Mancur Olson (1932-1998) was a great economist who came up with a very useful analogy to help explain the behavior of many governments. He pointed out that a “roving bandit” has an incentive to maximize short-run plunder by stealing everything from victims (i.e. a 100 percent tax rate), whereas a “stationary bandit” has an incentive […]
Continue reading Tax Competition: A Necessary Liberalizing Process to Discipline the “Stationary Bandit” of Government
When politicians create programs and announce projects, they routinely lie about the real costs. Their primary goal is to get initial approval for various boondoggles and they figure it will be too late to reverse path once it becomes apparent that something will cost for more than the initial low-ball estimates. Obamacare is a classic […]
Continue reading Least Surprising Headline Ever – another Giant Cost Overrun and Huge Delay for a Pork-Barrel Infrastructure Project
Which state gets the biggest share of its budget from the federal government? Is it California, the left’s bizarre alternative universe? Is it Illinois, the poster child for big-government excess? Nope, not even close. As a matter of fact, those two jurisdictions are among the 10-least dependent states. And if you’re guessing that the answer […]
Continue reading Mirror, Mirror, on the Wall, Which Is the Biggest Moocher State of All?
I don’t like tax increases, but I like having additional evidence that higher tax rates change behavior. So when my leftist friends “win” by imposing tax hikes, I try to make lemonade out of lemons by pointing out “supply-side” effects. Such as the big drop in soda purchases after a tax on sugary drinks was […]
Continue reading What Can We Learn When the Pro-Tax Hike Crowd Says “Oops”?
Since I can’t even keep track of schools of thought on the right (libertarians, traditional conservatives, neocons, reform conservatives, compassionate conservatives, Trump-style populists, etc), I’m not going to pretend to know what’s happening on the left. But it does appear that something significant – and bad – is happening in the statist community. Traditionally, folks […]
Continue reading The Left’s Siren Song of Coerced Equality
President Obama gave his farewell speech last night, orating for more than 50 minutes. As noted by the Washington Examiner, his remarks were “longer than the good-bye speeches of Ronald Reagan, Bill Clinton and George W. Bush combined.” But this wasn’t because he had a lengthy list of accomplishments. Unless, of course, you count the […]
Continue reading Obama Dismal but Forgettable Legacy