It’s been called Friedman’s Law, and it holds almost as constant as any law of physics:
It costs any government at least twice as much to do something as it costs anyone else.
But what's to be done when some amount of government spending is inevitable? People often bring up roads and infrastructure as the counterpoint to the libertarian injunction to “privatize it!” Chris Edwards – editor of the Cato Institute’s DownsizingGovernment.org – says that infrastructure isn't quite the exception government’s cheerleaders make it out to be. In a recent policy bulletin, Who Owns U.S. Infrastructure?, Edwards shows how the Federal Government can decrease its involvement in roads, bridges, ports and dams. The majority of infrastructure is already owned and operated by the private sector, with the next largest chunk owned by state and local governments – as it should be. “Asset ownership conveys responsibility;” Edwards says, “federal intervention diffuses it.” He joins Bob to discuss the true state of U.S. infrastructure (rumors of its demise have been greatly exaggerated) and the hands-off policies that can accelerate the right kind of infrastructure at the right price.