Comment 31878

By A Smith (anonymous) | Posted June 18, 2009 at 15:04:06

mikeonthemountain >> On the other hand, if government invests Y in automobiles/transit/hospital/etc, how does anyone know if Y + $ has been created.

I agree with you 100%. That said, we still need to take care of people who truly need the help.

>> what actual living humans consider wealth necessarily includes but is not limited to currency transactions.

You're right, but I think most would agree that economic growth is a good thing, if for no other reason then it gives people more options. If you want to ride your bike, you can do that, if you want to drive, you can do that. Or you can give your money away to charity and feel wealthy through giving.

As to your point about clean water, community health, etc, being important, it is. Does the government need to provide these things? Is it possible that if all consumers value clean drinking water and safe roads, that private businesses can invest in making these things happen? Toll roads are safer than public roads, distilled water cleaner than tap water. Business is all about giving people what they want, as long as people like a clean environment, some smart people will try to sell it to us.

Jason >> we should look at implementing a true FREE market system when it comes to new development.

You're right, fair is fair.

>> it's been proven that people who develop active lifestyles are healthier

When I was young I was very active, so active I broke my knee in 9 pieces and my collarbone in three. In this case, being active was a drain on the health care system. If poor people need health care, give it to them, if people are ill (diabetes, heart disease, etc) because they eat too much/don't exercise enough, they need to make a choice, lose weight or pay for your own treatment. This may scare them into better health.

arienc >> a healthcare system with profit as a priority will have incentive to let patients die

Imagine you run a drug company that can extend people's lives 100 years. How much will people pay you for that drug? In this case, you want as many people to live as long as possible and have as many children as possible, so that your profits are as high as possible. Helping people live a healthy, enjoyable life is something they will pay you lots of money for and it's also good business.

Conversely, letting your clients die at a young age, shrinks your customer base, directly impacting on your ability to increase earnings. Bad for business.

>> if your staff can bike to work, you may be able to attract employees whose wage demands would be lower

If this is the case, then let businesses build housing units attached to their facilities. Better yet, businesses could buy entire condos near their offices and give them to workers as part of their compensation package. All this can happen without the need for politicians to invest in bike trails that may or may not be valuable to society.

>> Services that have been provided by the public - education, roads, defense, transit, have created opportunities for individuals and businesses that have far outweighed their financial costs.

If government can't know the direct benefit of providing goods/services to the people who actually use them, how can it know the much more opaque secondary benefits. That's like saying I don't know how much money I have in my bank account, but I know I will be able to buy that new car I want.

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