Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Search Results for '"great moments"'

I get quite agitated when the folks in Washington make dumb choices that waste money and hinder prosperity. That being said, I take comfort in the fact that governments in other nations also do stupid things. I guess this is the policy version of “misery loves company.” And it’s also a source of horror and/or […]

Read Full Post »

Every so often, I’ll see a story (or sometimes even just a photo, a court decision, or a phrase) that sums up the essence of government – a unseemly combination of venality and incompetence. Today, we’re going to review three examples that make my point. We’ll lead with a story that is a perfect case […]

Read Full Post »

I spend much of my time analyzing the foolish and counterproductive policies imposed by Washington. Often accompanied by some mockery of politicians and their silly laws. And I also employ the same approach when reviewing the bone-headed policies often pursued by state governments and local governments. And since this is “International Liberty,” I obviously like […]

Read Full Post »

Germany is like the Nordic nations. It gets a decent ranking (#20) for overall economic freedom, but mostly because a bad score for fiscal policy is offset by reasonably good scores in other policy areas. Taking a closer look at fiscal policy, there’s a heavy burden of government spending (not as bad as France, for […]

Read Full Post »

When I think of over-bearing governments with myopic enforcement of silly rules, I obviously think of the United States, especially the IRS, EEOC, FDA, and EPA. And I also think of Germany, Japan, and other straight-laced societies. But I don’t think of Canada. After all, that’s the home of Dudley Do-Right. Canadians are too nice […]

Read Full Post »

I wrote back in 2011 about a bizarre plan in California to regulate babysitting. You may be thinking that’s no big deal because California is…well…California. But other governments also want to control private child care decisions. The latest example is from the District of Columbia, which is going after children’s play groups. Lenore Skenazy explains […]

Read Full Post »

A couple of days ago, citing bizarre government policies in India, Belgium, Malaysia, Romania, and Spain, I wrote about some “great moments in foreign government.” Today, we’re going to give special attention to the United Kingdom. I’m not claiming there’s an above-average level of government stupidity in the United Kingdom (though that’s distinctly possible). Instead, […]

Read Full Post »

Given the routine corruption and reckless spending in Washington, I frequently get asked how I keep my sanity. It’s possible, as some of my friends argue, that I’m not actually sane. That would explain why I try to put my finger in the dyke of big government as more and more new leaks keep developing. […]

Read Full Post »

While much of my analysis focuses on the mess created by Washington, I periodically show my ecumenical nature by sharing “Great Moments in State Government” and “Great Moments in Local Government.” And in keeping with the title of this page, I even occasionally share “Great Moments in Foreign Government.” Today, though we’re going to get […]

Read Full Post »

As a policy wonk, I mostly care about the overall impact of government on prosperity. So when I think about the effect of red tape, I’m drawn to big-pictures assessments of the regulatory burden. Here are a few relevant numbers that get my juices flowing. Americans spend 8.8 billion hours every year filling out government forms. The economy-wide […]

Read Full Post »

One of the great insights of “public choice” is that politicians engage in self-serving behavior just like everyone else. But there’s a profound difference between them and us. In the private economy, we can only make ourselves better off by providing value to others. In government, by contrast, politicians oftentimes make themselves better off by […]

Read Full Post »

States such as Illinois, California, New York, Connecticut, and New Jersey have very serious structural problems because of high tax burdens and unsustainable spending levels (often associated with excessive pay and benefits for bureaucrats). I frequently write about those big issues, but I also like to periodically share examples of other bone-headed policies at the […]

Read Full Post »

Centralization of government power is generally a very bad idea. Schemes for “global governance” are the worst since they usually result in cartels for the benefit of uncompetitive nations. National policies are the second-worst, often producing one-size-fits-all approaches accompanied by suffocating bureaucracy. But this does not mean that state governments and local governments do a […]

Read Full Post »

Back in 2013, I wrote about a gay guy adopting his long-time lover in order to escape the evil and pernicious death tax. I speculated that this would cause confusion and angst in some circles. Traditional leftists would want to applaud the adoption because of their support for gay rights, but they would be conflicted […]

Read Full Post »

When I write about the actions of state governments, it’s usually to highlight a specific bad policy. As you can imagine, states like California, Connecticut, Illinois, New York, and New Jersey give me a never-ending amount of material. But I frequently run across things that are happening in the states that don’t really merit an […]

Read Full Post »

In my writings about “Great Moments in Foreign Government,” I’ve come across amazing examples of bone-headed and incompetent behavior by politicians and bureaucrats in other nations. The British government giving welfare to people with multiple wives. The German government having a jihadist working in one of its intelligence agencies. The Italian government appointing the wrong […]

Read Full Post »

While most of my disdain is reserved for the federal government in Washington, I periodically share horror stories about foreign governments and state governments. And today we’re going to add to our collection of bone-headed policies by local governments. In some past cases, the examples captured systemic flaws. In other cases, we looked at specific […]

Read Full Post »

I focus most of my ire on the federal government because bad policy from Washington is the biggest threat to our nation’s freedom and prosperity. But we also get plenty of bad policy from other levels of government. I periodically focus on the foibles of states such as California, Illinois, and New York. Today, though, […]

Read Full Post »

Since I’m always reading and writing about government policies, both in America and around the world, I’m frequently reminded of H.L. Mencken’s famous observation about the shortcomings of “tolerable” government. If you take a close look at the world’s freest economies, you quickly learn that they are highly ranked mostly because of the even-worse governments […]

Read Full Post »

Last month, I explained that America’s fiscal problems are almost entirely the result of domestic spending programs, particularly entitlements. Some critics immediately decided this meant I favored a blank check for the Pentagon, even though I specifically stated that “I’m very sympathetic to the proposition that trillions of dollars that have been misspent on foreign […]

Read Full Post »

It would be impossible to pick the most hare-brained government policy. We have all sorts of bizarre examples from the United States. And we have equally “impressive” examples from other nations. And today, we’re going to augment our collection of bone-headed policies from elsewhere in the world. We’ll start with the United Kingdom, which already […]

Read Full Post »

I used to think the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission was the worst federal bureaucracy. After all, these are the pinheads who are infamous for bone-headed initiatives, such as: The EEOC making it hard for trucking companies to weed out drunk drivers. The EEOC telling a coffee shop it had too many attractive waitresses. The EEOC […]

Read Full Post »

In 2009, Paul Krugman assured his readers that government-run healthcare was a good idea, writing that “In Britain, the government itself runs the hospitals and employs the doctors. We’ve all heard scare stories about how that works in practice; these stories are false.” I guess one could argue that the determination of “scare stories,” like […]

Read Full Post »

If you did a word-association test with people after describing jaw-dropping examples of government incompetence, you would probably get answers like “angry” or “wasteful.” Especially if you asked around April 15. Though in some cases of spectacular and inexplicable ineptitude by government, you reach a stage where the answers might even be “preposterous” or “comical.” […]

Read Full Post »

Government intervention has messed up the healthcare sector, leading to needlessly high prices and massive inefficiency. Fixing the mess won’t be easy since it would involve addressing several contributing problems, including Medicare, Medicaid, the healthcare exclusion in the tax code, Obamacare, and the mess at the Veterans Administration. But at least we know the right […]

Read Full Post »

Advocates of limited government favor a small public sector because more resources in the productive sector of the economy translates into faster growth, more job creation, and higher living standards. Statists, by contrast, favor big government for two main reasons. First, many of them belong to well-connected interest groups that have their snouts in the […]

Read Full Post »

My first instinct, when arguing against higher taxes, is to pontificate about the negative impact of high marginal tax rates and punitive effect of double taxation on saving and investment. Those are very legitimate concerns, and they’re the obvious things for an economist to highlight. But I’m going to confess that my main motive for […]

Read Full Post »

Just like I have a Bureaucrat Hall of Fame and a Moocher Hall of Fame to draw attention to spectacular cases of overpaid sloth and entitled dependency, I may have to set up something similar to commemorate bizarre examples of government-manufactured human rights. Most recently, for example, I cited a case in European courts dealing […]

Read Full Post »

Socialism is an economic failure. International socialism didn’t work in the Soviet Union. National socialism didn’t work in Germany. And democratic socialism, while avoiding the horrors of its communist and Nazi cousins, also has been a flop. Socialism fails because it attempts to replace market-determined prices with various forms of central planning based on government-dictated […]

Read Full Post »

It would require several people, working around the clock, to provide daily updates about the bizarre and senseless actions of the crowd in Washington. And you’d need many additional people to monitor the foolish decisions in state capitals. I certainly try to do my small part, sharing example of jaw-dropping vapidity by our overseers in […]

Read Full Post »

Next »