Sunday, March 29, 2009

State of the Union

I didn't actually hear the State of the Union address last night. Cody was playing basketball and, quite frankly, that was more important to me than what the President has to say. He campaigned with the slogan of "Change we can believe in." One year later "Changing what we believe in" seems more appropriate.

I agree with the main priority he set out in his speech (based on what I have read). We need to get American's working again. Unfortunately, he appears to believe that the answer is government job creation. Other than the military and other security related jobs, I don't know that government-related or created jobs are worth the effort. It seems to me that a job should create something (goods/services) that is demanded by the economy. Government should stay out of the way and let the markets determine where to allocate resources.

The President's proposal for high speed rail between Los Angeles and San Francisco is one of the most ridiculous things I have ever hear. I don't know one person who would use it. If I have to drive my car to get to a high speed train in Los Angeles and then not have a car when I get to San Francisco, I would simply rather drive myself. The government subsidy figures I have heard rumored for this project is $2.3 billion. On the other hand, the cost of that type of rail has been estimated at over $40 billion. Where will the difference come from? No private lender or enterprise is going to fund this effort because there is simply no demand.

I tend to believe that the surest way to stimulate the economy is to stimulate population growth. A growing population require goods and services. That type of demand is what drove the economic boom in the United States in the last century.

Clearly, the last thing we need in this country is more deficit government spending for projects without a hope of succeeding. The last 'stimulus' bill was replete with such projects and they haven't generated any economic recovery that I can see.

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