼, why are you copying what I say? :)

Mike August 12, 2007 at 12:10 pm

“CAN ANYONE TELL ME WHAT IS SO BAD ABOUT LETTING THE EXPERTS INVESTIGATE? We have all of eternity to place blame, why not just wait until the cause is KNOWN?”

If this is a case of the government screwing up, do you actually think that we will ever find out what really happened?

Shishir August 12, 2007 at 11:15 pm

“If this is a case of the government screwing up, do you actually think that we will ever find out what really happened? ”

lol.. you said it.. We not even have to think about it.. we never will find out.. even if its government screwing up, will there be any action? NO..

Its so surprising that even “intelligent” people buy all the crap governments feed us.. I mean, i come from one of the best technical schools in Bangalore,India and people here still believe in santa claus, i mean, governments..

btw, was a very good article by the author.. really good one..

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