Martenson Interviews Khosla Ventures: The US Is Massively Underfunding The Innovations Critical To Its Energy Future

Tyler Durden's picture

Submitted by ChrisMartenson.com

Khosla Ventures: The US is Massively Underfunding the Innovations Critical to Its Energy Future

"The age of cheap oil is over," agrees Andrew Chung, partner at Khosla Ventures, arguably the most knowledgeable venture capital firm spearheading next-generation energy projects.

While perhaps more optimistic than Chris on the odds that the world can transition off fossil energy sources without experiencing some duration of lower overall energy output, Andrew is clear to point out that large and near-term capital investments are essential for such a smooth transition.

The size and scale of the investments necessary to evolve and replace our existing (and increasingly outdated) power infrastructure are enormous, and too big for private companies alone to address the issue on an acceptable timeline.

And as of now, the U.S. is decidedly NOT treating the matter with the urgency it deserves. Of the total U.S. budget, the Department of Energy receives only 8%; and only 0.1% of the total budget is directed to the alternative technologies we hope will one day replace our fossil-based sources. By contrast, China alone is dedicating $800 billion over the next ten years to help support the development and commercialization of alternative technologies and cleantech.

In the coming decades, the efficient and effective use of energy is going to be a real determinant between winners and loser across the global landscape. Affordable, sustainable energy will increasingly determine the prosperity of world powers -- and America is at a growing relative disadvantage until it starts talking honestly with itself about the un-sustainability of its current energy policies and prioritizing its resources (both monetary and human) accordingly.

Despite these concerns, Andrew and Khosla have a lot of optimism for the impact new technological innovations will have in addressing the energy challenge -- a number of which are discussed in this interview. And they encourage companies, capital and workers to enter the sector, as demand for expertise and solutions will be high for a very long time. And the future price of NOT investing ourselves wholeheartedly at this time is unacceptably dear.

On the End of the Age of "Cheap Oil"

I think that the scarcity of oil -- hitting Peak Oil -- and the increasing cost of being able to extract and discover new oil deposits is making it more and more costly. And importantly, the demand for energy and oil is going up dramatically with a lot of the emerging countries like China and India just exploding in demand as the countries develop into more urban economies.

 

If you look at the demand for electricity and energy in China, that has gone up tenfold over a period of about 15-20 years. India has gone up about fivefold, whereas the U.S. has only doubled in that period of time. So you can see that with these emerging economies being very aggressive in their domestic growth, the demand for oil and the demand for electricity is just going to go up dramatically and that is going to make the cost of oil at a minimum, stable, if not going up over time.

On the Obsolescence of the U.S. Energy Grid

We are looking at an energy infrastructure that is 40-50 years old. If you have ever been to an actual power plant or looked at the inside of a transformer substation, it is a spaghetti of wires that was designed in an era where we don’t have the computing capability and the circuitry and so forth that we have today.

 

So a lot of the initiatives right now are really around making the software on the backside much more up to date. The sensing capability, like the smart grid and smart meters that you would have at your home, and then adding additional infrastructure like storage capability that did not exist in a cost-effective form 10 or 15 years ago -- or even, frankly, two years ago.  So, there is a lot of opportunity over time to upgrade that infrastructure in a massive way to make more efficient use of the energy generation that we have right now. 

On the New Energy Arms Race

It is going to be difficult for the market to solve the problem alone without government intervention and capital dollars, just because of the massive scale of the problem. If you look at manufacturing, whether it is solar panels, or producing biofuel, manufacturing LEDs -- these are all large manufacturing businesses that if you want to even scratch the surface on the amount of energy that we need, fuel that we need, it requires substantial, substantial investments.

 

When you are talking about the scales that you need to reach in order to make a real difference, again sources of capital can really help here  I think the government needs to really help support and foster these types of technologies so that promising entrepreneurs and promising startups don’t get lost in a private capital-unfriendly environment today. China, as you mentioned, is really trying to lead the way here, in a very aggressive way.They already are number one today in terms of the amount of capital that they are committing to alternative energy sources, electricity production, and fuels production. In their most recent announcement on their next five-year plan, they are essentially pledging $80 billion every year for the next ten years to help support the development and commercialization of alternative technologies and cleantech.  That is a massive number: $800 billion that is being committed over a period of a decade to do this.

 

If you look back at what we were doing in Washington just several years ago with the stimulus package, there was a lot of excitement and strain and stress about putting several tens of $billions into the stimulus package for various types of renewable energy, energy infrastructure improvement. Today, some of that money has gone out, some of it may not get fully deployed.  Then, with a lot of negativity in the press today, a lot of the folks in Washington are actually pulling back a bit in terms of their support of the clean technology ecosystem. So, if you think about us putting the brakes on a relatively modest level of investment in clean technology and you compare that to what China is doing and other countries are doing (there are a number of countries in Europe, for example, that are investing a significant amount per capita in clean technology), it just puts us at a disadvantage relative to the long-term viability of scaling up alternative technologies in the U.S.

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Melin's picture

A complete separation of economy and state is the only path to liberty.

LetThemEatRand's picture

Of course, because the government in the form of collective action of the people has never contributed to the economy.  Except the interstate highway system, the space program (all modern telecommunications, satelites, GPS etc exist because of the Socialist space program), the internet, etc.

economics9698's picture

Everything you cited came from private companies and private enterprise with the exception of the highway system, and building a highway is not rocket science.

We could easily privatize the highway system, tomorrow.

We do need new governments that have a separation of state and economy amendment to the constitution like many of the founding fathers fought for.

Any asshole in government can sit on his or her ass and tell a company I will pay you billions if you can do xyz.  How much fucking brains does that take?

 

 

LetThemEatRand's picture

Really, NASA is private?  If you mean that private companies were hired by the government which used public funds to create large projects like building rockets that would never have been started by private enterprise alone, what's your point? 

jmc8888's picture

(adding to the above)

The technologies of today were created in gov't programs like the space program.

Then NASA gave the tech and expertise to the private sector, and allowed the private sector to flourish.  (and like said above contract with private enterprise to do much of this stuff to begin with.) People forget how many PRIVATE workers lost their jobs (actual wealth creating jobs) when Nero shuttered the space program, confirming (once again) we are nothing more than monetarist idiots.

Anyone see ANYTHING WRONG WITH THIS MODEL?

Set big goals, develop the science and tech to get over the hurdles, then that tech is spun off into the private sector.  People don't want to admit this is superior because they are still hammered with the propaganda that makes the case that this doesn't happen, never happened, and thus cannot happen....so don't try.  I call those people sheeple, listening to their oligarchical masters who value paper over their lives.

Without NASA doing this, YOU DON"T GET APPLE, MICROSOFT, etc, etc.

Hell you don't even get the tech boom, because there'd be no tech industry.  So the monetarists even based an entire bubble, just off the scraps of NASA...and people still don't realize how powerful the physical economic focus approach is?  If NASA's scraps were good enough for an enitre bubble, based off only a small sliver of what NASA did, what would a fully funded space program which realizes, specficially, the physcial economic expansion capable by a long term program to dwarf what NASA did in the 50's and 60's?  People again forget that by the time we were landing people on the moon, we had already been dismantling the Saturn V program for over a year.  Imagine had we continued onward from 1968 through the present? Here's a hint, you'd have computers today probably thirty years ahead of where we are, for starters.

Well seeing how we don't have NASA now, not really, it's pretty obvious where the next tech will come from...it won't.  Or from places like China, so get ready to bend over.  Because the monetarists played their game, and everybody lost...but hey, at least no one could call you a .......enter idiot word here.  But that's all YOU got.  You weren't incorrectly ragged on by the idiot kid with a running nose that you feared in school...but on the adult level.  What a trade off.  You sold your future for no reason.

 

Impeach Obama (here's why)

http://larouchepac.com/node/22286

 

Glass-Steagall

American Credit System

 

Then use that credit uttering, FOUNDING FATHER, conduit to fund these programs.  Then and only then will you get the next breakthroughs.  Monetarists are too busy playing with their paper money to do anything real. 

It's amazing people how far things have been twisted...so much so..that there are those who claim to be patriots, yet they are completely ignorant of the economics our founding fathers instilled.  It was a CREDIT system.  Not British monetarism. 

Ideologically speaking, we've been recolonized.  The system that was so successful for us....we've decided to ditch it.

Well, we're reaping what we sow.  Or decided not to.  Yet idiots still can't understand it.

 

The private sector can branch off into new arenas as well, but the base starts with a concerted effort to overcome a problem with a gov't program.  From there private business takes off.

Only propaganda swilling sheeple still believe otherwise (remember, this has been the lie the oligarch has told you for a long, long time...one would think people would have waken up to this sometimes over the last 3 or so years).  Apparently people missed it.  Now you have no excuse.  Continue to support the monetarist way.  Or switch back to being an American who consents to the superiority of the American principle.  Your choice, just don't dare call monetarism, american.  It isn't.

Without NASA, Steve Jobs, might as well have been Blow Jobs.  I'm sure he wouldv'e been personally succesful, but would he have found his niche to be transformational? You decide.

OpenThePodBayDoorHAL's picture

Seems to me we already have colossal state-supported industries that spin off tons of innovation and corporate profits. The problem is that the innovations are all new ways to kill goat herders on the other side of the planet.

Wouldn't it be better if we spent the same amount supporting innovation in ways to feed, clothe, house, transport, and take care of people? Instead of just murdering them.

I mean, duh.

economics9698's picture

jmc8888 is full of crap.  When we divert money that would be used in the private sector to create sustainable jobs and goods that the people want it retards economic development.

Saying we morons could not invent the internet without Al Gore is beyond stupid.  When these statist understand that government creates nothing and private enterprise would advance MORE without the bureaucrats siphoning off the best talent to work on the war machine disguised as NASA we will all live better.

These fucking brainwashed morons bug me.  Make me want to smack their ignorant ass to the ground.

Like I said any monkey can sit on their ass and ask company abc to produce xyz for x amount of money.  If we got rid of government there would be more spectacular technological breakthroughs, not less.  When the best and the brightest get millions they get fat, dumb, and lazy.  Its called bureaucracy. 

Let that talent loose in the private sector and our standard of living would expand exponentially.

And the fucking moron doesn't even understand economics.  Blaming Glass-Steagall for anything is like blaming icebergs for the Titanic.  No asshole it wasn't the iceberg it was the fucking captain you stupid moron.

 

 

Max Fischer's picture

 

 

Total garbage. 

Take something as simple as the interstate system.  Building the interstate is not difficult, so you're right.... any monkey/handy libertarian with a few Caterpillar machines can move some dirt around.  However, FUNDING the interstate system is another matter entirely.  At a cost of well over $400,000,000,000 ($400 billion) and decades to build, this is NOT a project for private enterprise. What company or group of individuals would tackle that project and expect a ROI of some sort? 

Some things require the government to help fund, whether your libertardian brain can understand that or not.    

Max Fischer, Civis Mundi

sun tzu's picture

Therefore, we need to hand over a few more billions to scam companies like Solyndra. That will solve all our problems.

Max Fischer's picture

 

 

That's utterly retarded.  I never said anything remotely close to that, nor did I imply it. 

Do you have anything meaningful to add to the discussion, or is that the libertardian strategy - divert the conversation into the ditch with a strawman topic?  For every example of fraud or bad business decisions one finds in government, one could find equal numbers in private enterprise; bad business decisions are everywhere. 

Now, back to the topic.... what sort of private enterprise could handle a $400,000,000,000 project which takes decades to complete and has no opportunity for ROI?  Which libertardian VC group wants to tackle that? 

Max Fischer, Civis Mundi

Common_Cents22's picture

but batshit crazy liberal morons use the public roads example all the time to justify ridiculous taxpayer funded projects.   Apples and oranges.  We need some federal govt but just about 70% less than what we have now.

I chuckle when a city or state has a budget crisis and they announce they are doing "essential services" only.  WTF?  Why is govt doing anything more than "essential services"?    FAIL.

LetThemEatRand's picture

So it's batshit crazy to respond to a poster that literally says we must make eliminate all government involvement in our economy with an extremely obvious example of why he is wrong?  That's like saying, "you damn math clowns are always bringing up the fact that 2+2 consistently equals 4, when someone says there is no such thing as certainty in mathematics."  If anyone wants to debate specific government programs that should be eliminated, that's an entirely different issue and one with which is worthy of discussion.  For example, much of the prison industrial complex needs to go.  Much of the military industrial complex needs to go.  The police state apparatus (homeland security) needs to be pared down to virtually nothing.  The Fed needs to go.  We need to stop spying on citizens and we need not to have hundreds of bases around the world.  And so on.  See how fun it is not to be simplisitic and black and white?  Many here just can't get over the fact that there is a valid role for government and that things like NASA and the interstate highway system really have added huge value to society and indeed humanity through what is correctly termed collectivism.  

As for "essential services," things like parks are not essential but they cost money.  If you don't like public parks you are either very wealthy and have your own land to play on, or you are a complete idiot who probably goes to public parks while complaining about non-essential services.

economics9698's picture

 

I have worked on many multimillion dollar construction projects.  Roads could be privatized, and we would get better roads, tomorrow.  I know the subject very well.  Roads are bullshit easy.

As for NASA they bid out and draw up specs.  So fucking what?  So do I.  Any moron with a budget can do that.

We would live better lives and be more technologically advances without government interference in the marketplace at all levels, including space, which in case you did not notice is a monopoly.

All these ignorant brain fucked government morons telling you that without government you would not have a I-phone is pure 100% bullshit.  You would have a I-phone and another $10,000 in your pocket that they didn’t rip off from you.

We need gov. for defense, rule of law, and little else.

 

LetThemEatRand's picture

 NASA just bid out and drew up specs?  Have you been to any of the space centers that developed our space program?   And I'll ask you again -- if your theory were true, why is it that incompetent government beat out all of your private enterpise to do everything from roads to space to nuclear to internet?

economics9698's picture

 

 

Guns.  Government can hold a gun to people head and force them to give them money.

The first roads were private.  Computers private, everything private.  Government does not create anything.  They collect money and draw up a wish list, nothing more.  Been to NASA and worked for them.  

 

 

LetThemEatRand's picture

Really?  What gun did government to the head of all the private interstate highway developers to make them stop?  Do you really believe what you type?  Do you have a single real world example of a private entity that wanted to build an interstate highway and was stopped by the violence of the state?  Surely you do given how certain you are that this is what occurred.

LetThemEatRand's picture

Translation -- you have no answer.  Just platitudes and untested/wild theory.

StychoKiller's picture

And YOU were begging the question!  Why would any private highway building enterprise attempt to compete against the entity that gets as much capital as it needs (at the point of a gun from "taxpayers"), at NO risk and NO need for an ROI?  You're asking everyone to prove a negative, so go p!ss up a rope! 

economics9698's picture

I guess the reason these government assholes telling people they need government or they would live in caves bugs me is because I have been the contractor to these lazy, stupid mother fuckers for years.  They write specs and cover their ass.  All the work and intelligence comes from the contractors who make it happen.  NASA, highways, anything the government is a extra layer of waste that could be eliminated.  In Florida we have private firms that build highways everyday.  You people need to get your head out of your ass and look who builds and creates and who rips off money, finds a excuse to spend it, and collects a check.

Government needs to shut the fuck up, provide a military, courts, cops, and get the fuck out of the way.

LetThemEatRand's picture

I'm certainly glad that courts and cops can't be corrupted like the rest of government.

And whose way are we getting the fuck out of?  Seems to me that you just admitted that you make a living working for the fucking government.  So I guess we have established that you are a hypocrite and have no principles whatsoever.  Are you currently typing on your computer in a public park, too?  Or are you sitting on the toilet taking a shit into the public sewer?   One more time -- if private enterprise is so anxious to build roads with their own money instead of public money, why haven't they done it and blown away the incompetent government you describe?

LetThemEatRand's picture

You said you are a contractor for the goverment.  That means the government is paying you, you fucking complete hypocrite.

economics9698's picture

It means I know more than you how useless these tits on a warthog really are.

LetThemEatRand's picture

Funny, I own my own business and I don't work for nor am I paid by the government.  Here you are, a fucking government contractor, telling me that government must be abolished.  It is so sad and pathetic I am at a loss for words.

nmewn's picture

What is this business you own, that you constantly bring up here LTER?

I picture you as a florist ;-)

LetThemEatRand's picture

Not a government contractor!!!  HAHAHAHAHAHA

nmewn's picture

The problem with not being honest and revealing yours...while haraunging someone elses job...is that it begins to sound hollow.

I'll put you down as a florist in close proximity to government office buildings until told otherwise ;-)

Max Fischer's picture

 

 

YOU'RE A GOVERNMENT CONTRACTOR??????

*LOL*

HYPOCRITE!!!!  So your income is totally dependent on the government, and here you are.... the loudest anti-government windbag on this website........

Typical tea-party libertarian hypocrite....  it's perfectly fine for you to take government checks, but not fine for everyone else.  

*LOL*

Max Fischer, Civis Mundi

nmewn's picture

"Typical tea-party libertarian hypocrite..."

lol...whaaa?

Well, this is a sweet little web of bullshit you and LTER are spinning here.

The "government" doesn't make asphalt or concrete or rebar or paint or trucks or earth movers...its all contracted out.

Show me these great >>>government factories<<< producing all these wonderful goods and I'll shut up. I'll even double down and say it won't be anytime soon.

Government has its tentacles in everything and you two think no one is immune from its grasp?

FYI...government takes from producers but produces nothing itself, it serves only as a funding mechanism by extracting wages from the productive. And even at that, it can't extract enough wages for the pie in the sky illusions it creates for the willfully ignorant to follow, so it borrows even more to feed itself and those illusions.

Fucking algae for fuel...really? Where is that government algae farm located so I can go fill up? Eighteenth century ideas like windmills...how many golden eagles have to die by "regulation"? Solar panels, when the regulatory process for rare earth mining in the US takes ten years?

Here's an idea...lets have government set unreasonable goals and place substantive hurdles in the way to achieve the impossible goal and call it a day, that way there is always "the need". What a fucking racket.

While the US government and you two have masturbated over energy "ideas" and bridges to nowhere (since the 70's no doubt) France built nuke plants and is an energy exporter...thank you beloved US Dept of Energy.

Just think, the fucking French have more on the ball than either of you...lol.

LetThemEatRand's picture

Your basic argument has morphed from "government is bad" to "government funds things that we need but it is otherwise bad."  Is Economics9698 a producer or just a pure worhtless welfare boxing queen?   He gets paid by the government.  So he takes from me and claims to produce roads in exchange.  Is this a bad thing to anyone with more than 3 brain cells?   If I pay someone to do something that benefits all of us and that otherwise would not have been done, I have produced something yes?  I asked your buddy Economics to show me all of the private companies that were waiting in line to build public roads without government funding.  He had no answer.  Do you?  

Does it bother you to learn to that one of the biggest advocates of your point of view has been sucking off the government teat this whole time?  He probably posts on zero hedge while at work burning my tax dollars.  Ha!!

nmewn's picture

"Your basic argument has morphed from "government is bad" to "government funds things that we need but it is otherwise bad."

My basic argument hasn't changed at all. You should know better than to set your false premises with me. Government is something that needs to be controlled at all times.

Do you agree its out of control now?...the answer only requires a yes or no.

LetThemEatRand's picture

Yes, Economics9698 is getting paid too much and has too much time on this hands!

So government is okay so long as it is funding big projects that benefit you personally?  Classic Rand hypocrisy.  I know, you won't admit it.  Nevermind mind, but I know and that's good enough for me tonight.

nmewn's picture

All I know is you couldn't answer a simple yes or no question.

LetThemEatRand's picture

Did you start being an idiot just here at ZH?  Yes or No.

nmewn's picture

If you don't want to answer the very simple question just say so. Your last was an answer to a question not posed and this one nothing more than school yard nana nana poo poo...lol.

Sanksion's picture

Why the hell a corporation would put upon itself a huge competitive disadvantage by refusing to be in line with the ALL MIGHTY COUNTERFEITED CAPITAL PROVIDER of this fucking planet ? WHY ? WHY ? WHY ? 

economics9698's picture

Roads are easy.  Why is this example used?  Financing a road is not much different than a high rise.  Why is everyone so hung up on that?  Give me 50 guys who knew roads and I could build any road anywhere and finance it.

LetThemEatRand's picture

Roads are easy?  Is that why private enterprise was building the interstate system before government did?  Oh wait, they were not.  Do you have any idea how much commerce was aided by the interstate system?

Airports?

How about NASA?  Was a private company developing rockets and satellites on its own before the government came in and coordinated/funded the effort?  

Manhattan project and the world changing industry that followed?

Seems to me that you have nothing but convenient and simplistic theory to back up your position, whereas I have fact.  Virtually everything you take for granted in our modern society was initially funded and made possible by collectivism.  The brilliance of our system is the combination of public money and will, and private business to make it happen.  You wish to throw away one side of th equation because your ideology is opposed to it despite massive evidence that the government side of the equation was a huge part of our country's success.   When you talk about what private industry could do on its own, you are suffering from "born on third base syndrome."  No, you did not hit a triple.

economics9698's picture

I advocate the complete, total, and full privatization of all roads, streets, highways, byways, avenues, and other vehicular thoroughfares. And I am serious about this, deadly serious.

This is so far off the radar of public-policy analysis and apart from the concerns of politicians, pundits, and commentators that few people will take it seriously. Do not be one of them. Your very life may be at stake. For over 40,000 people die on the nation's roadways every year, and you or a loved one might one day join this horrid list.

Do not be misled by the oft-made contention that the actual cause of highway fatalities is speed, drunkenness, vehicle malfunction, driver error, etc. These are only proximate causes. The ultimate cause of our dying like flies in traffic accidents is that those who own and manage these assets supposedly in the name of the public — the various roads bureaucrats — cannot manage their way out of the proverbial paper bag. It is they and they alone who are responsible for this carnage.

This does not mean that, were thoroughfares placed in private hands, the death toll would be zero. It would not. But, at least, every time the life of someone was tragically snuffed out, someone in a position to ameliorate these dangerous conditions  would lose money, and this tends, wonderfully, to focus the minds of the owners. This is why we do not have similar problems with bananas, baskets, and bicycles, or the myriad other goods and services supplied to us by a (relatively) free-enterprise system.

If the highways were now commercial ventures, as once in our history they were, and upward of 40,000 people were killed on them annually, you can bet your bottom dollar that Ted Kennedy and his ilk would be holding Senate hearings on the matter. Blamed would be "capitalism," "markets," "greed," i.e., the usual suspects. But it is the public authorities who are responsible for this slaughter of the innocents.

Is there anything of a practical nature that can be done to solve the problem in the short run? Probably not. But do not give up hope. Right before the decline and fall of communism in Russia and Eastern Europe, there were few who thought this scourge would soon be removed.

Another benefit of the present book is that it attempts to demonstrate the viability, efficaciousness, and, yes, morality, of the private-enterprise system, addressing a difficult case in point. If we can establish that private property and the profit motive can function even in "hard cases" such as roads, the better we can make the overall case on behalf of free enterprise.

$25$19

The book is organized according to the following plan. The basic theory of privatization, specifically as applied to roadways, is put forth. The case on behalf of commercializing this sector of the economy is made on the basis of improving road safety and decreasing traffic congestion. Next, this theory is applied to a whole host of related issues, such as automobile insurance, holding parades on public streets, and immigration. Our present institutional arrangements are characterized as socialistic. Then, we assume as a given the goal of privatizing traffic arteries, and instead focus on the very complex process of getting to there from here: what are the problems of transition, how would the authorities move from a situation under their control to market determination, etc.? The next part of the book is given over to dealing with objections to the foregoing. Critiques are launched at several commentators, including Gordon Tullock, Lawrence White, Herbert Mohring, and Robert Poole. This book concludes with an interview conducted with me by several Canadian libertarians.

LetThemEatRand's picture

"Do not be misled by the oft-made contention that the actual cause of highway fatalities is speed, drunkenness, vehicle malfunction, driver error, etc. These are only proximate causes. The ultimate cause of our dying like flies in traffic accidents is that those who own and manage these assets supposedly in the name of the public — the various roads bureaucrats — cannot manage their way out of the proverbial paper bag."

So everytime a driver falls asleep and crashes, it's the government's fault?  Every time a tire blows, it's the government's fault?  Everytime a car with shitty air bags and cheap seatbelts fails to protect the driver, it's the government's fault?  You are one serious ideological fuck.  I now see why your avatar is a boxer.  All you have in life is being a bully.  You were a bit short-changed in the intellect department.  Sorry I wasted so much time talking to you.

Cojock's picture

We tried that here in the UK with the railways.

And guess what? The private owners squeezed maintenance and repairs so much that a train came off the rails at Potters Bar killing a bunch of people. 

So the government took the railways back into public ownership, and private operation.

Mind you, UK rail travel is now more expensive, and more heavily subsidised than it ever was before privatisation, but hey, that's progress, and good for economic growth....ie the growth of the bank balances of the 1%.

There's no reason at all why infrastructure should not be held by a custodian on behalf of users generally - like the stock market come to that - and why public credit/stock  should not be created and issued to fund such infrastructure. 'Stock' was around long before banks and joint stock companies, by the way. 

https://blogs.ucl.ac.uk/resilience/2012/01/09/a-stock-answer/

The private sector should simply do what it does best: ie efficiently allocate public credit to build public assets and to thereby create and operate public infrastucture, in accordance with guidelines and standards democratically set on behalf of the users.

nmewn's picture

"Manhattan project and the world changing industry that followed?"

I'll give you the Manhattan Project...for without it, my dad would have probably died street fighting in Tokyo. Now I'm alive to try and change the world.

Which should make you very happy, I know it does me ;-)

LetThemEatRand's picture

See any irony in the fact that you want to change the world to make sure another Manhattan project never happens?  No, probably not.  You guys don't see irony.  Too complex.  Not black and white.

nmewn's picture

I have never said I was a pacifist...the Manhattan Project was about winning a war.

Oh the complexity of irony ;-)

LetThemEatRand's picture

No, not that complicated.  You want to end collectivist funding of projects that would include the Manhattan project.  You still don't see it, do you?  '.'

nmewn's picture

No, I want to end "collectivist" funding of projects that only enrich the connected few.

Like the "shovel ready jobs bill" that winds up funding tenured professors, state & federal government administrators, new climate models (because the old ones don't work), Solyndra, Fisker, LightSquared, Amtrac...in other words...political cronies.

You on the other hand apparently accept that there must be a 30% "waste buffer" built into every spending bill...I don't.

Neither of you have pointed me to the wonderful government factories that churn out the rebar, cement and equipment needed for infrastructure.

Now I ask for proof that almost a TRILLION DOLLARS has been spent on infrastructure at all.

I need to see these great new water & sewer projects, where are they? I need to know that "the crumbling roads and bridges" have been in fact repaired. I need to see the brand new schools that were promised.

Show me where the money went.

OldTrooper's picture

Uh...isn't spending $400,000,000,000 with no ROI even more retarded?  I can't think of any group, except governments, and their parasitic cronies of course, dumb enough to tackle a project like that.

economics9698's picture

Construction projects are tackled one at a time.