The power of III

Summum ius summa iniuria--More law, less justice

15 January 2011

Why government sucks

As I read the article from the National Review Online below, I thought:  This is a great way to explain why government promises much, and fails in spectacular fashion.  

Government sucks (despite their presumed good intentions) because they try to regulate for the common good.  The many reasons government fails to deliver on promises of protection and proper regulation:  

first, they have no competency to know what constitutes the vague term common good, 

second, they have no way to acquire enough data to make decisions about policy, 

third, they are economically ignorant in general, and have no sense of the economic consequences of the laws they pass or the regulations they write, and

fourth, they never think about blowback or the law of unintended consequences.

Question:  Why do we have to live by laws designed to deal with the (sometimes extremely) rare exception, instead of the rule?  

Are we not much more poor, and much less free because of our own government?

Gun control laws are a good example of this.  Read a relevant article about what growing up American was like only 40 to 50 years ago, before many of the modern gun control laws, or the PC regulations and laws we live under today.


 So read an interesting, long, quirkily written article by Kevin Williamson, deputy managing editor at the National Review, that he entitled "Welcome to the Machine":

"So, where do you [the government] find help writing and administering the regulations — help to help you apply plain common sense to serve the common good? Take the banks, for instance: The guys who know a whole lot about how banks work work in banks. So, you might disco on down to Goldman Sachs, where they scrupulously seek to accumulate evidence of the production of social value in great quantities, and try to hire yourself some staffers. And when they are done laughing at you, you can head down to some lower-tier, south-on-the-food-chain bank, where you’ll find some guys who got their MBAs at Eastern Michigan and who might want to spend a few years in government work. There’s job security, for one thing, and the pensions and benefits are great. Also, they know that Goldman Sachs cares a lot about how the bank regulations are written for the same reasons that McDonald’s cares a lot about how the all-beef-patty regulations are written, and so a third-tier banker who becomes a government regulator might in five or ten years be a pretty good candidate for a job at Goldman Sachs, which will shunt great fresh roaring streams of social value at people who can help it out compete its rivals in the regulatory arena, Eastern Michigan grads or no." 

By the way, Kevin, thanks for the darn title of your article.  Now I can't get the Pink Floyd song out of my head for days now.
"Hi, I'm from the government, and I'm here to help..."

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