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...is connected to a sewage, water and electrical system and accessible by well paved roads and bridges.
Rob at Emphasis Added says this well:
The current conservative position on most of those things seems to be that they’re not important problems. Indeed, a lot of conservative anger at Bush has less to do with his ham-fisted attempts to solve them with poorly-crafted, pork-larded and ill-conceived legislation, and more to do with his attempts to solve them at all. In the minds of hard-core corporate-Right libertarian fanatics, there is no such thing as the public good, and any attempt to solve public problems through collective investment is considered socialism.
The right wing libertarian dream, in theory, looks like a hidden mountain refuge of utopian wealth, but in practice, looks more like the third world.
People voting for Bush and the Not Democrats because they are for limited government and more personal freedom are a bit like people that would vote for a serial killer because they support population control. I can "sort of" see it, but there are better and more effective ways to go about it.
I'm not against some ideas of limited government spending. Heck, everyone except the most hard core communists think that government should be limited in scope. That debate, which the right continues to argue with its myriad of phantom enemies, is over, in my opinion. Yeah, I agree with you, but that doesn't mean that we have to go the way of the poorest countries of the world who seem to perpetually suffer from bad governance.
The real debate, which sensible people are having, is over how we should direct the formidable power of the government for the benefit of its citizens.
The right lib's contribution? "Fuck the government!"
That's why we ignore them.
Companies that fail to invest - die, countries that fail to invest - fall behind. It really is that simple. Look at the rising powerhouses in Asia. While they are simultaneously opening up their economies, they are also spending vast amounts positioning their economies so that they can trample the shit out of America and other countries that are standing around trying to decide whether it would be ok to force our old people to eat dirt as they drive to Canada for drugs.
There is a mantra amongst the right libs: "Government cannot create wealth". Which has always puzzled me, because I can't help but wonder just how much wealth has been created by the existence of the interstate highway system, or the internet, both creations of the federal government?
Immense amounts of wealth have been created by individuals and companies through the use of public infrastructure, and to deny this is insane, but people still do it.
Money spent wisely, and in the service of a overall goal, can be tremendously beneficial to a nation. Every leading economy of the world has a government that is active in economic matters.
But somehow the debate has shifted from WHERE and HOW MUCH we should invest in our future, to WHETHER we should at all.
And its not as if the people that are arguing for less government are actually getting what they want from the people they vote for. What they ARE getting is less government that benefits everyone, and the SAME AMOUNT of government that benefits the well connected. This spending, the corporate welfare system, is conveniently absent from the debate.
I can truly understand why people would choose not to pay taxes when the government itself has turned its back on the task of public investment. Seriously, why pay for something that you're never going to get? We're in this weird place, where we still pay taxes, but it goes into the pockets of the well connected, our infrastructure is crumbling and in need of improvement, and we're starting to wonder why we even need to pay taxes at all.
The corporate crony's answer is that we just need to pay less taxes and expect less from the government, but that we should still pay enough in so that the government that can line the pockets of its best donors. (That's where we're heading now!)
So, we can either say "fuck it!", demand our money back and enjoy what we have until we sink into a third world mess, or we can demand that the money that we pay into the government gets used for the benefit of the people paying and not just for the benefit of the people who can afford to give to campaigns.
So sure, money spent by the government may not be as powerful to an economy as private investment, but its just as silly to assume, as some do, that that money gets buried in a hole somewhere, lost forever. No, it usually goes into some worker's pocket, or to pay some company to perform a task. In turn that money goes back into the economy in the form of spent wages, or used by the company to pay its bills.
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Dissolve into Evergreens