Barron’s has an amusing articledescribing some of the history of government “investments”. It’s mostly about the Erie Railroad, which I would hope is no longer controversial. There are countless other examples. Suffice it to say that, as an investor, government tends to do a terrible job. The reasons are fairly obvious. Nevertheless, there are constant calls for more government investment, as if things will be different this time. I’m sure that there are government investments that have worked out well, but the overall track record is poor. Wouldn’t it be nice if we knew more about which kinds of investments were probably good and which were probably bad? Yet I suspect that even if we knew, we’d ignore the facts. For politicians
, there are a lot more important things than facts.