Kevin Williamson writes in The National Review, iPencil, Nobody knows how to make a pencil, or a health-care system


Politics creates the immortal corporation. Amtrak and the U.S. Postal Service are two institutions that would have failed long ago if not for government support — subsidies for Amtrak, the government-chartered monopoly on letter delivery for the postal service. The cost of their corporate immortality is not only the waste associated with maintaining them, but also the fact that their existence prevents the emergence of superior alternatives. No sane person would invest 12.5 percent of his income in Social Security in 2013, but we are compelled to do so, and so the bankrupt enterprise continues as though it were not tens of trillions of dollars underwater. A political establishment is a near-deathless thing: Even after the bitter campaign of 2012, voters returned essentially the same cast of characters to Washington, virtually ensuring the continuation of the policies with which some 90 percent of voters pronounced themselves dissatisfied. No death, no evolution. Outside of politics, human action is characterized by evolution and by learning. And what are we learning? How to take care of one another, which is the point of what we sometimes call capitalism. (Don’t tell Ayn Rand.)