Monday, January 07, 2008

public versus private spending

consider public education as part of public infrastructure as you read below.

From article in yesterday's NY Times

(interestingly, John Hopkins is doing the same in Baltimore, according to The Wire last night)

The shift from public money to private wealth in shaping the nation’s cities is evident in national data. Government outlays on physical infrastructure have declined to 2.7 percent of the gross domestic product, from 3.6 percent in the 1960s. Philanthropic giving, in contrast, has jumped to nearly 2.5 percent of G.D.P., from 1.5 percent in 1995 and 2 percent in the ’60s.

Most of this money goes into endowments and foundations, or comes in the form of individual gifts, and then is increased through leverage. Of the $3 billion that Yale has spent so far on its vast building program, for example, slightly less than two-thirds came from gifts and from the endowment, which now totals $22.5 billion. The rest was borrowed, Mr. Levin said.

Yale now spends more than $400 million annually on its renaissance, nearly six times its outlays for construction and renovation in the mid-1990s. New Haven, by contrast, budgeted $137 million in the current fiscal year for all its capital projects, including those subsidized by state and federal governments. That is less than twice the amount budgeted in the mid-’90s.

Government investment nationwide has lagged for several reasons, say business leaders, academics and public officials. Tax cuts have helped to hold down overall government spending. So has the view, widespread in recent decades, that public investment is often inept and wasteful. . .

Perhaps most important, big businesses no longer put as much clout and attention behind public infrastructure investments. In an earlier era, corporations, many with deep roots in local communities, lobbied government for the railroads, highways and many other facilities they needed to operate successfully. And they served as a crucial fountain of local tax revenue.

But companies are more mobile today. And many of the urban manufacturers most dependent on public infrastructure have moved or gone out of business. The Winchester Repeating Arms Company, once New Haven’s largest employer, is among the departed. Yale, which pays some taxes and escapes others that most corporations pay — particularly property taxes — is now the city’s biggest employer.

1 comment:

Alvina Yeh said...

Visual verification
I'm writing because I feel very passionate about this and want APIA brothers and sisters to hear about this.

You'd think in a big election year and with the political growth of the Asian community, political parties would be courting Asian voters. Apparently not the case as in Nevada, the Democratic party forgot to include the Asian community in a debate to address minority issues. Tsk, tsk.

The Democratic presidential debate in Nevada on Tues. is supposed to focus on minority issues. The debate features African American and Hispanics, but neglected Asian Americans, even though African Americans and Asian Americans make up about the same portion of Nevada. Democratic organizers made a mistake by leaving out Asian Americans, especially since the Asian American population is surging (with large numbers in unions) and they're mobilizing at a record pace for the state's caucuses.

When Democratic leaders realized they made a mistake, they quickly pulled together an Asian American-specific rally with Sen.. Reid and other leaders in Las Vegas' Chinatown Plaza set for Monday evening, the night before the debate.

Is that enough? Does a community rally make up for the exclusion of the Asian community during early planning stages?

You decide.