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Category: Big Government

Sep 06 2021

Open Thread

We...are not really free if we can't control our own government and its policies. And we will never do that if we remain ignorant. - Charley Reese

Aug 24 2021

Open Thread

The Federal Government should be the last resort, not the first. Ask if a potential program is truly a federal responsibility or whether it can better be handled privately, by voluntary organizations, or by local or state governments. - Donald Rumsfeld
Jul 21 2021

Open Thread

When business accepts help from the government, it can be like going to bed with a hippopotamus. It's nice and warm for the moment, but then your bedmate rolls over and crushes you. - Donald Rumsfeld
Jul 17 2021

$100,000 Ticket for Parking on Her Own Property

Petty tyranny doesn’t come cheap, as Sandy Martinez of Lantana, Florida learned when she received a parking fine of over $100,000 for parking on her on property in such a way that the tires touched grass. Combined with other outrageous fines, the town figures she owes it $165,000.

Institute for Justice sums up the case:

The $165,000 that Sandy owes is a result of daily fines that the city assessed for property code violations. Most of this amount is a result of the way Sandy’s family parks their cars. Sandy, her two adult children and her sister all own cars so that they can get to their jobs. When all four cars are parked in the driveway, sometimes one of them has two tires on the lawn, a $250 per day violation. And those fines continue to accrue until the homeowner corrects the problem and calls the city to inspect the property to confirm it is in compliance.

This arrangement does not provide an incentive for bureaucrats to inspect promptly.

After receiving the parking violation, Sandy called the town like she was supposed to, but an inspector never came out. Once Sandy discovered that the fines were still accruing over a year later, she immediately called and passed the inspection. But by then, the amount she owed was $101,750. This fine is on top of fines for two other similarly trivial violations—for cracks in the driveway and a fence that fell over during a storm.

She is not rich, and will probably be financially ruined if she does not prevail in court.

Foundation for Economic Education observes that this story is…

…yet another reminder that while big government advocates insist the state will uplift the struggling, the actual implementation of its power often hurts those who can least afford it.

On the other side, environmentalists will be heartened to see Big Government sticking up for oppressed grass.

On a tip from ABC of the ANC.

Jun 22 2021

Open Thread

The more numerous the laws, the more corrupt the government. - Tacitus
May 21 2021

Covid Scammers Dumb Enough to Get Caught

One thing police have in their favor is the stupidity of most criminals who don’t go into politics. Unfortunately, it is so easy to scam a government that regards our money as free that even morons are able to pull it off.

Via Foundation for Economic Education:

A group of scammers in New York City allegedly ripped off millions from the state’s super-charged pandemic welfare system. They were busted after (rather foolishly) posting pictures of themselves with massive money stacks on social media and now face prosecution.

The youths acquired $2 million in Covid relief funds by stealing other people’s personal information in scams that lasted from last June through last month.

The scammers’ target was the state’s unemployment benefits system. During the pandemic, the government greatly increased benefit payouts and hastily expanded eligibility to new categories of workers. In its rush to get taxpayer money out the door, the government created a target-rich system flush with cash and light on verification.

Under Biden, the spending spree is so out of control that top bureaucrats openly admit they don’t care if the free money goes to people in the country illegally.

A report shows that the federal government has potentially lost up to $200 billion in taxpayer money to scammers ripping off the system [during the pandemic]. …

[T]he total money lost to fraud is more than 5 times as much as the feds spent on vaccine development. According to the American Enterprise Institute, “unemployment fraud” now ranks as the 4th biggest federal COVID expenditure

[W]hen it comes to big government, fraud, waste, and dysfunction are baked into the cake.

See where Covid cash has been flowing, as your savings are inflated into oblivion.

On a tip from R F.

May 18 2021

Open Thread

If you want government to intervene domestically, you’re a liberal. If you want government to intervene overseas, you’re a conservative. If you want government to intervene everywhere, you’re a moderate. If you don’t want government to intervene anywhere, you’re an extremist. - Joseph Sobran
May 13 2021

Open Thread

People in government are self-interested just like people in business. - David Boaz
May 10 2021

Open Thread

Unless the people, through unified action, arise and take charge of their government, they will find that their government has taken charge of them. Independence and liberty will be gone, and the general public will find itself in a condition of servitude to an aggregation of organized and selfish interest. - Calvin Coolidge
May 06 2021

Vaccine Waiver Brings Atlas Shrugged to Life

In Atlas Shrugged, Hank Rearden goes to tremendous effort to create a revolutionary metal alloy. Rather than respect his property rights, Big Government employs extortion to acquire the formula. Ayn Rand’s epic novel is coming true:

The [Biden Regime] said Wednesday it would support the temporary waiver of intellectual property provisions to allow developing nations to produce Covid-19 vaccines created by pharmaceutical companies, citing an urgent need to stem the pandemic.

Pharmaceutical companies performed a miracle by creating the vaccines so quickly. They were able to thanks in part to Trump getting Big Government out of their way, reducing red tape through Operation Warp Speed. Personified by the unscrupulous and ham-fisted Joe Biden, Big Government is back.

The ChiCom virus has been running amok in India, to the delight of Chinese officials. Stealing the vaccine is no instant fix, if only because setting up complex production facilities in India and elsewhere will take time. It will also weaken supply chains and may result in counterfeit vaccines. It will prevent future pharmaceutical breakthroughs, as the expense and risk of developing new drugs will not be worthwhile if bureaucrats will merely seize the drug once it has been created.

This won’t come as a surprise:

Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, director-general of the World Health Organization, hailed the U.S. action as a “monumental moment” in the fight against Covid-19.

Tedros is a literal communist who has been accused of genocide. The WHO is essentially a tool of the Chinese Communist Party, which is why Trump cut its US funding and Biden immediately restored it.

Communist countries don’t develop new drugs the way the USA and other free countries do, because they do not have property rights.

Even Bill Gates, normally a globalist moonbat, knows this thuggery is not going to fix the problem:

“The thing that has holding things back in this case is not intellectual property. It’s not like there’s some idle vaccine factory, with regulatory approval, that makes magically safe vaccines,” Bill Gates, whose charitable foundation has made significant contributions to global vaccine efforts, said on Sky News last month.

This was predictable:

Shares of Pfizer, Moderna and several other vaccine developers fell sharply in response. The selloff continued Thursday morning. …

[I]ntellectual property is the backbone of the drug industry. Investors should take any challenge to it seriously.

The price of letting Biden’s handlers take power will go beyond skyrocketing taxes, debt, and inflation. This catastrophic mistake will cost us our future health, as pharmaceutical companies are reduced to aspirin mills that cannot make a profit on new drugs.

On tips from Varla and Mr. Freemarket.

Apr 26 2021

Workers Unwilling to Work Thanks to Covid Relief

Small businesses face another challenge, on top of the Covid lockdowns and Black Lives Matter riots. People are not willing to work, because Big Government is paying them so much not to.

From the Wall Street Journal:

The National Federation of Independent Business surveyed more than 500 small businesses and reported last week that 42% of them had job openings they couldn’t fill.

How can this be, with the economy only beginning to recover from the artificially induced Covid depression that threw millions out of work?

Some workers still fear they’ll contract Covid if they return to the workplace, and some parents are unable to take on full-time work because their children’s schools remain shut.

The third reason is even more infuriating than the second.

As Covid spread and the nation locked down last spring, Congress approved enhanced weekly benefits of $600, in addition to the usual state-administered unemployment payments, through July 2020. A working paper by the National Bureau of Economic Research found that 76% of those eligible for the $600 bonus could be given at least as much for being jobless as they’d earn by working. Lawmakers have since trimmed the enhanced unemployment benefits to $300 a week and extended them through September 2021. University of Chicago economist Peter Ganong says that even with the supplemental benefit halved to $300, “42% of workers are making more than their pre-unemployment wage.” And these analyses don’t count food stamps, rental assistance and other government help…

Also,

The first $10,200 in unemployment compensation is exempt from federal income tax under this year’s Covid relief law.

It has never been less fun to be an employer like Christie Phelps, who owns a daycare business:

Workers slack off or make audacious demands. If they don’t get what they want, “they’ll quit on you, and then they’ll try to go get unemployment.”

Unemployment benefits, when they had a job but quit? Yes:

The [Bureau of Labor Statistics] reports that some 3.4 million Americans quit their jobs in February. Under last year’s Covid-relief legislation, workers who leave voluntarily are still eligible for federal enhanced unemployment, University of Chicago economist Casey Mulligan notes.

Mulligan…

…has estimated that as a direct result of the federal government’s $300 enhanced unemployment benefit, between three million and five million fewer people are currently employed.

Christie Phelps says that if the benefits are extended past September, she will have to pull the plug on her business.

Even businesses that don’t shut down will struggle to expand. The longer enhanced unemployment stretches on, the more likely it looks that job growth will trail economic growth, leading to production shortfalls and perhaps higher prices.

Pump massive amounts of free money into the economy, then discourage people from producing goods and services to buy with it. Sounds like a surefire recipe for inflation.

Mulligan says that with unemployment benefits so high, joblessness “becomes a new occupation—it’s not that different than having an army, except these people’s jobs are to sit at home rather than go to a foreign theater.”

They do have one task other than to sit watching Netflix. They have to vote Democrat if they want to keep the free money flowing.

On a tip from Varla.

Apr 26 2021

Kids Forbidden From Selling Eggs

When government was limited, children would learn about money and how it is legitimately acquired by setting up lemonade stands. Now that government has grown out of control, children learn a different lesson by getting hit with a cease-and-desist order for selling eggs.

From greater San Antonio:

The two girls, 10-year-old Indiana and 8-year-old Phoenix, started collecting extra eggs from the chickens on their property and sold them to those in the community following the devastating Lone Star State freeze in February that roiled the region’s food supply.

These enemies of society were quickly brought into line by local authorities.

The sisters generated about $70 per week under the guidance of their father, Brian Johnson, an Army veteran, before the city of Bulverde intervened.

Johnson may wonder if he still lives in the country he signed up to fight for.

Someone in the neighborhood ratted them out. Keeping chickens is okay, but selling the eggs violates a city ordinance.

Johnson initially made the suggestion to the girls so they would be able to learn about “bank accounts” and money, he said.

What they learned about instead was how government smothers initiative.

On a tip from Dragon’s Lair.

Apr 25 2021

Open Thread

And I don't think that government has a role in telling people how to live their lives. Maybe a minister does, maybe your belief in God does, maybe there's another set of moral codes, but I don't think government has a role. - Clarence Thomas
Mar 24 2021

Open Thread

When you see that trading is done, not by consent, but by compulsion - when you see that in order to produce, you need to obtain permission from men who produce nothing - when you see that money is flowing to those who deal, not in goods, but in favors - when you see that men get richer by graft and by pull than by work, and your laws don't protect you against them, but protect them against you - when you see corruption being rewarded and honesty becoming a self-sacrifice - you may know that your society is doomed. - Ayn Rand

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