Community Voices: Yes, government produces wealth | Community Voices | – The Bakersfield Californian

So, Andy Wahrenbrock (“Government does not create wealth,” July 17), says the government “has no capacity to produce wealth, but only diminishes it or directs it to favored groups.” Really? Without defining the parameters of measuring a government’s capacity to produce wealth, he makes a blanket statement that may not pass scrutiny.

Ordinarily a nation’s wealth is measured by its gross domestic product — the total dollar value of all of a nation’s goods and services. By this measure the United States is the wealthiest country in the world (2021 GDP $23T compared to EU’s $19T and China’s $18T). By another more overly simplistic measure, the federal deficit, the feds took in $1T less than they spent ($3.5T) during the last normal pre-pandemic fiscal year (2019).

Let me count the ways our federal, state, county and local governments “produce wealth” directly and indirectly (which I guess would be for Wahrenbrock’s “favored groups”):

• Partners with, subsidizes, gives grants or tax breaks to new and existing energy companies to come up with, for example, new ways to reduce CO2 emissions and create new renewable energy sources.

• Same with pharmaceutical companies to develop vaccines or other therapeutics useful for pandemics or treatment-resistant illnesses.

• Same with research universities, which continually strive to improve efficiencies in the efficacy of existing products or create new products to solve heretofore intractable problems.

• Same with teaching hospitals to bring more physicians, nurses, med techs, CNAs, lab techs and assistants into the healing industries.

• Same with information technology industries to find new or improved ways to enhance performance, capacity, speed, or interactivity of current technology.

• Same with weapon systems development.

• With helping establish, build and expand “for the public good” companies and institutions of every kind creating the “seed bed” for a flourishing economy.

• With communication service and system development to expand or improve services for users.

• With utilities to expand their reach into rural and ultra-rural users or in improved broadband availability and capacity.

• With biotech to assist the development of better orthotics or body-part replacement items so the disabled can return to productivity and come off welfare.

• With mining rare earth and other needed minerals for semiconductors, microprocessors and integrated chips.

• With providing educational student loans helping borrowers raise their occupational, earning and tax-paying potentials.

• With agriculture and animal husbandry.

• With farm and other food stock exports.

• With railroads to move products from importers and manufacturers to markets or to export locations.

• With highways for distributing goods.

• With helping homebuyers secure government-backed loans for newly built homes.

In each of the …….