In response to:

Spreadsheets, Paul Krugman, and Logic

Michael 1068 Wrote: Apr 20, 2013 4:32 PM
Nice theory Ron, stick to mechanical engineering. Taxes paid for your education, the roads you were driven on to get there, inspection of the food you ate for breakfast so that you lived long enough to graduate, the wars your tax-cutting president insisted we had to fight, and other, also important aspects of your basic "machinery of society " too numerous to mention.
Michael Bowler (formerly Michael) Wrote: Apr 21, 2013 6:33 AM
Truly, Michael, one wonders...what we do know is that anything done by government takes longer and costs far more.
Michael 1068 Wrote: Apr 20, 2013 5:59 PM
Collecting? And gathering? And storing? And securing? And counting? And then...deciding? And lions and tigers and bears? Oh My ? How does anything ever get done by government ?
Red Shark Wrote: Apr 20, 2013 5:48 PM
Actually, most of your examples have been done by private interests and could be again. So Ron's analogy of friction in the larger machinery of society is not too bad at all. It may not be perfect, but it deserves neither the belligerence or the snarkyness that you gave so quickly.

Red Shark Wrote: Apr 20, 2013 5:48 PM
Then decisions about what to do with the money have to be made. Some of the money is spent on gathering information about what projects to spend the money on. Actually, this is the stage where a great deal of imagination is used to find ways to spend the money just coming to a decision about where to ultimately spend whatever is left. Bureaucrats cost money too.

Then comes the final stage, the actual project itself. At this stage even honest people tend to take the attitude "damn the expense", and the dishonest people will just take whatever they think they can get away with.
Red Shark Wrote: Apr 20, 2013 5:46 PM
Actually Michael, Ron's analogy is much closer to the truth than was your belligerently snarky reply. That is because government spending on education, roads, and such used to be done by direct, private spending. But having government do this spending has added much more expense to get the same thing done. Collecting, gathering, storing, securing, and counting the money raised costs money long before that money can be spent on any public (formerly private) good.

In a 2010 paper Growth in a Time of Debt and again in a book entitled This Time is Different, Harvard economists Ken Rogoff and Carmen Reinhart presented the idea that when a country's ratio of debt to gross domestic product reaches 90% lower economic growth is on the horizon.

However, Rogoff and Reinhart made an Excel Spreadsheet Error in their work that has the economic world in a tizzy.

A new study by three researchers at the University of Massachusetts finds that Rogoff and Reinhart