Our President asks successful entrepreneurs to acknowledge the government's role in building the roads and bridges that bring customers and employees to those businesses.  That may be common practice today, but not always.  Not far from Cold Spring Shops headquarters is the first seedling mile of the Lincoln Highway, an attempt by early twentieth-century entrepreneurs to build a paved highway from coast to coast.  The effort was as much an attempt to lobby for federal funds as it was to improve the roads.  But that lobbying begets both a highway trust fund, and more lobbying, and there's no assurance that the public moneys will necessarily put the roads in the right place, or that customers and employees will be inconvenienced by traffic or by construction to the mutual disadvantage of the entrepreneur and his trading partners.  Go back into history: the internal improvement we know as the land-grant railroads might also have been a misallocation of money that gives critics of corporate welfare from left or right common ground to criticize the policy.

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