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Search Results for 'great moments in state government'

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 […]

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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 […]

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Back in 2010, I shared parts of a Dave Barry column that mocked the government for bizarre examples of stupid law enforcement. Barry was specifically making fun of OSHA bureaucrats for fining a company for the horrible transgression of saving a worker when a trench collapsed. But there are many other examples of law enforcement […]

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As a public finance economist, I normally focus on big-picture arguments against excessive government. If the public sector is too large, for instance, that undermines economic growth by diverting resources from the productive sector of the economy. The damage is then compounded by a needlessly destructive and punitive tax system. But I’ve also discovered that […]

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Make sure you don’t save an injured deer in Virginia. Not only will the bureaucrats take the animal away from you, but they’ll nail you with three misdemeanor charges just for good measure. I guess the legal approach would have been to let the dogs kill the helpless creature. Here’s part of the WTOP.com report. […]

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I periodically share this poster, in part because it’s funny, but mostly because it’s true. After all, can you think of many “success stories” involving government? When I pose this question to my statist friends, I usually get a blank stare in response. Though some of them will offer answers such as the GI Bill, […]

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I’ve periodically cited the great 19th-century French economist, Frederic Bastiat, for his very wise words about the importance of looking at both the seen and the unseen when analyzing public policy. Those that fail to consider secondary or indirect effects of government, such as Paul Krugman, are guilty of the “broken window” fallacy. There are […]

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I’ve been asked whether I’m a hypocrite because I support decentralization while at the same time being critical of state and local governments. I don’t think there’s any inconsistency in my position. Here’s some of what I wrote last July. I’m a strong believer in federalism, but not because I think state and local governments […]

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Time to update our series on “great moments in foreign government.” We’ll start with Jersey. I wrote a few years ago about the (relatively) good tax laws in that British dependent territory off the coast of France. But there are two ways those laws could be improved. First, officials could abolish its income tax because […]

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Victims of Government

These are people abused by capricious and unconstrained government. Andy Johnson Anthony Smelley The Hammond family Charlie Engle Tammy Cooper Nancy Black Russ Caswell Jacques Wajsfelner Jeff Councelller Eric Garner Martha Boneta Corey Statham James Slatic Carole Hinders Salvatore Culosi James Lieto the Sierra Pacific Company The Meitev family Dimitrios Patlias Jerry Johnson Stephen Lara

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I don’t like Joe Biden being a lackey of the teacher unions, and I think the entire Department of Education should be eliminated. That being said, intervention from Washington is the not the main cause of America’s education problems. The real problem is that we have an inefficient monopoly system that is – for all […]

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Even though I think economic growth is very important for human flourishing and strongly support the laissez-faire policies that will generate more prosperity, I’m mostly a libertarian because of moral reasons. Simply stated, I hate when government bullies people like Jerry Johnson. As explained in the video, Jerry is a victim of asset forfeiture, a […]

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As illustrated by my recent three-part series (here, here, and here), I care about helping the poor rather then hurting the rich. More broadly, I want a bigger economic pie so that everyone can have a larger slice. And I don’t particularly care if some people get richer faster than other people get richer (assuming […]

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A couple of days ago, I criticized officials at the United Nations for advocating higher taxes and bigger government. Fortunately, that bureaucracy is so sclerotic and inefficient that its efforts to promote statism are not very effective But it still galls me that international bureaucrats who receive lavish, tax-free salaries spend their days trying to […]

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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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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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According to the union bosses at the National Education Association, November 18-22 is National Education Week and a “wonderful opportunity to celebrate public education.” I care about facts and I care about kids, and all the evidence shows that government schools do a terrible job. So, instead of celebrating, I’m going to focus this week […]

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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 […]

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Every so often, I share very weird stories about government regulations, from both America and around the world. And when I say weird, I’m not exaggerating. But we also have some strange examples of tax loopholes. I’m not talking about corporate jets, which should be characterized as a business expense. Instead, I’m referring to bizarre […]

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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 […]

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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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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 […]

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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 […]

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What’s the most inefficient and wasteful part of the federal government? It’s impossible to answer that question without greater detail. Are we supposed to identify the worst cabinet-level department? If that’s the case, then bureaucracies such as the Department of Housing and Urban Development or the Department of Education would be high on the list. […]

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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 […]

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I don’t think I’ll ever stray from libertarianism. But if I ever get tempted by the siren song of statism, I’ll bolster my resistance by reminding myself of how people have been victimized by venal government. Andy Johnson Anthony Smelley The Hammond family Charlie Engle Tammy Cooper Nancy Black Russ Caswell Jacques Wajsfelner Jeff Councelller Eric Garner […]

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When Crazy Bernie became a national political phenomenon back in 2015, I pointed out that the Vermont Senator isn’t actually a socialist. As I remarked in this brief interview with Melissa Francis, the technical definition of socialism involves government ownership and control over the “means of production.” In other words, policies such as collective farms […]

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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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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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