Maxim Lott weighs in on the White House’s ‘Nudge Squad.’ And – nudged by Maxim – Bryan Caplan weighs in, too.
Art Carden, writing at Forbes, asks if a higher legislated minimum wage would help workers at McDonald’s. (Spoiler: It won’t. Quite the opposite, in fact.)
And finally, George Will identifies what ails Detroit. Here’s his closing:
Steven Rattner, who administered the bailout of part of the Detroit-based portion of America’s automobile industry, says “apart from voting in elections, the 700,000 remaining residents of the Motor City are no more responsible for Detroit’s problems than were the victims of Hurricane Sandy for theirs.” Congress, he says, should bail out Detroit because “America is just as much about aiding those less fortunate as it is about personal responsibility.”
There you have today’s liberalism: Human agency, hence responsibility, is denied. Apart from the pesky matter of “voting in elections” — apart from decades of voting to empower incompetents, scoundrels and criminals, and to mandate unionized rapacity — no one is responsible for anything. Popular sovereignty is a chimera because impersonal forces akin to hurricanes are sovereign.
The restoration of America’s vitality depends on, among many other things, avoiding the bottomless sinkhole that would be created by the federal government rescuing one-party cities, and one-party states such as Illinois, from the consequences of unchecked power. Those consequences of such power — incompetence, magical thinking, cynicism, and sometimes criminality — are written in Detroit’s ruins.