Maddow needs to be reminded that we live in a world of scarcity. That doesnt mean great things cant be accomplished, but it does mean that if politicians and bureaucrats decide what is to be built, the scarce labor and resources used in those projects will be unavailable for other projects—particularly those that private entrepreneurs are willing to take risks on. Its Bastiats broken-window fallacy again. We readily see a government project being built. Dont worry, the politicians will make sure of that. What we dont see are all the things not being built because government preempted free enterprise.
But we must ask: Who is better qualified to determine how scarce labor and resources should be invested, politicians or private individuals? Politicians operate under a perverse set of incentives and lack critical information. They aim to please electoral constituencies and special-interest donors, while having no market feedback to guide them in choosing among the many alternative projects; they risk no capital of their own and acquire resources by force—taxation. Why would we expect them to make good decisions? They may call what they do “investment,” but in economic terms, it is consumption not investment.