A Government Agency Tries to Succeed by Failing

The Secret Service has a difficult and important job but, like other government agencies, it appears to use failure as an excuse to grow its powers. The Secret Service has recently suggested screening tourists in a facility blocks away from the White House to detect threats and enlarge the buffer zone around 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.  The agency floated this proposal immediately after an event of breathtaking incompetence.  

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Beyond Politics: How to Think about Government Failure

Beyond Politics

The next Liberty Law Talk is a conversation with Randy Simmons on his recently revised and updated book, Beyond Politics: The Roots of Government Failure. Serious policy analysis frequently begins with the unspoken assumption that government must fill the gaps in the marketplace. Markets are vastly imperfect and require for their proper functioning the precise, i.e., perfecting, commands of the regulatory state. Not content with this narrative's iron-clad belief that government rules and regulations live and move in rational operation, having their being serving the commonweal 24/7, Simmons provides a comprehensive way to think about the giant suck of political…

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Statism II

In my previous post, Statism I, I defined statism as an excessive and harmful embrace of the power of the state.  Today, as a means of showing how prevalent statism is, I want to show how statism has over time infected the standard models of economics – a discipline that is regarded as one of the most pro-market in the academy. My argument as to economics is simple.  One of the basic questions in economics is whether matters should be addressed by the market or the government.  In comparing these two institutions, one should obviously do so in a fair way…

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