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InsiderOnline Blog: August 2013

Infrastructure Follows Growth

The history of planes, trains, and automobiles—not to mention steamboats—does not support the President’s infrastructure obsession, write Larry Schweikart and Burton Folsom: “[B]uilding infrastructure was never the engine of growth, but rather a lagging indicator of growth that had already occurred in the private sector. And when the infrastructure was built, it was often best done privately […] .” One example:

Airplanes became a major industry and started carrying passengers by the early 1920s. Juan Trippe, the head of Pan American World Airways, began flying passengers overseas by the mid-1930s. During that period, nearly all airports were privately funded, beginning with the Huffman Prairie Flying Field, created by the Wright Brothers in Dayton, Ohio, in 1910. St. Louis and Tucson had privately built airports by 1919. Public airports did not appear in large numbers until military airfields were converted after World War II. [Wall Street Journal, August 5]

Posted on 08/08/13 05:20 PM by Alex Adrianson

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