Tag: government

Against the Maternal State »

In the late nineteenth century, many Americans took pride in living in a country that boasted so much freedom. In describing their society and polity, they often contrasted them with what they called paternalism, which they believed was the rule in certain European countries, such as Germany, where a proto-welfare state began to be…
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Consent of the Governed, Revisited »

What gives some people the right to rule others? At least since John Locke’s time, the most common and seemingly compelling answer has been “the consent of the governed.” When the North American revolutionaries set out to justify their secession from the British Empire, they declared, among other things: “Governments are instituted among Men,…
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Knowledge Better Left Unknown »

They say that a little knowledge is a dangerous thing. About certain things, however, any knowledge at all is dangerous and potentially fatal. One such piece of purported knowledge pertains to the size distribution of income and wealth. This knowledge serves no good purpose; it is wholly unnecessary for defensible government policy or action….
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A Poor Politician »

“Un político pobre es un pobre político” is a well-known Mexican aphorism attributed to Carlos Hank González. My translation: “A politician who is poor is a poor politician.” Bill and Hillary Clinton certainly took that maxim to heart, as have nearly all other politicians who ever got their filthy mitts into the Treasury and…
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Transcending Government — Consensual Governance and New Technology »

“Any useful statement about the future should at first seem ridiculous.” –Jim Dator Humans are three-dimensional animals. They require physical space to live, work, and play. Over thousands of years, humans built physical communities of different shapes, sizes, and compositions to accommodate their three-dimensional existence. But increasingly, humans are also building virtual communities that…
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Principal-agent Theory and Representative Government »

In recent decades economists have devoted great efforts to the analysis of the principal-agent problem (see for example Milgrom and Roberts 1992 and the Wikipedia article on “Principal-agent Problem”). This area of study has to do with the incentives and disincentives of an agent acting on behalf of a principal that he is presumed or…
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State Governments Are Becoming the Biggest Drug Lords of All »

The so-called war on drugs—actually a war on certain people associated in various ways with certain drugs—has served since the Nixon administration as a major profit center for governments at every level. Owing to the ostensible efforts to suppress the possession, use, and commerce in these drugs, governments have been able to justify great…
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The Three Basic Means by Which Ruling Elites Maintain Their Control »

Ruling elites have three basic ways to keep the subject population under their thumb: threaten, bribe, and bamboozle. Everything they do is a variant of one of these basic actions. So, if the lush, misleading overgrowth were cut away, all government activities could be undertaken by only three departments: the Department of Cops and…
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What Really Creates a Peaceful, Orderly, and Prosperous Society? »

The idea that genuine self-government—the system in which individuals contract for the type of governance they prefer—must fail because under such a system no one can make others obey the rules is stunningly misconceived. On any given day, even in a world pervaded by states and their dictates, nearly everything that people do or…
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Dealing with Mistakes: Government Action versus Private Action »

Government can hardly ever do just one thing. Its action has repercussions, and these repercussions have repercussions, and so forth. Even when the government’s initial action may seem compassionate or productive, it is highly unlike that the repercussions will prove likewise. Of course, private action also has repercussions, some of which may be unpleasant…
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  • MyGovCost.org
  • FDAReview.org
  • OnPower.org
  • elindependent.org