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Search Results for 'great moments in local government'

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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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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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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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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, […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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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Politicians and bureaucrats are very creative in their pursuit of bad policy. In some case, I’m not even sure how to classify their actions. When the government squandered $224,000-plus for research on condom sizes, for instance, I thought that story easily could be classified as wasteful spending. But then I discovered the research was related […]

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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 have a Bureaucrat Hall of Fame to recognize government workers who have demonstrated special skills in ripping off taxpayers. And I’ve created a Moocher Hall of Fame to highlight deadbeats and scroungers who best illustrate the entitlement mentality. But maybe it’s now time to create Victims of Government Thuggery Hall of Fame (though I […]

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No other nation in the world spends as much on education as the United States. According to our leftist friends, who prefer to measure inputs rather than outputs, this is a cause for celebration. I guess it shows we have the best intentions. Or maybe we love our kids the most. For those who prefer […]

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To save the nation from a future Greek-style fiscal meltdown, we should reform entitlements. But as part of the effort to restore limited, constitutional government, we also should shut down various departments that deal with issues that shouldn’t be handled by the central government. I’ve already identified some low-hanging fruit. Get rid of the Department […]

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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 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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