A multiplier impact is based on the notion that initial spending from a given source will become another's income. Moreover, a multiplier effect will only occur if part of that income is subsequently re-spent, resulting in income for anther. If this process or cycle is repeated over time, we have the makings of an income multiplier. However, if reduced re-spending occurs anywhere in this cycle the multiplier will have a smaller impact.

Attempts to estimate income multipliers are tedious and difficult, and are frequently put forth, without work or thought, as an added benefit of a project rather than a legitimate attempt to determine what numerical value a given multiplier possesses.

Henry Schwaller cites studies that cast doubt on the likelihood of any multiplier impact associated with the Hays USD 489 bond issue. I agree with his assertion. Hays residents, with limited disposable income, are obligated to service the USD 489 bond issue of some $154 million. This will reduce private-sector spending by that amount over time. Public-sector spending tends to "crowd out" private-sector spending. It should also be noted it is unlikely Hays residents will own any of the bond issue, nor can we count on local materials and local labor services to be utilized if the bond issue is passed.

This does not mean that public-sector spending should not occur. Our community benefits from both private and public goods. Public goods are generally consumed collectively. Clearly, public goods such as roads, streets, parks, public safety, education institutions, etc., make us more productive and in turn may enhance our welfare.

Jack McCullick,