Investing in America

Group News Blog, December 7, 2008

A huge sinkhole, already one of the largest on record,
near Daisetta, TX, May 2008.
James Nielsen/Houston Chronicle, via Associated Press

In the comments threads for the next article down, we’ve got one trollish commenter who rejects Keynesian theory, and insists that the only way out of the current mess is to tighten our belts and balance the budget.

Several of our regulars, once they got the coffee drained back out of their noses, have been more-or-less (mostly less) gently pointing out that Friedmanism is dead, and another approach — like, oh, say, the one that got us out of the last Depression — is necessary. They’re also pointing out the essential difference between frittering away public money on things like defense spending (use a bullet once, and it’s gone forever) and real, enduring investments like the ones Obama is proposing.

It turns out that I’m working on my final semester project today — a presentation on infrastructure, due Wednesday — and happen to have the ROI figures on public investment right here to hand. Rather than post these figures in the comments thread, I thought I’d put them right out here on the front page, because we’re all going to need to know this stuff cold when the right wing starts squealing about how we can’t have that nice shiny new future until we first pay off the bills that they ran up on our credit card.

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