| Government spending has been proposed as a solution to our current woes. In traditional Keynesian theory, which just seeks to increase the total amount of spending in a downturned economy, there is really no difference between tax cuts and deficit spending by the government. Either serves to increase the aggregate consumption.
The modern Democratic Party seeks to expand government first. The argument is that infrastructure creates the private economy by facilitating trade and exchange. There are certainly times when this can be true. For instance if goods are piling up on one side of a river, and the government builds a bridge to connect those goods with the population on the other side.
In our present economic problems however, there is no evidence of goods sitting unbought because of deficiencies in infrastructure. It is true that many roads and bridges need repair, however we seem to be sending trucks and trains across these roads and bridges regardless, carrying goods wherever they are requested.
Likewise, we hear that hiring more teachers will lead to a more educated workforce that can perform the jobs of tomorrow. This argument assumes an economy that begins to approach the classical or supply-side model: someone creates a product by applying his or her mind to some raw material. In contemporary technology the raw material could be entirely virtual.
It is difficult to settle on evidence about whether this is happening or not. My own sense is that we would see a drawing in of non-technical workers to technical fields if inadequate math and science was really a problem.
The usual Democratic argument in favor of increased spending is a hodgepodge of all three ideas: aggregate spending, spending on hiring workers to build, and spending on training to fill jobs.