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There is a word I have learned to not like in our government's management practices and that word is "subsidized." It is all too often a euphemism for some government department helping you to be successful in a business, with a product, that would not be successful any other way.

I wrote a while back about capitalism and how greed can cause it to be misused by creating shortages in products that have little competition. But it's still the preferred form when it's working right. It's preferred because it has the essential word incentive as part of its goals. You have a product people need and you manufacture it and sell it at a reasonable price-- you deserve to be rewarded.

But back to the government subsidizing some products because on the surface there seems to be no way they can survive otherwise. In most cases this is just some venture being propped up with government funds and all of the incentive to manage it well has been taken out of it because you get paid, no matter what happens. It's a big fat recipe for graft and corruption.

There are a few things that are beyond private people's means to build and maintain. Light rail and things like that are exceptions. But even in those cases there has to be a dire need for them and every effort - and this is the hard part - needs to be made to make them profitable. Just remember it's almost an impossible task when the people running it have little or no skin in the game and not much incentive to do well and have little accountability. Take a look at how our government is run today and just think. They want to tell you how to manage your affairs.

Mike Holst