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Just like the Roman gazing at the wonder of the Colosseum during the times of Emperor Vespasian, citizens in countries around the world stare in awe at government buildings, the residences of presidents and monarchs, and monuments commemorating some national event or paying homage to a political figure. The building material, wiring, flooring, and equipment used for construction could have been used to make a good to satisfy the wants of the average person. We post pictures to Facebook pages showing us standing before grandiose government buildings, but we never see the other side of the coin: someone doing without, because the resources that could have served his needs were embedded in a tribute to state arrogance.

(Mark A. Pribonic)

Haven’t those buildings already served some human needs — our sense of national pride, heroic fantasies, or egotistic yearning for glory? 

From an economic point, they can serve as tourist attractions and thus sources of national income? Hmmm, so they aren’t that completely useless huh.