This true-life account by the novelist Scott James – appearing in, of all places, the New York Times – very nicely exposes some of the unintended ill-consequences of rent-control. (HT several people – thanks!) Please repeat after me a basic tenet of economics – or, really, of sound thinking in any context: “Intentions are not results. Intentions are not results. Intentions are not results….”
Leonard Pitts’s Miami Herald column on the common oversimplification of the trade-off between security and freedom calls to mind an important point frequently made lately in the Cafe’s comments section by Yevdokiya Zagumenova; it is not to be missed. (HT Walter Grinder) Here’s Pitts’s closing (but, please, do read the whole essay):
We should know this, yet we fall for the same seductive con every time: We are afraid, but the state says it can make us safe. And all it will take is the surrender of a few small freedoms.
It makes you want to holler in frustration, especially since the promise is so false. Yes, the state can interdict a given terrorist plot, but even if it took every last freedom we have, it could not guarantee complete security. That is a plain truth with which we must make peace.
We will never be “safe.” But we just might, if we have the courage, be free.
Here’s an example of George Will at his best. His closing:
Today, Congress exercises police powers never granted by the Constitution. Conservatives who favor federal “wars” on drugs, gambling and other behaviors should understand the damage they have done to the constitutional underpinnings of limited government.
Especially for those of you in the DC-metro area, here’s a tasty opportunity to express opposition to an idiotic government regulation. (Check out specifically the entry for June 11th.) (HT Andy Roth)