Thursday, April 07, 2005
Quotes of the Day
We all profess to be in favor of more freedom. Freedom is the Platinum Visa card. We all want one. Responsibility is the credit rating. Not so much enthusiasm for the kind of discipline needed to earn one of those.
Many academics share the adolescent fantasy that government would be terrific if only the right leaders were in charge. They think that all of our problems would go away if only "the people" could get their way over the "special interests." Their model of politics is the old Jimmy Stewart movie "Mr. Smith goes to Washington."
A good way to cure the adolescent fantasy is to spend time in government. Up close, it is hard to tell the people from the special interests. The crusaders for more low-income housing turn out to be construction companies. The campaign for energy independence and clean-burning fuel turns out to be a plea for a subsidy to benefit a large ethanol producer. Conversely, those of us arguing against drug price controls do so not because we are industry stooges but because we believe that markets incentives lead to better treatments and cures.