Tag: Big Government

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Recently my readings brought me to 1 Samuel 11, which I thought offered some fascinating reflections on government and political power. Humility in Leadership More

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Pope Francis marked World Day of the Sick this week by meditating on Matthew 10:8: “Freely you have received, freely give.” Some of his thoughts: Volunteer work passes on values, behaviours and ways of living born of a deep desire to be generous. It is also a means of making health care more humane. More

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New Hampshire state employees who don’t wish to join a union will save more than $1 million a year in compulsory union fees following the U.S. Supreme Court’s June ruling in Janus vs. American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees, according to data obtained by the Josiah Bartlett Center for Public Policy through a […]

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That is to say, 61% of the public sees the Democrat Party accurately. The Pew survey, conducted this summer among a national sample of 2,504 adults 18 years of age or older, found that 61 percent of Americans see the Democratic Party as too government-centered, believing that the state should be the only recourse for […]

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I was ruminating a post on my thoughts about a show I recently discovered, Yes (Prime) Minister when Bill mentioned it on the recent podcast. More

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Example ACF Program (Administration for Children and Families) These LGBT programs above are offered by some of the 19 specialized division offices with at least 43 program areas provided by the Administration for Children and Families (ACF) which is one of eleven operating divisions under U.S. Department of Health & Human Services (HHS), a cabinet-level […]

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A while back I saw an article (possibly here on Ricochet :) ) about how two neighboring states would compete for large businesses to move jobs to their own state. In the article, it said that government workers or contractors would offer businesses tax breaks or other subsidies to get them. So my question is […]

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A relative on Facebook posted this, and maybe some readers would find it convincing. It engages several American arguments against systems in countries such as Denmark and Sweden that require high taxes for lavish government benefits to its citizens. The article makes Hillary sound almost conservative. Does the author effectively dismantle the claims that collectivism works […]

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Daylight Savings is the most despicable intrusion in our lives perpetrated by Big Government. The Hand of Gov reaches into our daily routine and diddles with our schedule twice a year in a most disruptive way [okay, I don’t bitch about it in the fall because I get to sleep in]. Sunday’s 9:00 am Mass will […]

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Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Laws Are Not Force Fields

 

shutterstock_344065673It would seem a self-evident truth that laws are not force fields. Simply creating a rule does not in and of itself change anyone’s behavior. Unenforced laws are useless. This would seem to be a strong argument in favor of only passing laws whose enforcement can be done in a practical manner, and which do not duplicate existing law.

Not so, says the Democratic Party. Whether it be their desire to emote about how much they care, even when they are powerless to do anything of consequence, or a genuine belief that they can bend human nature to their will with words alone, the result is the same. There are problems in the United States, and regardless of the specifics, the Democrats have a law ready to solve it.

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Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Challenging “Policing for Profit” in Pagedale

 
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Mildred Bryant, 84, is one of the Pagedale, MO, residents facing the threat of tickets, fines, and imprisonment for minor HOA-style violations.

How much power does your local government have over you? Can it tell you that your drapes have to match or force you to put screens on your windows? Can it tell you how many people you may have at a barbeque or where on your property your grill can be? Can it make you take down a basketball hoop in your driveway?

Pagedale, MO, a small city outside of St. Louis, thinks that it can do all these things. As a result, the residents of the town spend time and money struggling to meet the demands of the code enforcement efforts of the city.

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“Twelve million illegal immigrants, to send them back, 500,000 a month, is just not possible.” John Ellis Bush at the Republican debate, 11/11/2015 Jeb Bush, John Kasich, Marco Rubio, Hillary Clinton, and Bernie Sanders all agree… Deportation is impossible. It’s just too big a job for Government to handle, and we need to accept… no… […]

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I’ve been reading a little Constitutional law lately. I wrote about Michael Paulsen in “The True Meaning of Marbury v. Madison“ and “Unlearning Constitutional Law.” This little essay completes the (apparently) three-part series which started with those two posts. In this post, for a change, I’m looking into some credible reasons to disagree with Paulsen. Fortunately, they apply to a […]

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Promoted from the Ricochet Member Feed by Editors Created with Sketch. Is Big Government Worth a Dam?

 

246-hoover-dam-bypass-4270In his monumental 1957 book Oriental Despotism: A Comparative Study of Total Power, the historian Karl Wittfogel proposed the theory of hydraulic empire. He surmised that despotic governments and large-scale irrigation works arose in tandem because only a strong, centralizing power could compel the mass labor required to build and maintain these works. The surpluses of food and wealth resulting from successful irrigation projects conferred legitimacy upon absolute rulers; the mobilization of labor could also be directed toward monumental architecture, increasing their prestige.

Political progressives often cite the Hoover Dam as an example of government defined as “the things we do together” — projects so large that the private sector is incapable of undertaking them. The dam is a key icon of the mythology of the New Deal. In Canada, the Canadian-Pacific Railway holds a similar place in our founding myth. I believe both of these projects were public-private partnerships, but like the irrigation works of antiquity, they are now used to increase the legitimacy and prestige of a centralized, activist government — albeit not a very authoritarian one.

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Promoted from the Ricochet Member Feed by Editors Created with Sketch. Woman Arrested for Not Renewing $35 Dog License

 

RerhBeing a busy mom and surgical nurse, Becky Rehr of Kalamazoo County, Mich., kept forgetting to renew the license for her family’s 11-year-old springer/border collie mix. She finally turned in the paperwork on June 18 but a few days later received an arrest warrant from the local government. Not renewing a dog license is a criminal offense in this corner of southwestern Michigan.

While running errands with her 14-year-old daughter, Rehr swung by the sheriff’s office to show Johnny Law her $35 receipt and clear up the trivial matter. She was shocked when they took her mug shot, fingerprints, and tossed her into a holding cell at the county jail.

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Contributor Post Created with Sketch. The Vice Spiral

 

shutterstock_139513784The beauty of Ricochet is how one thought spawns another, a true ricochet of thoughts bouncing from one member to the next. David Sussman‘s post on Las Vegas got me thinking about the spiraling effects of lawmakers preying on their constituents’ weaknesses in order to wring every last available dollar out of them for, you know, the children.

Nevada has always been the industry leader. When divorce was a complicated procedure in America, Nevada filled the gap. In 1931, the state simplified its divorce laws and reduced its residency requirement to six weeks. They essentially created divorce tourism. By 1940, almost 5% of the total number of divorces filed in the US were in Nevada.

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Promoted from the Ricochet Member Feed by Editors Created with Sketch. Big Government Is Bankrupt Government

 

The year 2007 marked the height of the housing bubble. Residential real estate prices were through the roof, especially in Arizona, Nevada, and California where speculators had swamped the market. This overvalued sector resulted in exceptionally high revenues for the Sun Belt cities that based most of their budgets on steadily growing property taxes.

Several cities, understanding the ups and downs of business cycles, maintained their level of spending or increased it by a modest amount. But other municipalities acted as if the good times would never end. Glendale, Ariz. borrowed to build a gargantuan pro football stadium and hockey arena nearly 20 miles from the city center. Stockton, Calif. borrowed $300 million to build their own arena, shopping centers, theaters, and a palatial waterfront complex.

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Promoted from the Ricochet Member Feed by Editors Created with Sketch. Rearranging Chairs on the Sun Deck

 

Over the long holiday weekend, America’s national debt crossed the $18 trillion mark. This, combined with the incompetence of a public sector that is fast squeezing out the private, is a partial reason for the GOP’s historic victory in the midterms. Voters might not be clamoring for a smaller government (would that they were), but they certainly want a functional one.

Don’t worry, America. Help is on the way:

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Promoted from the Ricochet Member Feed by Editors Created with Sketch. Government Solutions: ‘Redesigning the Tray’

 

19kdtn-lunches-blog480When America’s (least) favorite busybody decided to mess with school lunch programs, the result was predictable. Kids have been opting out in record numbers, with more than 1 million school children no longer buying school lunches since new standards went into effect.

The new standards were typical government coercion, providing more federal money to schools that complied with the new rules. Compliance, however, let to weird food combinations, more food being thrown away, and the “Hunger-Free Kids” Act turns out to be just another Orwellian-named government program, which actually leaves kids hungry.

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