Book reviews, art, gaming, Objectivism and thoughts on other topics as they occur.

Aug 2, 2011

Really? Really?!

I saw what has got to be the dumbest commercial ever to exist last night. Well, okay, maybe not, but still. It was a spot advertising MSNBC, which apparently is some sort of leftist propaganda channel or show (not sure about that, but I caught less than a minute of it and they used the term "plutocrat" to describe wealthy Republicans THREE TIMES. IN LESS THAN A MINUTE.). Anyway, this advertising spot consisted of a woman standing in a canyon with a rather large bridge behind her. She said, self-righteously, that "we need government leadership because there aren't enough profits out there for any private enterprise to build something like this on spec".

Um, what?

There's just so much wrong with that idea that I decided to make a list. Note that this doesn't even *approach* being a comprehensive list.

1. Enormous things get built by private enterprise all the time. On spec. Even with our enormous bloated government draining the economy. So money is not the problem.
2. If there is money to be made but not enough for your grandiose bridge project, private enterprise will come up with SOME kind of solution. Maybe not as scenic.
3. The government (via tons of building and environmental regulations, among other things) is generally the force *preventing* huge undertakings from going forward. See: nuclear power or gas pipelines or oil drilling. So looking to government "leadership" probably means that you didn't want that bridge built in the first place.
4. Said government "leadership" has no incentive to provide infrastructure that is actually well-designed and well-placed. As such it is generally inefficient and wastes most of the money it uses.
5. Government money is taken by force from the very people you claim can't make enough profits to do this on their own. Huh, I wonder if a crushing tax burden coupled with rising inflation has anything to do with that.



Grant said...

Billboard on major highway:

"Save time and gas. For $6 toll, use Joe Schmo Bridge to bypass Anywhere Canyon.

(Joe Schmo Bridge rejoins Barack Obama Memorial Highway on other side)"

Jennifer Snow said...

Pretty much. Have you ever driven across the George Washington bridge in New York? Six dollar toll. The city was (supposedly) only collecting that toll for like 4 years to pay for the bridge, but of course since the budget swells every year they can't do without that money now.

And if a bridge can't pay for itself, maybe you'd be better off with a bypass or a ferry or some such. Alternatives do exist.