Entries tagged with “Government”.


Citizens Against Government Waste: Don’t Let Congress Shoot Down 53 Joint Strike Fighters for the Price of One Engine!

What is a budget surplus? Let’s say that you normally spend $400 per month on groceries. This month you budget for $10,000,500 and you spend $500 on groceries. You are out $100 more than usual on groceries. You’ll have to make up for it some where else in your budget. But you have a $10,000,000 grocery budget surplus. You should celebrate. Sound good? Perhaps you should go into government.
Concentrated power is not rendered harmless by the good intentions of those who create it.
— Milton Friedman I think all too often we forget that people in power are ambitious and the person who reins in power to do some good now also reins in power for so many others to do so much bad tomorrow.
Sheldon Richman worte the following in Obama’s Uninformed Optimism on the Future of Freedom Foundation web site.
There is more to fear than fear itself. There’s government and its dim-witted attempts to fix the economy.
The article articulates a pet peeve of mine. Lawyers, like President Obama, do not have the training needed to make economic decisions about a whole country. Heck, economists do not have the training to make economics decisions for a whole nation. IMO, we need a system of government which strips government of the power to affect the economy. Swearing a person into office does not magically imbue that person with a means to predict the future or to understand an economy. Relying on any government official to “fix” the economy reveals at least one major flaw in our system of governance. As long as we rely on a flawed system of government we do ourselves and our descendants a huge disservice.
It seems counter-intuitive to some folks that raising tax rates might lower tax revenues. Here’s a story about a story about oil companies leaving a high tax nation for a low tax nation. This is how we chase tax revenue from our country by raising taxes.
Steve Fambro is the inventor of an electric vehicle which gets something like 33 miles to the dollar. It is one of those prototypes, but has already sold a few thousand cars. In this short video of an interview with Steve he describes an interesting, but not uncommon problem with his suppliers. Regulation of industry is subject to change. Usually changes are attempted annually by some federal or state legislators. Many changes come from the industry itself. Big industry players like regulation because it allows them to eliminate or to greatly reduce their competition. Industries which are dominated by big bureaucratic companies are less likely to be as nimble as companies like Steve Fambro owns. When we use regulation to reduce competition we often clear the path for less nimble companies. That changes the landscape of the playing field for that industry. All the suppliers have to deal with a bureaucracy and they have to adopt priorities which cater to slow moving, slow changing customers. Regulators want a few big players in their industries. They can monitor them easier and there is less to do. Regulators have a better chance to keep control of their industry if they do not have a bunch of small competitors constantly innovating what they are attempting to regulate. That’s one reason why regulators pressure legislators for long laborious processes to get anything accomplished. If they let everything happen quickly they would never be able to keep regulations up to date with practice. Innovation drives progress. We are worse off as a species when we slow innovation. Why would anyone deliberately slow progress? The answer lies in our systems of government. The players in those systems are often rewarded for slowing innovation. Regulation is all about control. Innovation is all about chaos. Control and chaos are not best buds. Thus regulators, seeking to make their lives easier, reduce chaos, thus making everyone’s life worse off. Innovation can be found in controlled environments. It is just slower to happen. Slowing innovation has been the goal of many humans throughout history usually because they do not see where this chaotic future will take us. Invariably it takes us all to a better place.
What is a “But” libertarian? It is a libertarian who uses a phrase like, “I am all for free markets, but … [inset some government planned economy].” “But” libertarians are not real libertarians. John Stossel was (and probably still is a “but” libertarian. He is all for small government except for pollution control. Never mind that the U.S. government is the single largest polluter in the world. They can fix it. They’re the government! If you see a free market economist telling a reporter about his plan to fix the economy and his plan does not include removing the power to regulate from all forms of government then he is not a free market economist after all. His plan controls the economy and he is advocating a controlled economy, not a free one. I am a free market advocate. My advocacy plan is that we should have no plan for the economy. Let the market participants, not government decide if more people should own their own homes or drive new cars or if private banks should be lending money or holding on to every dime. Defend the right of each citizen to trade without government interference or support. Set us free of your plan. Please stop helping us.
Glenn Beck and Judge Carter go over the latest in the saga of House Ways and Means Chairman Charlie Rangel’s failure to pay income taxes. I make a monthly payment to the IRS for back taxes. Perhaps I should call them to take advantage of “The Rangel Rule.”
Only government could pay $646,214 per government job and think it a bargain. That’s the estimated cost given by Alan Reynolds at CATO based on the math behind the latest Stimulus Bill. In a Wall Street Journal Reynolds said:
Mr. Zandi’s current estimates have government employment growing by 330,400 over two years as a result of the House bill (compared with 244,000 in Bernstein-Romer paper). Yet even that updated figure still amounts to only 8.3% of total jobs added, even though state and local governments are to receive 39% of the funds ($214.5 billion). Spending $214.5 billion to create or save 330,400 government jobs implies that taxpayers are being asked to spend $646,214 per job.
An Australian woman is told by government bureaucrats that her twin sister cannot live in the same country she lives in. Why didn’t the reporter ask her whether she supports bureaucrats guarding her national borders? That’s what I want to know. Is she getting what she deserves because she has always supported bureaucrat-supervised border crossings or is she a true victim of a democratic process gone wrong. Australia illustrates the incompetence of bureaucrats at guarding national border. Even done competently, this is not legitimate use of government. Ah, what a tangled web we create when fist we practice to regulate. I think the root of this problem is in publicly owned resources. With the existence of publicly owned resources there is a demand to protect those resources. Since there is no private owner, we are forced to use government bureaucrats to provide that protection. We could contract the protection of our borders to private protectors, but we would still be using bureaucrats to select those private protectors. If all resources were private then each private resource owner would decide how to protect their resource. Some private owners might allow public access to their resource on the condition that they have limited liability protection from users. If I had a twin sister and I wanted her to live in my privately owned home I would need to contract with other private resource owners to allow her to gain access to my private property from her current location. Should I run into a necessary private resource owner who refuses my sister use of their resource than I would need to find some similar private resource owner who is willing to do so. Should all the needed resource owners discover that my twin sister is a suicide bomber then I will probably be blocked in legally getting my sister to my house or I will have to pay a very high premium to use those private resources. Does all this red tape sound the same as publicly owned resources, like roads, borders and passports? It is similar. But I can access private owners with the use of money (or economic power). To reach bureaucrats I need political power. Money is freely available, especially private money. Political power is a much more scarce resource and much more expensive to obtain.