Comment 29849

By A Smith (anonymous) | Posted March 31, 2009 at 00:17:03

Highwater >> Another one of your strawmen. I've never said anything of the kind.

Do you support the idea of bringing average city wage costs closer in line with the people who pay their salaries?

>> One of the best arguments for LRT is all the PRIVATE investment it inspires.

I don't doubt that an LRT would have positive benefits to the city. However, for every dollar the government invests, is one dollar taken from the pockets of an individual, or business. The question then becomes, what is the the most profitable way to invest taxpayer's money? By letting them make the spending decisions, or by letting politicians make the spending decisions?

When individuals spend their money, they buy what gives them the biggest bang for their buck. When you aggregate thousands of these little purchases, you end up with business investments that reflect the desires of thousands of people. Investment goes to the businesses that create the greatest amount of value for society.

When politicians spend money, they tend to make few, but relatively large investments. Sine politicians can't know that Mary's best investment would be for a new computer, or that Jimmy's needs more money to buy tools for his shop, they have to invest in most everybody's second or third choice. Therefore, while it isn't a complete waste of Mary and Jimmy's tax dollars to invest in LRT, it's not as beneficial as letting each of them direct their own private economy.

Individuals have the greatest insight into their own personal and business needs, so when you limit their ability to spend their own income, you limit their satisfaction. If you don't believe this, take a look at this...

According to a December online survey ( of 554 consumers by BIGresearch on behalf of Kohl's department stores, 60% of gift recipients make at least one return during the holiday season.

What this shows, is that even friends and family don't know what people truly want/need. That's why gift cards are popular, because it allows individuals to make those decisions for themselves. When you aggregate these thousands of unique and satisfying purchases, you end up with an economy that is not only diverse, but also uniquely tailored to the wants and needs of the people who live there.

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