Michael Tanner writes in the National Review Online, Contested Ground, Not Common Ground. (1/26/11)


In calling for more government action, the president’s attitude reminds one of Samuel Johnson’s description of second marriages: the triumph of hope over experience.

As the economist F. A. Hayek noted, government’s ability to manage the economy is premised on a “fatal conceit” — politicians’ inability to recognize their own limitations. For example, studies show that not only do government “green jobs” policies create few jobs, but the ones they do create often come at the expense of existing jobs. To cite just one finding: A study by Gabriel Calzada of the Juan Carlos University of Madrid found that every green job created by the Spanish government destroyed an average of 2.2 other jobs, and that only one in ten of the “green jobs” created was permanent.

On the other side of this grand political divide are those who believe that government is already too big, too intrusive, and too costly. Rather than “invest” in new programs, they want to cut back the programs we already have. Rather than seeing Washington as the font of all wisdom, they see the 50 states as, in Louis Brandeis’s immortal phrase, “the laboratories of democracy..

That is not a divide that can be bridged by civil rhetoric or rearranging congressional seating.

HKO Comments- it has been said before , that the government that can give you anything you want can take everything you’ve got. By pushing to such over reaching, intrusive government the backlash may push us back to a saner vision.  It is interesting to note that Brandeis, who was considered a major progressive concerned about the negative impact of big business was also concerned about about the negative impact of big government.