Thursday, October 9, 2008

Government's role in the economy...

During economic down cycles the government needs to check where regulation, or lack thereof, might have contributed to the problem and change what is found wanting. The appropriate executive agencies need to investigate to see if criminal activity contributed to the down turn, and prosecute as needed. The government also needs to invest where the market will not, so that services will be available to assist in the economic turn around that has, so far, always followed a down turn.

Texas has very few (grandfathered) municipal telecommunications networks, because they are illegal. This must change because telecommuting, distance learning and official/legal/emergency communication will play a large part in the future of Texas. The rural nature of the vast majority of the state of Texas means that there will never be sufficient customer base to provide a profitable return on investment (ROI) for private telecommunications companies; the government must provide this service.

Sunshine and wind are something that are well known to almost every Texan, but the best places for mass harvesting of said attributes are in rural areas. There is no private company that will take on the investment needed to provide the large, intelligent, power distribution network that could bring this power from where it is generated to where it is needed; a constant, huge drain on profit.

There is no private company that will invest in the roads needed to interconnect Texas, because profitable toll rates are more than most are willing to pay; the Camino Columbia Toll Road is an example.

There is no private company willing to invest in rail connections across Texas or within the metropolitan areas, because (once again) common carriage is incapable, at an affordable cost to the user, of generating sufficient profitability.

You've noticed a pattern by now: that common carriage infrastructure (especially in a huge, largely rural, state; like Texas) is not something in which a privately or publicly held company, most interested in generating a profit, will invest. The municipal, county, state and federal governments must do this investing or it will not get done properly, if at all.

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