Saturday, May 17, 2008


Hillary Clinton is quoted in the New York Times as saying, "Here we are, the greatest nation in the world, the greatest problem solvers, but we’re not solving our problems,” as she lamented the "paralysis" of government.

What, as usual, is not pointed out here is that the "free market" is the greatest solver of problems, government is the greatest creator of them. When the free market is allowed to function, without interference from government all kinds of problems can be solved and with competition and profit motive the solutions often get better and cheaper over time.

The best example of better and cheaper that I know of is the telecommunications business. AT&T once held a government sponsored monopoly on everything from putting the lines in the ground to owning the telephone set in your house (seriously, prior to 1984 you could not own your own telephone, by law you had to rent it. Today, a nice handset is $9.95 at Circuit City or Best Buy). At that time you might pay 50 cents per minute to call Chicago (I recall paying around 40 cents per to call my girlfriend in Chicago around 1988 or 1989).

Then competition opened up and companies like Sprint and MCI (now merged in with Verizon) put fiber optic cables in the ground. Rates for calls plummeted, new services and features (like caller ID) came on the scene, and then we got the Internet and DSL services, and now you can even call China for a few pennies a minute or even free using VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) technology.

Of course, there are always lots of factors but think about this. In 1988 it costs over 40 cents per minute to call Chicago from Indianapolis. Today I can do it for a penny or three and that is AFTER inflation.

There are numerous examples, but looking to the government for solutions generally just means more government, more bureaucracy, more potential for administrative bloat and generally ever higher taxes to pay for it all. This is not hyperbole or partisan rhetoric, but facts that almost everybody agrees to. So many of our problems today are largely because government got involved or restricted others from doing so.

So many things we keep asking government to "fix" or "give us" are things they have already screwed up with taxes, regulation, restrictions, subsidies or other interference. This includes healthcare, the price of gas, inflation, the terrorist threat, jobs and corporate activity moving overseas all the way down to having to flush your toilet two or three times because the water limit is set too low.

Think about that. The Federal Government is big enough to have worried itself about how much water should be allowed in the bowl of your toilet. What else does it take to convince someone that government has gotten too big, with too much time and money on its hands and will continue to find more ways to be intrusive in our lives. Once government takes over healthcare they will probably decide we're all too fat and ban Twinkees and Soda Pop (which, thanks to government intervention in sugar markets has never been the same since bottlers started using corn syrup).

So when people say, "only law breakers ever need fear the government" just remember that something as silly has making toilet or shower head that uses just a tad too much water is a crime. And here are some other great examples of silly "governmentness" in an article at Committee for a Constructive Tomorrow:

So, please, let's just open things up so that the free-market, entrepreneurs and regular people can solve the problems and not rely on politicians to figure everything out for us. They aren't good at it.


This ( is a great article from Peggy Noonan that discusses how Bush may have made the Republican party radioactive to voters. Some great excerpts:

Regarding the recent 8 point drubbing the Rs took what used to be a "safe" district - "My first thought was: You have to be stupid to be stunned by that. Second thought: Most party leaders in Washington are stupid"

And this one will ring true with many, "'We can't let them pretend to be conservatives,' he continued. Why not? Republicans pretend to be conservative every day."

Are there ANY Republicans out there that are happy with the progress their party made, especially when controlling the Presidency, Senate AND the House?? Not a lot got done. Of course, Republican apologists will tell you you're "wasting your vote" with Libertarians, Constitution Party or whatever else. So, if you voted in Republicans in 2000 and 2004 wanting major tax simplification and overhaul, social security reform, reductions in the size of government, less government spending, humble foreign policy and no nation building like under Clinton ... well, YOU wasted your vote.