Yes, I like the $2 Trillion Idea of an Infrastructure Plan–but only on one condition

I personally don’t have a problem with the proposed 2 trillion-dollar infrastructure conversation that President Trump had with Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer. In the great chess game, it shows bipartisan effort and puts the need on the table for discussion the way it should be. The problem I do have is who and how we pay for such a thing with our current debts well into the 20 trillions now. However, we are the best economy in the world. The United States is the destination of hope for the world, so our roads, bridges and other aspects of infrastructure should reflect those attributes. When you land at an airport anywhere in America, it should be more like Orlando and less like La Guardia—which is to say—a tired old arm pit well past the need for care. Orlando is vibrant and new, reflective of the massive wealth generated there by tourism. La Guardia reflects the results of socialism that have crept into the New York area over the years.

I know a lot of politicians and it continues to be a common occurrence that they ask me to run for something in my local community, because they know professionally that I am good at what I do, especially in the context of management. They know as do I that most of government ends up with the worst manager types that our human civilization produces. Mostly they are idiots who couldn’t manage a McDonald’s let along $200 to $500 million in annual sales. For me the private sector is a lot more rewarding, especially if you don’t care about the thrill of winning a popularity contest every four years or so. That kind of thing isn’t for everyone, so we tend to do what we are good at, and politics formally is not one of my dreams. And I’m certainly not alone in that, many feel just as I do. A nice lady just a few days ago asked when I was running for president and I simply told her that I viewed politics as a possible retirement job. I’m still young, so I wouldn’t dream of such a thing at my age. Maybe when I’m in my 70s or 80s. But not now. And in that regard, I can certainly understand Donald Trump who did exactly that. He made the presidency his retirement job. There is far more power in building an economy than in managing the table scraps that are taken from it in the form of government. And government doesn’t build economies. People do.

Thinking of the $2 trillion price tag for Trump’s infrastructure plan makes sense if the culture that is paying the bill has something above a 6% quarterly growth of GDP, which I think is very possible. We are at just under 4% right now with the Trump deregulation and tax cuts that have been initiated. Getting barriers from holding back our economy is the way to get to those kinds of numbers. If growth is paying down the national debt and covering infrastructure, then so be it. I’m happy to indulge. But the bad management of particularly the Democrat party likely just won’t get their arms around that kind of utilization of resources and their way of paying for it will likely include higher taxes and more regulation which will kill any such bill in the Senate until after the 2020 election.

I personally think we can get to over 10% GDP growth if regenerative medicine, hyperloop technology and the commercialization of space are unleashed over the next three years. New markets emerging with explosive job growth, that will far outpace the supply of human labor are the only ways to really pay for $2 trillion in improved infrastructure and those opportunities are before us right now. The human capital problem isn’t really an issue either as robots and artificial intelligence is coming about to fill many of those jobs in the expanding economy. Yes, we’ll continue to have low unemployment, but there will still be millions of jobs created that have to be filled by something, and robotics will be the answer, even if that makes traditional market watchers anxious.

All the ingredients are there to make a 2 trillion-dollar investment into American infrastructure, the problem is who manages all this, the government or the private sector? You don’t get to that kind of growth with more government. You only get there with more market expansion from the private sector. As I said, government tends to bring about the worst managers that there are. The good managers stay in the private sector, unless like in Trump’s case, they are doing the job as a retirement gig. I know personally how much effort goes into the management of industrial resources and in my vast experience with government types, they ain’t doing it. So that is the problem, not in having the ability to do it, but who will do it. This is essentially why socialism always fails. The current situation in Venezuela is just such an example. We are supporting as the United States the removal of a communist, but what will replace him is a socialist, so the people of Venezuela don’t really have a shot at any kind of good government in the foreseeable future. And their culture has run off all the great intellectual aptitude by way of management because government has long ago taken over their industries leaving inept people to run those companies into the ground for nobody’s benefit.

That vast stupidity is also reflected in Joe Biden’s presidential race announcement where he stated that the labor unions built the middle class. Biden is a great example of a government type who is a terrible manager. He doesn’t have even basic understandings of cause and effect and is therefore paralyzed into making even fundamental management decisions. Any CEO of a major company could do his job but Biden could not run even a small company with a staff of ten people, because he doesn’t understand the basics of a management concept. For most in government their entire management plan is to take more in the form of taxes and spend it on their promises they made to get elected. But they never understand that their interference in tax collection halt the growth of an economy, so they are perpetually looking to blame someone, anyone for their failures, just as bad managers in any field do often.

In its current form this infrastructure plan will die in the House and Trump will be able to say he at least listened. But between you and me dear reader I’d actually like to see it happen. Not with Democrats running the House of course, but it would be good to push for 8% to 10% GDP growth in emerging technologies and to see those improvements end up in our roads and bridges. I like shiny new things as much as anybody, but it can’t be built off debt, it needs to be built and reflective of actual growth. If that’s what it takes to get the $2 trillion into those projects, I am happy to support it. Excited even. But the basic assumptions of management must be considered, government isn’t capable. The only thing they can do to help make that happen is to get out of our way.

Rich Hoffman

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