So, I see the stories about a bunch of billionaires seriously considering an asteroid mining venture and it always gets me wondering. They are dead-on correct that with great risk investment comes great reward. If they can find and harvest a ore-rich asteroid, the ROI could be astronomical. They inherently avoid all of the regulation down here, and own the entire asteroid so there wouldn’t be any crown taxes or the like on the goods.
However, at the same time, my mind wanders to missed opportunities we have here on Earth all the time. The ROI on investments in infrastructure is never immediately apparent to anyone. However, without all of the high-speed internet lines we have around the world, the entire industry upon which Google’s billionaires and Amazon’s billionaires, and even arguably Apple’s billionaires come from, would not exist.
Without the heavy government investment (including debt) in our interstate/transcontinental highway system, I’d argue a full 70-90% of modern commerce really wouldn’t exist. Yet that commerce essentially paid off the debt and now we are simply dealing with keeping everything balanced.
Now though, it seems that government isn’t allowed to make massive infrastructure investments, even though it is fully permitted to make massive regulatory investments — creating entire regulatory structures that need to be paid for in the long run to tell other businesses how to work and then ensure they are following those rules.
Regulatory structures, in almost all cases, only create work for the government. There may be a few small businesses that form (mostly lawyers and accountants) to help other businesses around it, but in the end it doesn’t create the massive booms of growth you see with infrastructure investment. If the government spent the money it should to properly expand Toronto’s (or any other major city’s) public transit system, you would see the payoff almost immediately in available jobs for people and less expense on road maintenance and costs.
Yet, for some reason we cannot seem to do that anymore.
Instead, we have Harper arguing over whether a fetus is a living thing, and if he has his way, creating even more regulation to tell us how to live without making our lives any better and McGuinty trying to come up with some other way to regulate our businesses without adding any value to them. Both sides are chasing up the tree of not working for us, but telling us how we should live.
And worse! The one elected politicianI can see who doesn’t seem to be immediately trying to tell us how we should live has the social skills of a cucumber and, honestly, even I really dislike him.
I have no problem with taxes when I can see that they are going towards things that will make it easier for me to produce value for my clients. I have no problem with taxes when I can see that they are building a future Canada we can all love and respect.
I do have problem with taxes when I can see they are going down a black hole and, even worse, when I can see they are being used to make it even more difficult for a small business to survive and produce value for its community.
We need a party or a politician or someone who can stand up and say government can do good for society, but it needs to stop telling us how to live and start helping us live better. Until then, it’s just all such a waste of time. I may as well try to get my money in with the asteroid miners.