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Source link: http://archive.mises.org/8122/a-test-of-your-economic-intuition/

A test of your economic intuition

May 19, 2008 by

You see a headline that reads “$1 billion Later, Elevators Still Fail.

The project in question is:

a) a private company that is managing a private facility of some sort;

b) a government project.

{ 10 comments }

Bruce Koerber May 19, 2008 at 9:13 pm

My educated guess is ‘b.’

Ron May 19, 2008 at 10:42 pm

Obviously, $1 billion wasn’t enough to fix the problems. The gov’t should spend more money next year.

Ron May 19, 2008 at 10:46 pm

I was kidding, of course.

Sadly, though, the majority of people who are outraged by the article will believe just that, and will decry all the money being spent on the occupation of Iraq, rather than on “our failing infrastructure”.

Brent May 20, 2008 at 12:45 am

Well, these days you have to be more careful about your definition of the word “private”. Seemingly everything that is government-directed is labeled private. Of course, we know better (if the government is cutting a check, it is a government project), but many do not.

andrew May 20, 2008 at 9:12 am

The problem is the Republican administrations in recent years have been comprised of small government types who don’t believe government can work. What is needed is strong leadership that believes government can work and leadership that is willing to do what it takes to commit the proper funds towards our infrastructure.

How long will it be before we see that editorial?

Fred Furash May 20, 2008 at 2:24 pm

andrew, are you insane?

Have you even read any of the literature on this website? The whole point is that government’s DON’T work. Socialism cannot calculate. Only free markets can properly allocate and utilise resources.

And “Republican administrations in recent years have been comprised of small government types” what?! Look at the republican platform for 2008, or what the republican party has achieved in Iraq. Small government? Where have you been the last decade?

Steve Hogan May 20, 2008 at 2:33 pm

Andrew,

What solar system are you inhabiting?

Those serving in Republican administrations are “small government types”? Have you bothered to look at a recent federal budget? If $3 trillion is small, I hasten to think what spending level you’d consider “proper”!

You ought to spend more time reading the material on this site. You’d learn that government does nothing well, save killing people and spending other people’s money.

Government shouldn’t be managing infrastructure, or pretty much anything else. Everything it touches turns to crap. Open your eyes and look around you.

Curt Howland May 20, 2008 at 2:39 pm

Hey Guys, look closer at the format of Andrew’s comment.

He left out the “sarcasm” tags and the scare quotes, but he refers back to the first paragraph with, “How long before we see that editorial?”

Oh, I assure you, I hear that sentiment every time the three anointed “Front Runners” for President of the US are speaking.

No wonder thinking people are sick of politics, just look at who we’re being allowed to vote for!

Mike D. May 21, 2008 at 2:30 am

Jeff
I’ll bet $100, without even reading the article that the answer is b).
Am I psychic or just plain cynical?

Doug May 21, 2008 at 11:04 am

$1 billion for a system that runs nearly 24×7 and only $25 million per year to maintain it? Maintenance costs would be more reasonable at about $100 million per year. The lesson is the same though, but perhaps I file it under ‘central planning’ or ‘tragedy of the commons’ categories as opposed to ‘they just messed it up’ (still plenty of those though.)

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