Thursday, January 22, 2009

the most depressing thing I've read in ages

Or, "the case for libertarianism in one sentence". This is Richard Posner (who isn't a libertarian.

Though in principle the money needed for such programs could be obtained from cutting wasteful government programs, that is politically infeasible.
What the hell man!? I love the way this is slipped in there. I would think that the natural attitude in the face of this uncontroversial fact is to be very suspicious of new government initiatives!

When Milton Friedman says that there's "Nothing is so permanent as a temporary government program." he can be dismissed for his partisan wingnuttery, but I think it's worth noting that this is the conventional political wisdom. Where are all the articles arguing that this is the time to get rid of wasteful programs? You can explain away any individual mistakes, but this attitude guarantees that there will be lots of bad programs.

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