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Search Results for 'great moments in british government'

Technically, my coverage of U.K election week began last Monday with a look at Jeremy Corbyn’s radical statism, and ended yesterday with some analysis of Boris Johnson’s victory. But since I’m still in England, this is an opportune time for a new edition of Great Moments in British Government. For those who aren’t regular readers, […]

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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, […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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Last month’s election in the United Kingdom attracted considerable attention, not only because it would decide Brexit, but also because of the potential risk of a hard-left Labour government in the world’s 5th-largest economy. The British dodged that bullet but the people of Spain are not so fortunate. A new government with a very statist […]

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I’m on my way back to the United States from England. My election-week coverage (starting here and ending here) is finished, but I’m still in the mood to write about the United Kingdom. Yesterday, I shared some “Great Moments in British Government” and today I want to look at the U.K.’s single-payer health scheme. The […]

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The so-called Green New Deal is only tangentially related to climate issues. It’s best to think of it as the left’s wish list, and it includes a paid leave entitlement, government jobs, infrastructure boondoggles, and an expansion of the already bankrupt Social Security system. But the most expensive item on the list is “Medicare for […]

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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. […]

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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 […]

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Writing about the sub-par single-payer healthcare system in the United Kingdom, Paul Krugman infamously claimed 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’ve pointed out that there are plenty of “scare stories” about the National […]

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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 […]

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President Trump says he wants to roll back the burden of regulation. Give the morass of red tape that is strangling the economy, this is a very worthy goal. It’s also a daunting task. Fixing the sprawling regulatory state is the modern version of cleaning the Augean stables and I’m not brimming with confidence that […]

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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 […]

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Sex and Government

My collection of oddball stories about what happens when politicians and bureaucrats get involved with matters relating to sex. California bureaucrats are regulating participants in porn films, as humorously described by Mark Steyn. The World Bank is paying poor young women so they don’t take up with sugar daddies. Obamacare is so costly that some […]

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Over the years, I’ve run into oddball stories about what happens when politicians and bureaucrats get involved with matters relating to sex. California bureaucrats are regulating participants in porn films, as humorously described by Mark Steyn. The World Bank is paying poor young women so they don’t take up with sugar daddies. Obamacare is so […]

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I wrote last June about an unfortunate British guy who, after his leg was broken by thieves, was told by the government that his injury wasn’t serious enough for an ambulance. The poor chap eventually was driven home by some cops and then had to take an Uber to the hospital. While writing about this […]

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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 […]

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Remember the scene in Monty Python and the Search for the Holy Grail, when the Knights of the Round Table have to answer three questions before they can cross the Bridge of Death? Sir Galahad is cast into the Gorge of Eternal Peril because he changes his mind when asked his favorite color. I can […]

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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 […]

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I’ve argued that we’ll get better government if we make it smaller. This is important because government is responsible for some things – such as national defense and protection of property rights – that are genuinely important. Yet a bloated public sector distracts officials from effectively focusing on those things that matter. There are some legitimate […]

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When I criticize government-run healthcare, I normally focus on programs and interventions that distort and damage the American health sector. So I’ve written a lot on the failures of Medicaid, Medicare, and Obamacare, as well as the counterproductive effects of the tax code’s healthcare exclusion. But if some government is bad for the health sector, […]

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They say economists are boring people. Today, though, I’m going to break the stereotype by writing about the fascinating intersection of sex and public policy. Okay, maybe it’s only the sex part that’s interesting, but we’re going to look at a couple of examples of how excessive government can take the fun out of anything. […]

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I’m a relentless (probably to the point of being annoying) proponent of tax competition among jurisdictions. It’s one of the reasons why I favor tax havens and federalism. Simply stated, politicians are less likely to do bad things when they know economic activity can escape to places with better policy. And I’m more than happy […]

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According to Gallup, Americans now identify “government” as the most important problem facing the United States. That doesn’t surprise. Gallup also found last year that big government is considered a far greater danger to the nation that big business or big labor. Moreover, a poll from NPR earlier this year found that government was the […]

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When people figure out ways to keep the money they earn in their own pockets, rather than having it confiscated by government, I’m almost always happy. That’s because governments tend to waste money (should any of us pay for corrupt pork-barrel spending?). And it’s because government impose bad tax policy (is it fair to have […]

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I generally focus on the profligate habits and abusive tactics of the federal government in Washington, but that doesn’t mean other levels of government are well behaved. In a column for the Washington Post, Catherine Rampell outlines some of the reprehensible ways that state and local governments extract money from the citizenry. Think of recent, […]

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The world is a laboratory, with lots of experiments to see if a nation can prosper with big government and pervasive intervention. The results are not encouraging. I’ve written about France being a basket case, over and over again. And I am equally pessimistic about Greece because the moochers and looters outnumber productive people in […]

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It’s time to add to our collection of horror stories from the U.K.’s government-run healthcare system (previous examples can be found here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, and here). What makes today’s story different, though, is that the bureaucracy not only is denying care to a small child, but also seeking to prevent the family […]

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You won’t know whether to laugh or cry after perusing these stories that will be added to our “great moments in government” collection. For instance, did you realize that American taxpayers were saddled with the responsibility to micro-manage agriculture in Afghanistan? You’re probably surprised the answer is yes. But I bet you’re not surprised that […]

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The title of this post sounds like the beginning of a strange joke, but it’s actually because we’re covering three issues today. Our first topic is corporate taxation. More specifically, we’re looking at a nation that seems to be learning that it’s foolish the have a punitive corporate tax system. By way of background, the […]

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