Archive for November 13th, 2011

One of the sacrifices I make for liberty is traveling to foreign lands. Previous hardship duty includes trips to Monaco, Bermuda, Cayman IslandsSwitzerland, and Anguilla.

I’m currently in Antigua, which is a remarkably beautiful island. But nice places nonetheless have un-nice governments.

View from my window

When I arrived yesterday, I didn’t know the address where I was staying. That detail didn’t seem important since I was being picked up at the airport.

But there was a “residence in Antigua” slot on the immigration form and the bureaucrats refused to let me in the country without knowing that irrelevant piece of information.

This isn’t the first time this happened to me. I was once detained at Heathrow Airport in the U.K. because I didn’t know the address of my friend’s flat. After a couple of minutes, though, the bureaucrat was overcome by common sense and let me through.

That was not the case in Antigua. I had to wait an irritatingly long period of time before one of the bureaucrats accompanied me into the arrivals section to find the person who was picking me up. Then, after putting the address on the immigration form, I was finally allowed in the country.

I realize I’m whining a bit (just like I did with my personal stories about Amtrak, tax returns, traffic tickets, and air travel), but what possible purpose did it serve for the government of Antigua to create an unpleasant experience for me?

After all, there’s no welfare system in Antigua, so I wouldn’t be sneaking in the country to mooch off local taxpayers.

Unfortunately, the government did recently introduce an income tax after decades of independence without that burdensome levy. So perhaps it’s just a matter of time before politicians augment that mistake with a welfare state.

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Every so often, one finds support for good policy in unexpected places.

I don’t follow the music scene, so all I know about Gene Simmons is that he is with the band called Kiss and that he’s famous for his tongue and for sleeping with nearly 5,000 women (whether those two factoids are interconnected is a subject for another day).

But it turns out that Mr. Simmons is an astute observer of political economy.

Here’s what he had to say in the UK-based Sun.

Countries are a house of cards — and when the bottom few cards fall down they all topple over. Look at Greece, Ireland, Portugal, Spain and Italy. …It’s so simple. If you spend more than you tax, you’re out of business. MPs don’t know what they’re talking about. And we created this miserable economic state. It’s like fat people who think it’s the bakery’s fault they got fat. …It’s your responsibility to be a grown-up and take care of yourself. Thank God we have lending institutions and banks. The planes that fly through the sky, the phones we use every day, the cars we drive, the houses we live in, the entire economy is all funded by firms who borrow in return for interest. …Capitalism is the best thing that ever happened to human beings. The welfare state sounds wonderful but it doesn’t work. Governments hand out more money than they have to support welfare and they land in debt. Then they have to borrow money — and then there’s interest on top of that. That’s bad business. And it has created a culture of entitlement. When I was growing up my mother went to work. There was no welfare. If you worked, you made money. If  you didn’t work, you had to figure it out — you’d go and wash dishes. The new breed of 20-year-olds don’t want to do those jobs. …People say things like: “Oh, you make so much money. What do you need any more for?” Well, actually, b*tch, I never asked for your opinion. I’ll let you know when I have enough money.

His comments on the entitlement mentality and the culture of dependency are especially remarkable.

I wonder if he watched this video on the debilitating impact of welfare or looked at these cartoons about the welfare state.

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