Letter: Old rules still apply when it comes to capital investments

March 6, 2013 

I took accounting and business 101 about 60 years ago, so I know practically everything about running a household, a business or a nation. A vital principle is that if you do not invest in the capital equipment essential to the operation of that household, business or nation, even if it requires taking on substantial debt for a while, you will fail. From an accounting point of view, the equipment is an asset, the debt incurred by purchasing that equipment is a liability; this capital investment is not a current deficit item.

This brings me to the subject of our nation's infrastructure and education and the wrong-headedness of Congress and most Republicans. Whether it is producing and transporting our nation's products, getting workers to work or improving productivity, the rest of the world is getting ahead of us.

Wake up, America! Even if job creation were just an incidental benefit of renewing and improving America's infrastructure and training our people, though it is obviously much more than that, capital investment, despite whatever momentary debt it incurs, is essential to our survival in the emerging global economy. The textbooks may have changed, but the principles of accounting and business 101 are still alive.

MARTIN BENSKY, Richland

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