Friday, November 21, 2003
Krugman Actually Has a Point! (sort of)
But we'll begin with Sir Thomas Browne, instead:
'Tis not a melancholy Utinam of mine owne, but the desires of better heads, that there were a generall Synod; not to unite the incompatible difference of Religion, but for the benefit of learning, to reduce it as it lay at first in a few and solid Authours; and to condemne to the fire those swarms and millions of Rhapsodies, begotten onely to distract and abuse the weaker judgements of Scholars, and to maintaine the Trade and Mystery of Typographers.
Religio Medici, Sect. 24
As I am no longer a typographer, I am much more comfortable citing this. But what does it have to do with Krugman? Krugman complains today about the Bush administration and the Republicans in Congress (no, really!) and the AARP because he doesn't like the new Medicare and energy bills. (Who does?)
Krugman notes, "In case you haven't noticed, we live in a golden age of pork: the other big piece of legislation marching through Congress, the energy bill, makes the Smoot-Hawley tariff look like a classic of good government."
To Krugman, this is a failing of the uniquely corrupt, dishonest, stupid, and incompetent Republicans -- though how they can manage to be all four at once and yet consistently defeat the pure, honest, wise, and competent Democrats is something of a mystery. But to Browne and to me, it seems rather a natural result of the metastisization of government.
It is time, and past time, to "reduce it as it lay at first"; to declare a sort of legislative Jubilee during which all laws and regulations are repealed, and only those truly conducive to happy lives in a free society be re-enacted.
posted by vepxistqaosani 10:04 AM