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Or As Russ Might Put It…

Posted By Don Boudreaux On June 14, 2012 @ 11:30 am In Politics,Reality Is Not Optional | Comments Disabled

… if you order a ham sandwich for lunch, don’t be dismayed when you discover that the dish that you’re served isn’t kosher.

Here’s a letter to the Washington Post:

E.J. Dionne, a staunch advocate of ever-increasing politicization of the activities of those who earn money, is dismayed at the ever-increasing monetization of the activities of those who practice politics (“Secret money fuels the 2012 elections [1],” June 14).

Mr. Dionne’s dismay reflects childish naiveté.

Government officials who control the disposition of enormous sums of money are no more likely to be free – or want to be free – of the influence of money than someone who consumes gallons of whiskey is likely to be free – or wants to be free – of the influence of alcohol.  In both cases, the influence is an unavoidable by-product of the activity.

Sincerely,
Donald J. Boudreaux
Professor of Economics
George Mason University
Fairfax, VA  22030

UPDATE: My buddy Andy Morriss e-mailed to me this tongue-in-cheek response:

Can’t the government DO something about the ham sandwich problem?  If we had a national bureau of kosher standards that took a “living constitution” approach the standards, couldn’t it take into account the needs of the pork industry?

:-)

Andy’s facetious point makes us smile.  Trouble is, many of the policies seriously advocated by “Progressives” (e.g., to improve the economic prospects of women via the “Fair Pay Act”) and by conservatives (e.g., to create civil society in Iraq through military intervention) require, for their success, that government somehow becomes invested with the power to work miracles no less remarkable than is the miracle that would be required for government to produce a kosher ham sandwich.

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[1] Secret money fuels the 2012 elections: http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/secret-money-fuels-the-2012-elections/2012/06/13/gJQAsZ4FaV_story.html

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