The latest anti-Trump propaganda from the NYT
The Leftist media never let up. The latest from the NYT is amusing. It is headed "World Offers Cautionary Tale for Trump’s Infrastructure Plan". I am not going to reproduce it as it can be simply summarized. It refers to Trump's wish to involve the private sector in building new infrastructure. That is a VERY BAD thing, they say.
They support their claims in the usual Leftist way -- by cherrypicking instances that suit them and ignoring the rest of the facts. It is such a regular Leftist modus operandi that it does get tedious. But they have to argue that way because the full facts are almost always against them. One-sided writing is the Leftist specialty.
In this instance, they point to past examples of public/private projects -- mostly abroad -- that have not done well. And it is true that there have been some big failures. In the public/private partnerships that I am aware of (road tunnels in Sydney and Brisbane, for instance), however, it is the private builder who has lost his shirt, not the government.
A wise government sets it up that way, with a fixed or largely fixed price for the work. I sometimes wonder why private firms enter into these risky contracts. It takes a lot of heart. But if all goes well the private company has in the end a very nice revenue stream (tolls etc.) -- leading the Left to utter loud moans about "profiteering". That the prospect of good returns is needed for private firms to invest billions into projects that may or may not work out they ignore.
And Mr Trump is renowned in his business dealings for making sure that the other guy takes the loss. So having him working for the taxpayer is a rather brilliant arrangement. If anyone can protect the taxpayer he can. It's gut instinct for him to play for a win.
So, yes, the NYT lists some deals that have gone bad for less savvy governments overseas but there is no reason for that experience to be repeated under a Trump administration.
And what about the other side of the coin? What about the alternative of the government doing it all? Would not a government-run project be more efficient? To ask that is to laugh. I am sure that we can all give instances of great incompetence and inefficiency in projects that are mainly government-run. Boston's "big dig" (which is still not right) and the problem-plagued Bay bridge in N. California spring to mind.
But the NYT mentions no instances like that. Their star example of government efficiency is Communist China! But they WOULD like Communist China, wouldn't they? And it's true that China has in recent years achieved a rather wondrous infrastructure build. New roads and bridges have almost LEAPT into existence there. But what about China's vast empty cities? There are about a dozen of them that have sprung up in recent years. But in a crowded country like China, how can you have empty cities? Real estate prices in Beijing are catching up with Manhattan.
It's quite simply bad planning. China employs private firms to do most of its building so when the government thinks something should be built, the private sector says: "You're paying" and gets to work. But like all governments the Chinese government makes poor business decisions and huge waste can result. With a public/private partnership, by contrast, the private sector only gets moving if they see good prospects of a substantial profit. The dreams of bureaucrats will usually stay dreams.
And, like the Bay Bridge, government supervised infrastructure in China can be poorly built. Their civil engineering projects -- dams and bridges -- can seem wondrous but how well will they last? Civil engineers I know say that standards in China would not be accepted in the West. Failing dams and falling bridges are not a remote possibility. But that would be fine by the NYT.
And are we allowed to mention the government planning that led to London's recent Grenfell Tower disaster? But having a lot of poor people burn to death would have been only a fleeting consideration to the NYT.
So there can be no doubt that Trump's way is to be preferred to theirs. A reader has sent me a detailed fisking of the NYT article which I will happily forward to anyone interested.