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Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Largesse for Losers

Thomas Sowell
Translating the Left’s rhetoric, and other random thoughts.

How long do politicians have to keep on promising heaven and delivering hell before people catch on and stop getting swept away by rhetoric?

Why should being in a professional sport exempt anyone from prosecution for advocating deliberate violence? Recent revelations of such advocacy of violence by an NFL coach should lead to his banishment for life by the NFL, and criminal prosecution by the authorities. If you are serious about reducing violence, you have to be serious about punishing those who advocate it.

Have you noticed that what modest economic improvements we have seen occurred during the much-lamented “gridlock” in Washington? Nor is this unusual. If you check back through history, doing nothing has a far better track record than politicians’ intervening in the economy.

With all the talk about people paying their “fair share” of income taxes, why do nearly half the people in this country pay no income taxes at all? Is that their “fair share”? Or is creating more recipients of government handouts, at no cost to themselves, simply a strategy to gain more votes?

Some people are puzzled by the fact that so much that is said and done by politicians seems remote from reality. But reality is not what gets politicians elected. Appearances, rhetoric, and emotions are what get them elected. Reality is what the voters and taxpayers are left to deal with as a result of electing them.

Instead of following the tired old formula of having politicians and bureaucrats give college commencement speeches, in which they say how superior a career as a politician or bureaucrat — “public service” — is to other careers, why not invite someone like John Stossel to tell the graduates how much better it is to go into the private sector, where they can supply what people want, instead of imposing the government’s will on them?

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