Favorites: Thomas Sowell, Mark Steyn, Victor Davis Hanson, Charles Krauthammer, Michael Barone, Jonah Goldberg, Dan Henninger, Kim Strassel, Robert Samuelson, Dan Mitchell, John Hawkins, Shelby Steele, Brian Lamb, Milton Friedman, Adam Smith, Hayak, Monty Pelerin
It explains that once government does something, you just can’t take it away. You’ll always be accused of “turning back the clock.”
If everyone had always gotten their shoes from the government, writes Rothbard, the proponent of shoe privatization would be greeted as a kind of lunatic. “How could you?” defenders of the status quo would squeal. “You are opposed to the public, and to poor people, wearing shoes! And who would supply shoes … if the government got out of the business? Tell us that! Be constructive! It’s easy to be negative and smart-alecky about government; but tell us who would supply shoes? Which people? How many shoe stores would be available in each city and town? … What material would they use? … Suppose a poor person didn’t have the money to buy a pair?”
The sad part, which just can’t be accepted by Progressives, is that doing less is sometimes more.
Charles Murray, my colleague at the American Enterprise Institute, notes that the most remarkable drop in the poverty rate didn’t come after President Lyndon B. Johnson declared war on poverty but when President Eisenhower ignored it. Over a mere 12 years, from 1949 to 1961, the poverty rate was cut in half. Similarly the biggest gains in health coverage came when government was less involved in health care, i.e. before the passage of Medicare and Medicaid in 1966. Duke University Professor Christopher Conover notes that in 1940, 90 percent of Americans were uninsured, but by 1960, that number was down to 25 percent.
In real life I’m in the development business (as opposed to blogging). As is typical of many Elected Officials, and Planning and Zoning Commissions, there’s a small portion of this otherwise fascinating clip, of a City Councilwoman asking (go to 11:00):
What the citizens of Cupertino would get from the new campus, and in particular brought up a free Wi-Fi network, like Google offers in Mountain View. Steve responded that Apple was the largest taxpayer in Cupertino and he felt that the tax benefits to having a company like Apple in Cupertino was benefit enough and the city should be providing a service like that. “If we can get out of paying taxes, we would be glad to provide free Wi-Fi.”
Here’s one of most entrepreneurial people in the world, who proposed an incredibly “environmentally sensitive” project, with 12,000 jobs, and the Councilwoman still found the need to ask for more.
As long as we’re on a Weiner roll, I’ve been reading for a few weeks about how some leftists have put a referendum on the ballot making circumcision illegal. Why? What business is it of their? Why the impelling need to control what others do or don’t do?
PS My kids asked the CBP seizure squad if they could eat the chocolate in front of the border guards while the border guards held on to the toys to prevent any choking hazard – and then, having safely consumed the chocolate, take the toys home as a separate item. This request was denied. Could have been worse. Could have been a $300 fine, plus a $250 fee for seized-egg storage.
I wonder what the Governor and State Legislators in Illinois are thinking about their vote to raise taxes 67% and how Wisconsin, Indiana and now even New Jersey are trying to capitalize on their anti-business decisions?
So you are a busy federal agency with lots and lots to do. You have roads to build, bridges to reinforce, and infrastructure to shore up, but there is something gnawing at your paper pushing soul. It’s those darn street signs in New York City and others. So, like a good, jackbooted government automaton, you storm down to that offending city and demand it spend $27million to change the lettering on those darn signs. I mean it’s not like you have anything else to do, right?
With unemployment just under 10% and companies sitting on their cash, you would think that sooner or later job growth would take off. I think it’s going to be later—much later. Here’s why.
Meet Sally (not her real name; details changed to preserve privacy). Sally is a terrific employee, and she happens to be the median person in terms of base pay among the 83 people at my little company in New Jersey, where we provide audio systems for use in educational, commercial and industrial settings. She’s been with us for over 15 years. She’s a high school graduate with some specialized training. She makes $59,000 a year—on paper. In reality, she makes only $44,000 a year because $15,000 is taken from her thanks to various deductions and taxes, all of which form the steep, sad slope between gross and net pay.