The United States has become a wealth-consuming nation. It has become a wealth-consuming nation by switching from a manufacturing-based economy to a service-based economy.
The only way to build wealth in a nation is to take raw materials and turn them into something of greater value.
Manufacturing builds national wealth by taking raw materials and producing a product worth more than the raw materials.
Farming builds national wealth by taking raw materials and producing a product worth more than the raw materials.
Building new construction builds national wealth.
Service work does not build wealth it moves money around. A barber takes your money and adds it to his. An auto mechanic takes your money to restore your car to the value it was before it needed his work, this just transfers wealth from one person to another, it does not build wealth.
Insurance companies sell you a product that transfers money from you to them, it does not build national wealth.
Government does nothing but take wealth from its people and produces nothing from it except service in doing so it takes away a national wealth.
In order for the United States to become wealthy again we need to get back to a manufacturing-based economy. We need to find ways to compete on the world market with the products that are farmers and manufacturers produce.
Our recovery money could have be spent building new roads not on the service of repairing roads we already have taking away national wealth.
We could spend recovery money finding and implementing innovative ways to lower manufacturing costs thereby returning the United States to a wealthy nation.
Our recovery money could have easily have been spent on building electrical wind machines and putting them in remote areas of the country where there is a lot of when. They then could've spent recovery money building the infrastructure to connect these electricity-producing machines to our electrical grid. We then would've been building national wealth.
By using our recovery money in this way we would've been building wealth for our nation instead of simply trying to give people temporary jobs.