Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Search Results for 'great moment local government'

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 […]

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 »

In my research and travels, I come across all sorts of strange stories about tax policy. Sometimes I learn about bizarrely foolish tax policies, such as the German tax on online coffee sales that loses money for government. Sometimes I learn about heartening protests against government greed, such as Irish taxpayers refusing to pay a […]

Read Full Post »

I’ve called for the abolition of the Department of Transportation. On more than one occasion. So I was very excited to see this new video about infrastructure from Johan Norberg. Very well put. As Johan says (channeling Bastiat), we should remember that jobs are destroyed when money is taken out of the private sector to […]

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 »

Why does government waste so much money? In so many ways? With such reckless abandon? I suppose I could answer with mockery and say it’s because they have lots of experience squandering our tax dollars. But let’s seriously contemplate that question and explore one of the reasons for waste. Simply stated, government programs are a […]

Read Full Post »

Last night, I retweeted an image that rubbed me the wrong way. It showed three kids who were handcuffed by undercover cops for criminal activity. And what was their crime? Were they picking pockets? Beating up tourists? Slashing tires? Nope, none of those things. Instead, they were (gasp!!) selling water to thirsty people. And they […]

Read Full Post »

What word best describes the War on Drugs? Inane? Lunacy? Indecent? Harmful? Thuggery? The right answer is All of the Above. Politicians have ruined lives and wasted money in a futile campaign to stop people from recreational drug use. It may be true that people who use drugs are being stupid. Or even immoral. But […]

Read Full Post »

What word best describes the actions of government? Would it be greed? How about thuggery? Or cronyism? Writing for Reason, Eric Boehm has a story showing that “all of the above” may be the right answer. At first it seems like a story about government greed. When Mats Järlström’s wife got snagged by one of […]

Read Full Post »

Several years ago, I would regularly share horror stories about innocent kids being abused by politically correct government school administrators who overreacted to anything remotely resembling a gun. I even had a U.S. vs. U.K. stupidity contest that featured many examples of anti-gun lunacy, though Canada may actually win the prize for the most absurd […]

Read Full Post »

The story of the private sector is that competition generates ever-more output in ways that bring ever-higher living standards to ever-greater numbers of people. By contrast, the story of the government is inefficiency and waste as interest groups figure out how to grab ever-larger amounts of unmerited goodies, often while doing less and less. In […]

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 »

What do Andy Johnson, Anthony Smelley, the Hammond family, Charlie Engle, Tammy Cooper, Nancy Black, Russ Caswell, Jacques Wajsfelner, Jeff Councelller, Eric Garner, Martha Boneta, James Slatic, Carole Hinders, Salvatore Culosi, and James Lieto, as well as the Sierra Pacific Company and the entire Meitev family have in common? They are all victims of brutal, […]

Read Full Post »

Back in 2013, I got very upset when I learned that senior bureaucrats at the IRS awarded themselves big bonuses, notwithstanding the fact that the agency was deeply tarnished by scandal because of its efforts to help Obama’s reelection campaign. That’s when I decided to put forth my “First Theorem of Government,” which simply states […]

Read Full Post »

I thought it was a remarkable development last year when a columnist from the New York Times reported that supposedly pro-feminist policies actually backfire against women. Maybe this would help readers recognize that there are adverse unintended consequences of government intervention. Bastiat would be very happy! Now we have a new example from the academic […]

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 »

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 […]

Read Full Post »

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 […]

Read Full Post »

In America’s sprawling intelligence network, costing tens of billions of dollars, who got fired after the 9-11 terror attacks for failing to connect the dots? Who in the military got fired after the Fort Hood terrorist attack for failing to connect the dots? More recently, who in the FBI or Department of Homeland Security got […]

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 »

While I’m a big fan of federalism, this isn’t because I have a starry-eyed view of non-Washington politicians. Of course there is plenty of grotesque misbehavior by state and local governments. And it’s most troubling when it involves law enforcement and the legal system. David French of National Review has a very powerful and compelling […]

Read Full Post »

When I first read about armed protesters taking over a federal building in Oregon, I thought some nutjobs were about to cause some real trouble. Was this a right-wing version of the loons from the Occupy Wall Street movement, only with guns? Then I learned that the “federal building” was nothing more than a remote […]

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 »

I’ve explained, over and over and over again, that big government is the mother’s milk of corruption. Simply stated, a convoluted tax code, bloated budget, and regulatory morass create endless opportunities for well-connected insiders to obtain unearned and undeserved wealth. Is this evidence that Washington is broken? In a column for Real Clear Politics., Mike […]

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 »

« Prev - Next »