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VIDEO: Why Success Rarely Follows Government Funding

VIDEO: Why Success Rarely Follows Government Funding

A new lesson from Prager University.

We’ve been featuring Prager University videos at College Insurrection for years now and we figured it was about time we showcased them here at Legal Insurrection once in a while.

Dennis Prager has done an outstanding job with his online university and affiliated videos which cover everything from government issues to social policy and beyond.

The videos are hosted by figures from politics, media, business, the arts and education.

In this new offering, historian and Hillsdale College professor Burt Folsom explores the difference between innovations funded by private investment and government investment.

As you can probably guess, Folsom points out that people are usually more careful and efficient when they’re working with their own hard earned money.

He begins with the colossal failure of Solyndra and then looks back at historic developments in rail travel and the invention of the airplane.

Here’s the official description of the video from the Prager University website:

Why Private Investment Works & Govt. Investment Doesn’t

From transportation to energy, and everything in between, should the government invest money in as many promising projects as possible? Or would that actually doom many of those ventures to failure? Burt Folsom, historian and professor at Hillsdale College, answers those questions by drawing on the fascinating history of the race to build America’s railroads and airplanes.

Watch the video below:

Featured image via YouTube.


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Without the ability to spend money, clueless politicians can’t get elected.

    Ragspierre in reply to showtime8. | April 26, 2016 at 8:34 am

    And nothing inherently wrong in that.

    What IS inherently wrong is for them to spend money taken from producers, including those not yet born, and give it to others, including their cronies.

    As Glenn Reynolds says, small government presents too few opportunities for graft.

    As I say, BIG GOVERNMENT ruins.

    The markets innovate, use resources most efficiently, and improve the standard of living for everyone.

Solyndra was a failure? Hmmm. A novel theory.

It always seemed pretty obvious that the Solyndra scam did exactly what it was planned to do … and that was not to produce “green energy” equipment.

Maybe it only seems obvious to those with some major-league technical knowledge of “solar” technology and the “high-tech” business world. But that should still be a respectable population.

In any event, that’s the big difference between Obama-era corruption and the more traditional types; in the Obama era, they don’t try very hard to hide it. Is it mere laziness? Probably not. More likely, it’s just efficiency; in the post-Clinton era, they know they’ll get away with anything, so there’s little point in giving it really durable cover.

inspectorudy | April 26, 2016 at 9:51 am

We have many more instances of failure of institutions that are government run where a private company would have been successful. One glaring example is the USPS or Post office. I do a lot of online shopping and trading and if I had to depend on the USPS I would just quit. Whether or not you are a Ted Cruz fan, his belief that the government should not be subsidizing anyone, orginization or company. That’s known as picking winners and losers which the government has no place. There is nothing wrong with offering a reward for the “Accomplishment” of a certain goal if it is in the national interest. But offering money to attain that goal is wrong. I listen to Dennis most of the time now that Trump has polluted the other airways. He is the most intelligent and calming voice on the air today.

“Other people’s money.”

“Yeah, just throw my money at it!” “Why would I need the money to pay for my kid’s college education when you can redistribute it (throw it) to whoever will support your candidacy?’

I received no return on the investment of my money in Solyndra. It was done solely for political optics at the time.

And, for those crony political supporters who fled the company with my hard earned tax revenue monies.

Truly, our government has become a money-laundering “Panama” for the Ruling Class.

Insufficiently Sensitive | April 26, 2016 at 10:09 am

Obama’s unctuous intoning of the word ‘investments’ is a great example of a progressive egghead who’s never worked for a living and has no practical knowledge.

Maybe there’s a reason our founders didn’t mention throwing away money confiscated by government in that clause about promoting the “Progress of Science and useful Arts”.