Saturday, January 19, 2019

Lessons from the government shutdown

John Stossel: Government shutdown lessons -- We could take a chainsaw to so much of government | Fox News:

January 17, 2019 - "This government shutdown is now longer than any in history. The media keep using the word 'crisis.' But ... I see people going about their business -- families eating in restaurants, employees going to work, children playing in playgrounds, etc. I have to ask: Where’s the crisis?...

"We need some government, limited government. But most of life, the best of life, goes on without government, many of the best parts in spite of government....

"Columnist Paul Krugman calls this shutdown, 'Trump’s big libertarian experiment.' But it’s not libertarian. Government’s excessive rules are still in effect, and eventually government workers will be paid for not working. That makes this a most un-libertarian experiment. But there are lessons to be learned.

"During a shutdown when Barack Obama was president, government officials were so eager to make a point by inconveniencing people that they even stopped visitors from entering public parks. Trump’s administration isn’t doing that, so PBS found a new crisis: 'Trash cans spilling … (P)ark services can’t clean up the mess until Congress and the president reach a spending deal,' reported NewsHour. But volunteers appeared to pick up some of the trash. Given a chance, private citizens often step in to do things government says only government can do.

"The Washington Post ran a front-page headline about farmers 'reeling … because they aren’t receiving government support checks.' But why do farmers even get 'support checks'?... Most fruit and vegetable farmers get no subsidies, yet there are no shortages of peaches, plums, green beans, etc. Subsidies are a scam created by politicians who get money from wheat, cotton, corn and soybean agribusinesses. Those farmers should suck it up and live without subsidies, too.

"During shutdowns, government tells 'nonessential workers' not to come to work. But if they’re nonessential, then why do we pay 400,000 of them?...  We could take a chainsaw to so much of government.

The New York Times shrieks, 'Shutdown Curtails FDA Food Inspections!' Only if you read on do you learn that meat and poultry inspection is done by the Department of Agriculture. They’re still working.... More important, meat is usually safe not because of government -- but because of competition. Food sellers worry about their reputations ... so they take many more safety measures than government requires. One meat producer told me that they employ 2,000 more safety inspectors than the law demands....

"Even security work is done better by the private sector. At San Francisco’s airport, security lines move faster. Passengers told me, 'The screeners are nicer!' The TSA even acknowledged that those screeners are better at finding contraband. That’s because San Francisco (Kansas City, Seattle and a dozen smaller airports) privatized the screening process....

"Private contractors are better because they must compete. Perform badly, and they get fired. But government never fires itself."

'via Blog this'

No comments:

Post a Comment