Financial institutions are not being bailed out as a favor to them or their stockholders. In fact, stockholders have come out worse off after some bailouts. The real point is to avoid a major contraction of credit that could cause major downturns in output and employment, ruining millions of people, far beyond the financial institutions involved. If it was just a question of the financial institutions themselves, they could be left to sink or swim. But it is not.
Sellers in general maintain the quality of their products and services for fear of losing customers otherwise. But, when price controls create a situation where the amount demanded is greater than the amount supplied - a shortage - fear of losing customers is no longer as strong an incentive. For example, landlords typically reduce painting and repairs when there is rent control, because there is no need to fear vacancies when there are more tenants looking for apartments than there are apartments available.
No individual and no generation has had enough personal experience to ignore the vast experience of the human race that is called history. Yet most of our schools and colleges today pay little attention to history. And many of our current policies repeat mistakes that were made, time and again, in the past with disastrous results.
What sense would it make to classify a man as handicapped because he is in a wheelchair today, if he is expected to be walking again in a month, and competing in track meets before the year is out? Yet Americans are generally given 'class' labels on the basis of their transient location in the income stream. If most Americans do not stay in the same broad income bracket for even a decade, their repeatedly changing 'class' makes class itself a nebulous concept. Yet the intelligentsia are habituated, if not addicted, to seeing the world in class terms.
Too many people - some of them judges - seem to think that freedom of speech means freedom from consequences for what you have said. If you believe that, try insulting your boss when you go to work tomorrow. Better yet, try insulting your spouse before going to bed tonight.
One of the reasons for conspiracy theories is an assumption that people in high places always know what they are doing. When they do something that makes no sense, devious reasons are imagined by conspiracy theorists, when in fact it may be due to plain old ignorance and incompetence.
In its pursuit of justice for a segment of society, in disregard of the consequences for society as a whole, what is called 'social justice' might more accurately be called anti-social justice, since what consistently gets ignored or dismissed are precisely the costs to society. Such a conception of justice seeks to correct, not only biased or discriminatory acts by individuals or by social institutions, but unmerited disadvantages in general, from whatever source they may arise.
The charge is often made against the intelligentsia and other members of the anointed that their theories and the policies based on them lack common sense. But the very commonness of common sense makes it unlikely to have any appeal to the anointed. How can they be wiser and nobler than everyone else while agreeing with everyone else?
Freedom... refer[s] to a social relationship among people-namely, the absence of force as a prospective instrument of decision making. Freedom is reduced whenever a decision is made under threat of force, whether or not force actually materializes or is evident in retrospect.
Anyone who has actually had to take responsibility for consequences by running any kind of enterprise whether economic or academic, or even just managing a sports team is likely at some point to be chastened by either the setbacks brought on by his own mistakes or by seeing his successes followed by negative consequences that he never anticipated.
Ideas, as the raw material from which knowledge is produced, exist in superabundance, but that makes the production of knowledge more difficult rather than easier. Many ideas- probably most- will have to be discarded somewhere in the process of producing authenticated knowledge. Authentication is as important as the raw information itself, and the manner and speed of the authentication process can be crucial.
If you start from a belief that the most knowledgeable person on earth does not have even one percent of the total knowledge on earth, that shoots down social engineering, economic central planning, judicial activism and innumerable other ambitious notions favored by the political left.
Those who wrote the Constitution clearly understood that power is dangerous and needs to be limited by being separated - separated not only into the three branches of the national government but also separated as between the whole national government, on the one hand, and the states and the people on the other.
Most Americans living below the official poverty line own a car or truck - and government entitlement programs seldom provide cars and trucks. Most people living below the official poverty line also have air condition, color television and a microwave oven - and these too are not usually handed out by government entitlement programs. Cell phone and other electronic devices are by no means unheard of in low-income neighborhoods, where children would supposedly go hungry if there were no school lunch programs. In reality, low-income people are overweight even more often than other Americans.
It is amazing how many people think that they can answer an argument by attributing bad motives to those who disagree with them. Using this kind of reasoning, you can believe or not believe anything about anything, without having to bother to deal with facts or logic.
Much of the social history of the Western world over the past three decades has involved replacing what worked with what sounded good. In area after area - crime, education, housing, race relations - the situation has gotten worse after the bright new theories were put into operation. The amazing thing is that this history of failure and disaster has neither discouraged the social engineers nor discredited them.
The gun-control crusade today is like the Prohibition crusade 100 years ago. It is a shared zealotry that binds the self-righteous know-it-alls in a warm fellowship of those who see themselves as fighting on the side of the angels against the forces of evil. It is a lofty role that they are not about to give up for anything so mundane as facts - or even the lives of other people.
The poor are the very lifeblood of the left, attracting activists, supporting among the intelligentsia, and - perhaps most important - allowing the left to indulge in self-congratulation as people who 'care.' But, if they really cared, they would want to know what the facts are and what the actual consequences of their various nostrums are.
Everyone should be concerned about Internet anarchy in which anybody can pretend to be anybody else, unless something is done to stop it. If hoaxes like this go unchecked, who can believe anything they see on the Internet? What good would the Internet be then? If the people who control Internet web sites do not do anything, is that not an open invitation for government to step in? And does anybody want politicians to control what can go on the Internet?
Many people believe in eliminating gaps and eliminating poverty. They don't realize that in some sense those two things are antithetical. If you were to double everyone's income, or if everyone's income were doubled naturally over the course of time, then you would reduce poverty significantly but you would have also increased the gap.
As taxpayers, we have quietly accepted the fact that our taxes will be spent to pay big bucks for all sorts of ugly, twisted metal to be displayed in front of or inside government buildings, in the name of 'art' that was obviously never meant to give the public any enjoyment and often represented a thumbing of the artist's nose at the public.
People who are very aware that they have more knowledge than the average person are often very unaware that they do not have one-tenth of the knowledge of all of the average persons put together. In this situation, for the intelligentsia to impose their notions on ordinary people is essentially to impose ignorance on knowledge.
It is not the dignitaries who are the real cause of hope, however. What is an enormously refreshing and hopeful sign is to see the young people who make up the membership of the Federalist Society. Earnest, intelligent, and unpretentious, these are the young men and women of whom any nation and any age could be proud.