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Search Results for '"great moments"'

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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Since I’m an advocate of smaller government, you might imagine I’m perpetually depressed. After all, I work in Washington where I’m vastly outnumbered by people who specialize in looting and mooching. At times, I feel like a missionary in a house of ill repute. But I always look for the silver lining when there’s a […]

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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 like to think that I occasionally put together interesting and persuasive charts on fiscal policy. For instance, I think it’s virtually impossible to make a credible argument for tax hikes after looking at my chart showing how easy it is to balance the budget with modest spending restraint. But I’ll freely confess that no […]

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When people ask me why I mock government for being a slovenly, bloated, and malicious entity, I’m sometimes not sure what to say. Do I give them examples of corrupt corporate welfare? Do I share instances of government thuggery? Do I direct them to preposterous examples of waste? Do I show them details about an […]

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When government suppresses the free market and takes over the healthcare sector, you get some really odd results. Consider these stories from Sweden:  A man sewing up his own leg after getting frustrated with a long wait. The government denying a wheelchair to a double amputee because the bureaucrats decided his impairment might not be […]

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Michelle Obama wants the federal government to tell us what kind of food to eat. I actually wouldn’t object if she merely used a bully pulpit to encourage healthier eating. But the busy-body crowd in Washington has a hard time distinguishing between giving advice and engaging in coercion. So we now have legislation that gives […]

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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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It’s difficult being a libertarian. In addition to all the other challenges (such as trying to convince people stealing doesn’t become okay simply because the government is the middleman), I get conflicted about government waste. You’re probably thinking I’m wandering off the libertarian reservation. After all, aren’t libertarians big opponents of boondoggles, government waste, and […]

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When I started writing about public policy, I never realized that …um…human waste would be a frequent topic. *But we examined (not too closely!) the story of a Postal Service employee who defecated in someone’s yard and got to keep his job. *We wondered why the Greek government wanted stool samples from entrepreneurs starting online […]

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While I mostly focus on bad government policy in the United States, I also think we can learn lessons from what’s happening in other nations. In some cases, I share positive stories, such as the success of privatized Social Security in Australia, nationwide school choice in Sweden, and genuine spending cuts in the Baltic nations. […]

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Even though I’m personally a prude on the issue of drugs, that doesn’t stop me from opposing the Drug War, both for moral and practical reasons. After all, how can any sensible and decent person want laws that produce these outrageous results? The DEA trying to confiscate a commercial building because a tenant sold some […]

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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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Two years ago, I shared a video about the Environmental Protection Agency’s brutal and thuggish tactics against an Idaho family. That story had a very happy ending because the Supreme Court struck a blow for property rights and unanimously ruled against the EPA (too bad that similarly sound analysis was absent when the Justices decided […]

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Time for another great moment in red tape. I wrote a couple of weeks ago that banks treat customers poorly in part because of bad laws and regulations from Washington. Money laundering laws were adopted beginning about 30 years ago based on the theory that we could lower crime rates by making it more difficult […]

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I’ll be first in line if there’s a contest over who thinks most strongly that politicians are corrupt, or whether they can waste money in creative ways. But if somebody asserts that politicians are stupid, I’m going to argue on the other side. This isn’t because I’m a fan of elected officials. Far from it. […]

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Every so often, I share stories about the ridiculous and outrageous way in which the federal government squanders our money. Forcing taxpayers to pay millions of dollars for pro-Obamacare and pro-IRS propaganda. Doing interviews – at a per-person cost of $6,000 – about erectile dysfunction and sticking the tab on us. Giving disability benefits to a grown man who wants […]

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The government’s monopoly education system is a travesty mostly because taxpayers spend record amounts of money and we get very poor results. But I’m also irked at the way government schools engage in absurd displays of political correctness, particularly when it comes to make-believe weapons. A little boy was suspended for throwing an imaginary grenade […]

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I’m a strong believer in federalism, but not because I think state and local governments are competent. Politicians and interest groups are a toxic combination in all circumstance. But at least people have considerable ability to cross borders if they want to escape greedy and despotic governments at the state and local level. And when […]

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What’s the worst example of bureaucrats harassing and persecuting parents? Was it the Texas woman who was arrested because her children were playing outside? Or how about the Michigan woman who was threatened for looking after her neighbor’s kids? Those are egregious examples, but here’s another example of government run amok. Lenore Skenazy has a […]

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The IRS is worthy of scorn. It is a bloated bureaucracy that routinely violates the rights of taxpayers. But even I didn’t think it was possible for a collection of bureaucrats to display the blithering incompetence necessary to send $46 million of handouts to nearly 24,000 fake returns filed from a single address. Yes, a […]

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I was a bit of a juvenile delinquent. I semi-confessed that I may have set off fireworks in a stairwell at my high school. And I’ve already confessed my role in an “attack” on a float during a homecoming parade. So I may as well admit that I got in trouble during college for having a pet […]

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I’m happy to bash the IRS, but I usually try to explain that our anger should be focused on the politicians who created the corrupt, 74,000-page tax code. But sometimes the IRS deserves some negative attention. The tax collection bureaucracy has thieving employees, incompetent employees, thuggish employees, brainless employees, and victimizing employees. The senior folks […]

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I’ve posted some horrifying examples about what happens when you put politicians and bureaucrats in charge of health care. The story that makes every guy wince comes from Sweden, where a man wound up having his penis amputated because of government incompetence. And I’ve shared numerous examples of substandard care from the United Kingdom, in […]

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Taxpayers all across America send lots of money to Washington, DC, in part because we’re supposed to believe that redistribution is a legitimate and desirable function of the federal government. But this is a very perverse form of redistribution. All that money going to Washington helps subsidize a network of overpaid bureaucrats, fat-cat lobbyists, corrupt […]

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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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