Tag: government

Quote of the Day: Society and Government

 

“Society is produced by our wants, and government by wickedness; the former promotes our happiness positively by uniting our affections, the latter negatively by restraining our vices. The one encourages intercourse, the other creates distinctions. The first is a patron, the last a punisher. Society in every state is a blessing, but government even in its best state is but a necessary evil.” – Thomas Paine

The only quibble I have with this quote is that some time since the beginning of this millennia, the government has ceased to restrain our vices, but now seems to encourage them. Government still creates distinctions, and still serves as a punisher. However, more and more it punishes those who still seek to restrain their own vices. And government is no longer in its best state.

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Quote of the Day – The Government’s Role

 

It is amazing how many people think that the government’s role is to give them what they want by overriding what other people want. – Thomas Sowell

More Sowell food for thought.

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Quote of the Day: Society and Government

 

“Society is produced by our wants, and government by wickedness; the former promotes our happiness positively by uniting our affections, the latter negatively by restraining our vices. The one encourages intercourse, the other creates distinctions. The first is a patron, the last a punisher. Society in every state is a blessing, but government even in its best state is but a necessary evil.”  – Thomas Paine

Yesterday a Ricochet contributor was arguing Washington could do better than gridlock. My first thought was that while it could, it did better than gridlock only rarely. That is because, as Thomas Paine notes, government is generally a negative.

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In my USA Today column for Labor Day weekend, I recommend that public-sector unions drop the political activism and focus on providing their members with great service at a great price. You know, like every other organization in a competitive marketplace has to do. Public-sector union bosses haven’t seemed to notice that by ending agency […]

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David French of National Review and Greg Corombos of Radio America react to New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo slamming President Trump’s ‘Make America Great Again’ slogan by saying, “It was never that great.” So what do most on the left really believe? They also shudder at Elizabeth Warren’s plan to make any company earning 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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How is a court order from the Judicial Branch compelling specific action to be performed within the Executive Branch enforced? More

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Eudaimonia and Identity

 

America’s culture is a constant source of discussion here on Ricochet. Whether it’s homosexual marriage or marijuana decriminalization/legalization, culture permeates our discussions. I just finished reading Mona Charen’s piece over at NRO, “The Price of Feminism,” this morning and it coincided with me finishing Yuval Levin’s Fractured Republic and Charles Murray’s Coming Apart last week.

The reason I mention all three pieces in regard to American culture is that they all point to decline or change in the culture. Levin’s book focuses predominantly on the decline of civil society in America and its replacement by the federal government through the process of what he calls “bifurcated-consolidation.” Murray’s book looks to the physical results of 60 years of cultural change that has seen the founding virtues (Murray’s words, not mine) of marriage, honesty, religion, and industriousness falter in the lower classes and stay strong in the upper classes.

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Quote of the Day: Responsibility

 

“Responsibility is a unique concept… You may share it with others, but your portion is not diminished. You may delegate it, but it is still with you… If responsibility is rightfully yours, no evasion, or ignorance or passing the blame can shift the burden to someone else. Unless you can point your finger at the man who is responsible when something goes wrong, then you have never had anyone really responsible.” ― Hyman G. Rickover

Rickover was always a controversial figure. Yet this quote gets to the heart of much what is wrong in today’s society. No one is held responsible, and the higher your position the more responsibility is avoided. The only ones held responsible are low-level suckers too low on the totem pole to avoid holding the bag of responsibility. Worse still? A society where position and prestige shields one from the responsibility which goes with that position is fundamentally corrupt.

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After discussing the Washington Capitals ending a 26-year title drought in the nation’s capital, Jim Geraghty of National Review and Greg Corombos of Radio America applaud Country Time for vowing to pay the fines and permit fees for kids hassled by the government for running lemonade stands without business licenses. They’re also disgusted as a 57-year-old […]

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Is there any information or knowledge anyone in the Executive Branch has pertaining to Executive Branch matters that the President is not entitled to know? I’m interested in this from the standpoint of the Mueller investigation which seems to address counter-intelligence issues where timely assessment followed by operational action can be important. More

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(NOTE: The Josiah Bartlett Center for Public Policy, New Hampshire’s original free-market think tank, publishes a weekly email newsletter. This week’s newsletter is a little rumination on partisanship. It’s posted below, in full, for your consideration. If you enjoyed this essay, you can sign up for the free Friday newsletter here.)   More

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A funny thing happened to America’s libertarian movement – it expected a champion to emerge in the 2016 election; it may or may not have one in Donald Trump. Richard Epstein, the Hoover Institution’s Peter and Kirsten Bedford Senior Fellow and the voice behind “The Libertarian” podcast, grades the Trump presidency from a libertarian vantage. […]

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Senate Dems Cave on Government Shutdown

 

In a speech on the Senate floor, Minority Leader Chuck Schumer announced a deal on reopening the federal government. Sen. Mitch McConnell immediately introduced a cloture vote on the effort.

The measure would fund the government through Feb. 8. In return for Democratic support, McConnell has promised Schumer to “open a debate on immigration.”

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Occupational Licensing Is a Whole Quilt of Crazy

 

Here’s a bit of trivia: New Hampshire’s tallest building was erected by a general contractor unlicensed by the state. Before you decide to avoid forever Manchester’s 20-story City Hall Plaza, you should know no building in the state, including every house, was built by a state-licensed general contractor — because New Hampshire doesn’t license general contractors. I’ll be focusing on New Hampshire here, but the crazy quilt of occupational licenses smothers opportunity in every state.

The state doesn’t license carpenters, auto mechanics, welders or asphalt layers either. Yet your home does not fall apart, commercial buildings don’t tumble down, roads don’t dissolve in the rain.

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My severely Autistic, speech-challenged, slightly mentally retarded son received a jury summons from the same court that maintains records that he is a severely Autistic, speech-challenged, slightly mentally retarded man and the same court that ruled that he is not allowed to vote because he doesn’t have the mental competence to understand what voting means […]

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A government that robs Peter to pay Paul can always depend on the support of Paul. – George Bernard Shaw In a real sense the whole tax cut debate we are going through is an illustration of this principle: which Peters get robbed, and how do the various Pauls support that theft. I generally favor tax […]

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Quote of the Day: Governmental Power

 

“There’s no way to rule innocent men. The only power any government has is the power to crack down on criminals. Well, when there aren’t enough criminals, one makes them. One declares so many things to be a crime that it becomes impossible for men to live without breaking laws.” – Ayn Rand

I am not a big fan of Ayn Rand. (I know some of you are, but please don’t bother to convert me. It is a waste of time.) She has brilliant insights at times, however, and this is one. Somehow it seems particularly relevant after recent revelations about the corruption within the Mueller investigation.

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I’m reading through a biography of Ethiopia’s last emperor, Haile Selassie, by Asfa-Wossen Asrate. The author is royalty himself, being the great-nephew of the emperor. A little past the mid-point of the book, I’m reading of the gov’t reforms going on in the 40’s and 50’s in which a new constitution is being written as […]

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David French of National Review and Greg Corombos of Radio America applaud the courage and heroism of the Texas man who exchanged gunfire with the Texas church murderer and the driver who happened upon the scene and chased the killer at high speeds to make sure no one else was harmed. They also shake their […]

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