Lab Cuts: A Response

Recently, I wrote in the Albuquerque Tribune about the impending lab cuts and whether they might be a good thing in the long run for New Mexico’s economy. I argued in part that it is the private sector, not the government that creates wealth and I stand by my point.
Nonetheless, I was attacked in a letter to the letter by a reader who argued that government does indeed create wealth. He argues that, “His (Gessing’s) condemnation of government as not producing wealth is baseless,” and that “I equate profit with wealth.”
Unfortunately for the letter writer, what government does is simply take money from productive citizens and use it for something that people may or may not really want. With government, it is not easy to tell because there is no pricing mechanism. Sure, roads are important, but the government also shifts money away from roads to build the Rail Runner. That is sucking wealth out of society.
The public schools, particularly APS, may be better than nothing (although that’s debatable), but are they creating wealth for our society in an efficient manner? Might it be better for the private sector (not necessarily for-profit) to take over?
The fact is that government may create wealth for you if you happen to want what the government is providing, but real wealth is provided when government is small and doesn’t interfere with the rest of us who are producing real wealth in the marketplace.