Mercury Rising 鳯女

Politics, life, and other things that matter

Small government tyrants

Posted by Charles II on April 30, 2013

The state of Arizona has just told cities that they may not destroy guns purchased in gun buybacks (see here). They must sell them.

This is what “limited government” looks like when it’s run by the right. If they control the federal government, then they pre-empt the power of the states and of unions to rein in corporate power. If they control the states, then they pre-empt the power of the cities to govern themselves (and illegalize unions) and/or threaten to secede.

In other words, “limited government” really means tyranny administered by corporations and cranks.

10 Responses to “Small government tyrants”

  1. I think it’s past time “small government conservatives” joins the ranks of classic oxymorons. When today’s so-called conservatives are in charge, they turn into total control freaks, demanding access to the most private parts of your life, while quashing any and all requests for accountability on their part.

    They are, without a doubt, the worst people in the world.

    • Charles II said

      Mark, off-topic: I see that PW got you your weather forecast in the right sidebar. Can we have a round of applause for a very talented lady?

  2. And once again, it’s amazing that we have to rely on a non-US paper to tell us what’s happening in our own country.

    • Charles II said

      Excellent point, PW. I went and looked at the Arizona Republic and didn’t see anything (It’s up now). Looking at who is covering it, it’s mostly minor news sources. Chicago Trib, Christian Science Monitor and Politico are the highest on the food chain, with a couple of news blogs (Seattle P-I, Atlantic Wire, and NPR) and the Arizona dailies being the next rung. Added: I’m not sure that the Republic actually has really covered the story. They reported on the buyback, and mentioned the legislation, but they sure aren’t commenting on what should be a major, major story.

      By the way, good going on getting the clouds up!

  3. perfectlyGoodInk said

    Yeah, I don’t get why most libertarians focus solely on government power and not all sources of power. I think it’s the obsessiveness with coercion, even though there are many other forms of power.

    Anyway, I keep trying to post on Econbrowser and my comments always get stuck in moderation. I don’t really have the time to debate much, but do skim through the OECD paper that Stryker is complaining about. What it actually means by non-linearity is that sometimes there is a *positive* correlation between debt above 90% and growth. I can e-mail you the relevant quotes. Sorry for being off-topic here.

    • perfectlyGoodInk said

      Never mind!

    • Charles II said

      Thanks for the visit to MercRising and for the offer, PGI. But there’s no need to refute Stryker, since his basic argument is that we are all bad people because we accept the arguments of Paul Krugman over those of R&R.

      I have glanced through Egert and think it’s a good example of econometrics substituting for thought. Debt requires service to pay the interest, service requires taxes, and taxes reduce the fuel for growth. If debt/GDP gets high enough, at some point the cost of service exceeds the capacity to tax, and there is a breakdown: default or whatever.

      So, simple common sense suggests that, all things being equal, one would prefer to have little or no debt.

      The problem is that things are never equal. The decision to add debt is a choice.If a typical individual broke his leg and needed to borrow money to get the break set so he could get back to work, then it would be idiotic not to take on debt. If the same individual had a sudden hankering to buy a bottle of Henri IV Dudognon Heritage to go along with dinner, it would be idiotic to take on debt to do so.

      Governments have the same sort of decisions to make. This country has chosen to let the skills of good workers deteriorate, education languish, infrastructure decay, and firms go out of business rather than take on debt (or tax the rich).

      Until econometric models begin from this sort of understanding, they will mix apples with oranges and pears and try to draw a correlation line between them.

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