The last couple of days, I’ve been reading a book about the Wright brothers.
They were a fascinating pair, of course best known for making the first controlled, sustained flight of a powered, heavier-than-air aircraft.
Their little hop at Kitty Hawk in 1903 changed the world.
But while these guys were working on their airplane over a period of about 4 years, there was a federally funded project working on an airplane as well.
The Wright brothers spent less than $1,000 as they prepared their plane, and it eventually worked.
The government spent over $70,000 in its effort, and it never worked.
It seems as though nothing much has changed when it comes to government spending.
The private sector, using personal ingenuity and personal money, gets things done.
The public sector, with the government writing big checks and making big promises, doesn’t.
I think that the folks in Washington and Albany would do well to remember this.
When the government flashes money around, claiming it can stimulate the economy or advance technology or cure a disease, it invariably fails.
But when good old fashioned American hard work and ingenuity run free in the private sector, you can be pretty sure the challenge will be accepted and the problem will be solved.