Outrageous problems demand outrageous solutions!
The government solution to a problem is usually as bad as the problem.

-- Milton Friedman

To which I'd add, sometimes it's worse.

While I'm looking at welfare statism, I want to address the Republican idea of "fixing" state-created problems by ever-more-draconian regulations which take away more freedom.

I cannot think of a better example than the proposals for draconian sanctions against employers who hire illegal aliens. In my view, what is being forgotten is the overarching role of government in creating the problem:

  • Government created the need for the illegal aliens with the welter of restrictions on business which makes hiring aliens the only way to approach what used to be considered an American birthright;
  • Government has mandated educational benefits and medical care for the aliens (schools are not permitted to refuse to educate them, while hospitals are not permitted to refuse to treat them);
  • Government allowed the aliens to cross the border in the first place (despite the fact that it was the government's function to keep them out).
  • Do the Republican legislators propose seriously closing the border? Do they propose un-doing the regulations which so hamper businesses as to make hiring aliens more attractive than hiring Americans? Do they propose un-doing the regulations which require schools to educate the children of illegal aliens, and hospitals to treat them at taxpayer's expense?

    No! Instead, under cover of the claim that the aliens "squeeze" the middle class by raising the tax burden (thus conflating the laws which do that with the people who take advantage of laws which shouldn't do that), Republicans turn around and propose blaming and going after employers. Expand the government's power and take away more freedom. To "solve" a problem created by government.

    The way they talk, you'd almost think the employers are responsible for the existing regulations which make it more and more impossible to run a business -- or for the laws requiring government to spend tax dollars on things to which the aliens have absolutely zero entitlement. Why, a paranoid conspiracy theorist might almost think this whole thing was deliberately engineered to enlarge the role of the state. (Aided, of course, by the latest outburst of manufactured outrage.)

    Not being a paranoid conspiracy theorist, I won't assert what could never be proven anyway.

    If there's one thing worse than government "solving" a problem, it's government solving a problem it created.

    Would we hire an incompetent doctor to correct problems created by his own malpractice?

    (Maybe -- but only if he told us how outraged we should be.)

    posted by Eric on 04.07.06 at 11:05 AM


    Good point. If only Reagan were here. I also don't hear too many Republicans calling for stimulating the economy by slashing the federal bureaucracy & taking a machete to red tape that makes running a business a nightmare

    beautifulatrocities   ·  April 7, 2006 12:58 PM

    Yeah, I'm afraid Reagan might have been a fluke.

    Eric Scheie   ·  April 8, 2006 4:21 PM

    April 2011
    Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat
              1 2
    3 4 5 6 7 8 9
    10 11 12 13 14 15 16
    17 18 19 20 21 22 23
    24 25 26 27 28 29 30


    Search the Site


    Classics To Go

    Classical Values PDA Link


    Recent Entries


    Site Credits